07 Dec

LSB approves CRL application to create a permanent presumption of remote hearings

CILEx Regulation has received approval from the Legal Services Board (LSB) to amend its regulatory arrangements, specifically its Enforcement Rules, to allow a presumption of remote (virtual) disciplinary hearings, where it is fair to proceed remotely.


Temporary provisions allowing a presumption of remote hearings had been in force since November 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Following a consultation with its regulated community in Spring 2022 and a review of the consultation responses, CILEx Regulation applied to the LSB on 31 October 2022 to alter its Enforcement Rules to make the presumption permanent.


The overarching objectives in making this alteration are to protect and promote the public and consumer interest, the reputation of the profession, the need to deal with cases justly and expeditiously, whilst maintaining individuals’ rights to a fair and public hearing.


Remote hearings have proven to be effective and efficient over the course of the pandemic, increasing attendance and engagement levels. They have enabled CILEx Regulation to continue fulfilling its regulatory duties, whilst keeping attendees safe.


The rule change means that these benefits plus related efficiency gains, can continue. It will enable prompt action and reduce risks posed to the public, consumer, and reputation of the profession by those subject to disciplinary action. Adopting a permanent position on this matter should also give our regulated community clarity, consistency, and certainty about how proceedings will take place going forward.


In all cases, parties retain a right to request for the proceedings to be held in person. The final decision as to whether to proceed remotely, or in person, will rest with the disciplinary panel responsible for determining the case.


A copy of CILEx Regulation’s application and LSB decision notice can be found on the LSB website here: Closed applications – The Legal Services Board. Further information about how we deal with disciplinary cases can be found on our website.