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Consumer and Stakeholder Engagement continued

Providing adequate costs information is important. Only 78% of respondents strongly agreed that costs were clearly explained to them and 4% strongly disagreed. To improve service delivery in the area of costs CILEx members were referred to the CILEx Code of Conduct guidance and information provided by the Legal Ombudsman.

Equality and Diversity Each year we carry out an annual diversity survey to support the LSB’s initiative to establish a baseline for the diversity makeup across the legal services workforce. We collect data from our self-employed regulated members. This year we moved to an on- line survey which made it easier for the submission of responses. We worked to increase awareness of the survey through articles in the CILEx Journal and emails to members. We reminded those who had not responded to encourage them to take the survey. The number of responses doubled compared with 2013. We also received assistance from the SRA who provided us with diversity data relating to our Chartered Legal Executives from their survey. The data was analysed and a report published on our website and in a CILEx Journal article.

Our survey revealed the type of school attended between the ages of 11 and 16. Half of the respondents had attended a non-selective state-run school; 34 % had been to a state-run school selected on academic, faith or other ground; 7 % of the respondents had attended an independent fee paying school and did so for just under a third of their school years. From the data collected by the SRA 5.5 % of Chartered Legal Executives working in SRA regulated practices attended fee paying schools and 64.7 % attended state schools.

Social mobility is measured in part by looking at whether a household in which the respondent grew up received Income Support and/or free school meals. The data revealed that in 2013, 5.3% of respondents’ childhood households received Income Support whereas no respondents stated that their households did in 2014. In 2013, 5.3% of respondents stated that they received free school meals which compared with 11.9 % in 2014.

“A comparison of the data from the SRA and our data suggested that approximately twice the proportion of respondent Chartered Legal Executives in the Black minority and ethnic category were self-employed or owned their own firms compared to those working in SRA regulated firms.”

The summarised data and findings were reported to the LSB and add to the legal sector evidence on diversity and ongoing work to accumulate information on progression within the legal workforce. Next year the diversity survey will form part of the annual return required by regulated entities.

12 Professional standards for specialist lawyers

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