The LSB has published a discussion paper on the regulation of in house lawyers. It has analysed the regulatory framework of the approved regulators against the provisions of the Legal Services Act (LSA) and concluded that there are variations that need justification.
The current framework for in house regulation pre-dates the LSA and needs to be re-assessed. The SRA does have this on its to do list. From the LSB's paper it seems that the direction of travel will be towards a more liberal regime which is likely to make easier for in house teams to sell their services to other potential clients particularly where these services do not fall within the reserved legal activities defined by the LSA.
There are currently over 25,000 in-house lawyers in England and Wales. The Legal Services Board (LSB) is concerned that any unnecessary restrictions on in- house lawyers may have the potential to impose costs and red tape, frustrate innovation and adversely affect access to justice. It is therefore important that any restrictions can be clearly justified.