The Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) last week withdrew its application for approval of the Costs Lawyer Competence Assessment (CLCA) as the new method of entering the profession.
In April, the Legal Services Board (LSB) issued a warning notice that said it was minded to reject the application, listing seven significant concerns, the first of which was “the lack of information and evidence to support the stated rationale” for it.
The CLSB put in a robust response, arguing that the CLCA was proportionate – “based on the profession’s low risk profile” – and sustainable, and met “all the published requirements of the LSB”.
However, last week, the CLSB withdrew the application. New chief executive Kate Wellington (pictured) said: “The aim of our application was to introduce a modern, flexible and robust means of entry into the profession. While the LSB does not object in principle to a Costs Lawyer competency assessment, there is more work to be done on the detail.
“For this reason, we have withdrawn our application in the short term. We will now work hand-in-hand with the LSB and the ACL to further develop our proposals for a contemporary route of entry, aimed at supporting a thriving and trusted profession.”
ACL chair Claire Green said: “It is clear that, with the withdrawal of the CLSB’s application for the CLCA, a different approach to education and route into the profession is required at this stage. It may well be that this is in the short term, but it is good to be able to work towards a common goal with our regulator.”
Ms Wellington started her part-time role last week, with former full-time chief executive Lynn Plumbley moving to a new part-time role as head of operations.
Ms Wellington is a qualified solicitor in Australia and in England and Wales. She holds undergraduate degrees in law and economics, as well as a postgraduate degree in civil law from Oxford University. She began her legal career in the public sector before joining City giant Linklaters as an associate specialising in commercial litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations.
In 2013, she moved in-house to work for consumer group Which?, latterly as head of legal operations. Her specialist areas include consumer rights, ADR, regulatory policy and the development of professional standards.
Ms Wellington has served on numerous advisory committees and steering groups throughout her career, both at the UK and EU level. Formerly a consumer representative on the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, she is currently an independent member of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s professional standards committee and the Ombudsman Association’s validation committee.