LSB delays law firm diversity data publication

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved plans to push back the publication date of law firm diversity data until 2013.

Plans for the delay were put forward by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in its Diversity Action Plan, published today (31 May 2012). In the document it states that publication of diversity data this year would be ineffective at “a time of huge change for our regulated community”.

The report states: “While we recognise and appreciate the LSB’s view that publication at individual entity level could drive through greater transparency for consumers and behaviour change, we feel that in imposing this requirement at a time of huge change for our regulated community would be disproportionate, and may result in resistance to the request and a low response. This would risk jeopardising the whole initiative.”

The LSB revealed its radical plans to force law firms and barristers’ chambers to reveal social mobility data on their websites last year (26 July 2011).  

The LSB initially required firms and chambers to publish information about the socio-economic background of their workforce by 2012, as well as statistics on age, gender, disability, ethnic group and caring responsibilities.

The news follows the publication of former Labour minister Alan Milburn’s report that updates the progress made since his Fair Access to Professional Careers report 2009 (30 May 2012).