The Law Society has rejected the idea of losing any role in the appointments process for the boards of frontline regulators.

The Legal Services Board wants to transfer the process of selecting board chairs to an independent appointment panel, and to have final approval over the picks.

It will also give regulators the authority to design the selection process and competency requirements and manage its own appointments panel for members of its own board.

The oversight regulator has already imposed a requirement that regulatory boards should have lay chairs.

The Law Society, which currently oversees the appointments process led by an independent chair, today said the changes have 'all the hallmarks of hasty and ill-considered proposals'.

It said existing rules provide 'clear means' of ensuring that board members of regulatory bodies are appointed in a transparent manner.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson (pictured) added: 'The proposals essentially make regulatory bodies even less accountable than they already are.

'In our view, the existing rules provide clear means of ensuring that board members of regulatory bodies across the profession are appointed in a transparent manner.  

'The current appointment process is transparent, complies with good practice and is led by an independent chair. There is no question of the representative body unduly influencing the appointments process. If the LSB has evidence of any approved regulator acting in that way let them come forward with it.'

The changes to the appointments process were added to the LSB's consultation response on lay chairs earlier this year.

The oversight regulator said the transfer of selection powers to frontline regulators would 'strengthen the independence of the process'.

It added: 'At present this process may currently be controlled by professional representative bodies. It is our view that this change will help secure demonstrably independent and robust boards.'

The consultation is due to close today.

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