Proposed ICAEW reserved legal services application
Find out more about our application to become an approved regulator and licensing authority for further reserved legal activities. We welcome your feedback.
NB. This consultation has now closed.
Background to application
Following ICAEW’s designation as an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate in August 2014, we started accrediting firms for probate activities in September 2014. This designation has given ICAEW members the opportunity to participate in the UK legal services market and extend their service offering. They can provide professional services to their clients relating to probate in addition to estate administration. The ability of our members to expand their businesses to include legal services has increased access to justice which is clearly in the public interest.
Our designation as a licensing authority has also enabled our members to form alternative business structures (ABSs), a new business model permitted under the Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act). It allows lawyers and non-lawyers to work together in multi-disciplinary partnerships for the first time. It also permits non-lawyer management and ownership of law firms.
We would welcome your feedback on all aspects of our consultation. Please send your response to:
321 Avebury Boulevard
Why are we applying?
The number of applications for authorisation and licensing for probate received during our first year of regulation have far exceeded our expectations. To build on the success of our probate regulation, we intend to make an application to the Legal Services Board (LSB) under the Act to become an approved regulator and licensing authority for the further reserved legal activities of;
- conduct of litigation;
- rights of audience;
- reserved instrument activities;
- notarial services; and
- administration of oaths.
Our application to regulate these activities is restricted to the service area of taxation. Research has shown these reserved activities will be an adjunct to our members’ taxation services and have a natural link to their traditional accountancy practices. The proposed services will also complement our current regulated area of probate as they will enhance members’ areas of business relating to personal wealth, tax and financial planning.
It will be in the interests of consumers for accountants to provide such services as expanding the scope of our legal services regulation will help the Government to further its intention of promoting competition in the legal services market.
We are now consulting on our application and the deadline for responses is Friday 6 May 2016.
Following consultation we will submit the application to the LSB for approval. Subject to the LSB’s timetable, we hope to be able to authorise firms and license ABSs within 14 months.
Please note the proposed changes to our regulatory governance structure outlined in section 3 of our draft application have now been implemented.