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In the latest issue of Probate News, we highlight a compliance issue our Quality Assurance Department is finding during monitoring reviews and provide information about the next probate diversity survey. We also highlight resources for probate firms and give information on a new general licence relating to legal fees issued by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).

Price and service transparency

It’s been one year since the Probate Regulations were updated to mandate the publication of price and service information.

Our Quality Assurance reviewers are monitoring compliance in this area and are finding firms are still not complying with the updated regulations. All ICAEW accredited probate firms should ensure that they have taken action to comply with the requirements.

OFSI issue general licence to permit the payment of legal fees to designated persons

As a result of the increasing number of new designations under the Russia and Belarus regimes and the correlating increase in the number of those seeking a licence from OFSI for the payment of legal fees, OFSI has issued a general licence to permit the payment of legal fees owed by individuals and entities designated under either of these regimes. The licence was issued on 28 October 2022.

The licence distinguishes between legal fees in relation to ‘pre-designation’ work and work started ‘post-designation’.

In practice, General Licence INT/2022/2252300 means that a UK legal firm or UK Counsel who has provided legal advice to a person designated under either the Russia or Belarus regime, will not have to wait for an OFSI specific licence before they can receive payment from that designated person, provided that the terms of the general licence are met.

Probate resources

Access practical guidance for probate practitioners, including the latest regulatory updates, helpsheets and compliance information.

2023 probate diversity survey

The next probate diversity survey will take place in Spring 2023.

The dates for your diary are:

  • Probate diversity webinar – 1 February 2023. This year’s webinar will include a demonstration of the free survey tool and the opportunity to ask questions about the updated process.
  • Data collection - 31 March 2023 (The survey should be carried out as close to this date as possible.)
  • Submission to ICAEW deadline – 30 April 2023
  • Publication of a summary of your firm’s results – 31 May 2023
  • ICAEW 2023 probate diversity report publication – summer 2023

Please note the survey is mandatory and late submissions may result in a regulatory penalty from the Probate Committee.

Information about how to collate the data will be made available closer to the next submission date in 2023.

Webinar invitation: HM Courts and Tribunals Service update on the probate service for legal professionals

This webinar is aimed at probate practitioners and will take place on 13 December at 1pm. It will provide an overview of the performance of the probate service in the past year, information on the latest data on applications and plans to improve the service.

It will also provide an outlook on:

  • The current status of the service.
  • The future performance of the probate service.
  • The data/advice HMCTS will provide to help probate practitioners better manage applications and to avoid stops.

Calling out unprofessional behaviour

ICAEW’s Code of Ethics outlines the standards of behaviour expected of chartered accountants and affiliates including those we regulate for reserved activities. We look at recent trends in ethics complaints received by ICAEW and ask what firms and individuals can do to prevent and report problems. The Code of Ethics applies to all ICAEW members and ICAEW member firms and requires them to adhere to five fundamental principles: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour.

Apply to serve on a regulatory or disciplinary committee

We are recruiting for various roles across our regulatory and disciplinary committees. All significant decisions on regulatory and conduct matters are made by ICAEW regulatory and disciplinary committees. These committees operate independently from ICAEW staff and comprise of a parity of lay and chartered accountants with a lay chair who has a casting vote. Find out more about the expertise we are looking for, remuneration rates for accountant and lay members and how to apply.

2023 fee renewal notices

Fee renewal notices are being emailed during November and December.

Please check your inbox and make payment by 1 January.

ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB)

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