Passing a two-day course will enable accountants to start offering probate law services to the public, after the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales yesterday officially received the power to regulate probate and licence alternative business structures.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reminded the Legal Services Board (LSB) of its decision to allow accountancy firms wanting to carry out legal work to have minimum indemnity insurance cover of £500,000, in a bid to head off concerns about its move to reduce the level for solicitors.
Chartered accountants will be able to carry out reserved probate work themselves, without the need to instruct a solicitor, from next month, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has said.
The Lord Chancellor yesterday approved the application by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to become a regulator of probate services and licensing authority for alternative business structures.
The focus of the Legal Services Board on competition in the legal market looks set to intensify after it appointed the inquiry director at the Competition Commission as its new strategy chief. It is one of several key appointments announced recently.
Over the holidays, I came across the course notes for a course I attended in February 2102. It was called ‘Introduction to probate’ and was run under the auspices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Page 1 of the course notes, and, as I recall, about the first 20 minutes of the speaker’s talk, referred to the “many opportunities arising from these additional services”. That the opening up of probate to members of the ICAEW is regarded as a potential bonanza for the accountancy profession is not in doubt.
Competition in the law is to increase further after the Legal Services Board backed accountants to handle reserved probate work and set up alternative business structures, as well as chartered legal executives to set up their own conveyancing and probate practices.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has hit back against Law Society objections to its application to become an alternative business structure regulator, claiming the public interest was “built into accountants’ DNA”.
The Law Society will challenge the application by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to become an alternative business structure regulator, Legal Futures can report. The question of separating regulation and representation is a key bone of contention.
The government does not intend to extend legal professional privilege to non-lawyers, the Ministry of Justice confirmed yesterday after accountants urged Parliament to level the playing field for multi-disciplinary entities.