The former chair of the Law Society’s land law and conveyancing committee, who was struck off last summer, has helped his wife set up an unregulated law firm, it has emerged. Richard Barnett, former senior partner of Southport firm Barnetts, is a consultant at Legal Heroes.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has given “qualified support” to plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to rewrite the separate business rule. The panel said the existing rule had “fallen into disrepute”.
Sir Michael Pitt, chairman of the Legal Services Board, said yesterday that he wanted to present the new government after next year’s general election with an agreed “range of options” for the future of regulation.
The new chair of the Office for Legal Complaints – which oversees the Legal Ombudsman – has outlined his ambition for the service to cover unregulated providers of legal services and those offering legal advice as part of a wider package.
New consumer research from the Solicitors Regulation Authority has strengthened the case for stringent controls of law firms and alternative business structures which seek to hive off unreserved legal work to an unregulated business.
The case to regulate will-writers in England and Wales is likely to strengthen with moves by the Scottish Executive to introduce regulation north of the border.
Two in three members of the public believe that all will-writers are trained solicitors, research by the Fellowship of Professional Willwriters and Probate Practitioners has shown.