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Lawyers and accountants: A level playing field?

Are recent regulator proposals a bad move for the solicitor profession or will they make legal services more readily available to a wider audience, wonders Viv Williams

7 August 2017

With new proposals from the Legal Services Board recommending further reserved legal services for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, as well as proposals from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to allow both law firm regulation and individual regulation, we can now see the future direction that the legal profession is taking.

The accountancy profession has self-restricted itself to the area of tax at this moment in time, but I wonder how many solicitors will end up being employed by accountants delivering wills, inheritance tax planning, and eventually probate?

There can be little doubt that accountants who have a less transactional relationship with their clients will take full advantage of this opportunity. The only requirement for a solicitor will be for the grant of probate – not much to look forward to.

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