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Do solicitors want to be accountants?

Ian Muirhead considers the pros and cons of the SRA's decision to relax restrictions on solicitors providing non-legal services

23 June 2015

In the detail of the radical overhaul of the separate business rule, announced recently by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), was the decision to allow solicitors to include additional non-legal services within a traditional firm, without the need for an alternative business structure (ABS) or a separate business.

The most significant of
these ‘additional services’ is accountancy. It is clear that the SRA intends to liberalise services that can be provided in this way to give traditional firms the opportunity to compete against their new rivals, who are already able to provide a wide range of legal and non-legal work.

If all goes to plan, the new separate business rule will be in place soon – by 1 November 2015. But what difference will it really make, and will solicitors actually be competing with accountants?

Some ...

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