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Who regulates 
the unregulated?

The stakes could not be higher for both the SRA and LSB, given the most likely outcome of the government’s review of legal regulation is a single regulator, says Stuart Bushell

1 December 2015

One of the many unfathomable requirements of applying to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ?to become an alternative business structure (ABS) is that you have to state which of the reserved legal activities your new firm will be undertaking. 

For many applicants the true answer is ‘none’ but they are required, in order to have their application succeed, to pretend that they will be conducting probate, or one of the other reserved activities. The SRA wants to stop this but has just been told by the Legal Services Board (LSB) that the farce must continue. What is really going on here?

The Legal Services Act ?sets out, in one of its many schedules, the definitions ?of the reserved legal activities and which of the approved regulators has power for its members to undertake them. ?As far as the SRA is concerned, that means conveyancing, probate, conduct of litigation, rights of audience, and administration of oaths. 

That list h...

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