You are here

ICAEW authorised to license ABSs and regulate probate services

The institution hopes to start accepting applications by end-September

20 August 2014

Add comment

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has had its application to be a regulator of probate services and a licensing authority for alternative business structures (ABS) approved by the Lord Chancellor.

It means consumers will now be able to use probate services provided by appropriately-qualified ICAEW chartered accountants and ABSs licensed by the institute, as an alternative to traditional providers.

This makes the ICAEW the first non-legal body to be able to regulate a reserved legal service.

ICAEW executive director, Vernon Soare said: "In approving the statutory order, Parliament has confirmed the Lord Chancellor's ground breaking decision to endorse ICAEW's application as the first non-legal body able to regulate probate services and license alternative business structures. It is practical evidence of the role that the Legal Services Board is playing in transforming the provision of legal services and giving more choice to the consumer.

"Consumers looking for probate services will now be able to use appropriately qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountants and ICAEW licensed ABS as an alternative to traditional providers.

"Over 250 firms have already expressed interest in accreditation and we believe this number will grow significantly once the opportunities afforded by probate and the use of ABSs are more fully understood. ICAEW plans to issue the first licences later in September."

In order to qualify through the ICAEW, members of the organisation will have to attend an ABS course and pass an assessment.

Non-members who hold a qualification issued or recognised by an approved regulator (other than the ICAEW) which entitles them to undertake probate work can also qualify, provided they can deliver documents in support of this.

The institute made its application to be an approved regulator and licensing authority through the Legal Services Act 2007.

ICAEW has said it expects to be able to take on applications towards the end of September 2014, provided it can get its application process set up and "some further steps [being] signed off".

Categorised in:

Legal services