The members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) will be allowed to provide certain legal services previously restricted to lawyers, the body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales has confirmed.

The Legal Services Board (LSB) approved on Wednesday 11 December ICAEW’s application to become a regulator of probate services, which relates to the activity conducted in order to administer a deceased person’s estate.

The LSB has also approved the ICAEW’s application to be a licensing authority for Alternative Business Structures (ABS), under the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA).

Aimed at opening up the market of reserved legal services, the LSA introduced ABS, a business model that allows lawyers and non-lawyers to work together in multidisciplinary partnerships.

"In making this recommendation, the Legal Services Board has recognised that consumers can receive legal services from appropriately regulated ICAEW Chartered Accountants that are of equal quality to traditional providers," ICAEW executive director Vernon Soare said.

Those accountancy firms interested in providing probate services and becoming ABS will have support and advice provided by the ICAEW, Soare added.

LSB’s decision is subject to approval from the Lord Chancellor.

Related links

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

The Legal Services Board