The Legal Services Board (LSB) has announced it will not be conducting a review of the list of reserved legal activities in the imminent future.
Certain legal activities are restricted – or reserved – by section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007. This includes certain probate activities, the preparation of certain reserved instruments, the conduct of litigation, the right of audience, and the administration of oaths.
The LSB, which oversees other legal regulators such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), said there is no current basis for reform:
“We do not consider that our analysis identifies a strong case for immediate work to conduct a large-scale review of the reserved legal activities without a more fundamental review of the legislative framework”
They also noted concerns surrounding pre-paid probate plans though pointed out that individual regulators will tackle this issue separately.
Commenting on the announcement, Law Society of England and Wales President Lubna Shuja said:
“The Law Society agrees this is not the right time to review reserved legal activities.
Currently, reserved legal a can only be carried out by qualified legal professionals regulated by one of the approved regulators under the Legal Services Act 2007.
This important consumer protection ensures that unsuspecting members of the public are not sold vital legal services such as conveyancing, litigation or probate by unregulated providers.
Unregulated providers could deliver sub-standard services with no easy recourse for consumers. This would undermine the function and reputation of our justice system.
Members of the public should seek legal advice from properly qualified, regulated professionals, like solicitors, who are authorised to provide the widest range of reserved legal activities under the Legal Services Act.”