ICAEW to add litigation as regulator

Accountants bid to regulate reserved legal services

One of the three organisations for chartered accountants in England and Wales is pitching to be approved as a regulator of reserved legal services, it emerged yesterday.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants has applied to the Legal Services Board to become an approved regulator and licensing authority for five activities, three of which are limited to tax advice. Those three tax fields involve the conduct of litigation, rights of audience and reserved instrument activities. The other fields are notarial services and the administration of oaths. The institute is already an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate work.

If the board gives the application the green light, the market for legal services regulation will become a bit more crowded. The board already oversees nine groups, including bigger players such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board, and regulators of legal executives, licensed conveyancers and trademark attorneys.

Duncan Wiggetts, the institute’s executive director, said: “As an experienced regulator I am confident the Institute of Chartered Accountants will ensure its members and firms provide excellent reserved legal services to the public.”

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