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Lawyer speaks out on proposed changes to legal regulation

15/12/2016

Proposals to change regulations that govern how solicitors operate could leave people without important protection and impartial advice, our private client specialist Margaret Rowe has warned.

Margaret has spoken out in support of the Law Society of England and Wales, which is opposing reforms by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that would allow solicitors to work without indemnity insurance, and without being subject to the usual rules on conflict of interest and legal professional privilege.

The Law Society said the public shares its concerns with 77 per cent believing the businesses in which solicitors work should be regulated and 86 per cent saying the businesses should have professional negligence insurance.

Margaret, a Partner in our Wills, Probate & Lifetime Planning Department, said: “The results of the Law Society survey show that people are concerned about using services that offer no legal protection or redress.

“But a growing number of people are using unregulated will writers who can offer no guarantee or support in case of a dispute or error. This could be the case for solicitors working in other businesses if the SRA proposals become reality.

“People may initially be attracted to using an unregulated provider by a cheap price tag but that could prove to be a false economy if they make a mistake which leads to problems administering your estate.

“A lawyer, backed by their professional standards and indemnity insurance, provides a layer of consumer protection that you won’t get from an unregulated provider. You wouldn’t book a holiday without checking whether the provider was regulated so why take the risk with your will?”

The official consultation into the SRA proposals closed earlier this year. It is not yet known what final regulatory changes the SRA intends to implement.

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