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The LSB Asks "Should General Legal Advice Be a Reserved Activity?"

By the start of 2014, the Legal Services Board (LSB) expects to have made a recommendation to the Lord Chancellor about the regulation of Will writing and estate administration, it said in its draft business plan for the year, published for consultation last week.

Starting from next year, the LSB will also look at whether "general legal advice" should become a reserved legal activity. The authority will investigate whether common risks occur across general legal advice to individual consumers and publish a discussion paper by the end of 2014.

The LSB said the report on the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) will be published in later this month. The LETR is the joint project of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) that provides an evidence-based review of education and training requirements across regulated and non-regulated legal services. It hopes this work "will ensure that individuals, firms, educators, training organisations, and others are free to design, develop, deliver and utilise a range of routes into the legal workforce, to becoming an authorised person with or without a professional title." The LSB said it would help regulators to keep a clear focus on attaining and maintaining educational, professional and ethical outcomes without telling them how to achieve those outcomes.

Together with its draft Business Plan for 2013/14, the LSB also published first assessments of the performance of five of the legal services regulators in England and Wales. The LSB's first ever performance review is based on the regulators' self-assessments against four regulatory standards criteria set by the LSB.