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ICAEW warns Law Society against restricting MDPs

ICAEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE Michael Izza has written to the Law Society warning the legal representative body against restricting solicitors from working in multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs).

In the letter to Law Society chief executive Des Hudson, Izza said that the society must not restrict accountants and solicitors from working together with the onset of the Legal Service Act.

The Act intends to open up the provision of legal services, and is looking to encourage business structures that allow lawyers to work alongside other professionals. Izza claimed that current Law Society guidance restricts lawyers and solicitors working together in MDPs, warning that its updated guidance in response to the Act must take a different stance.

“To ensure the orderly and desirable development of multi-disciplinary practices, I suggest the Law Society staff with responsibility for this work commence discussion with ICAEW staff before drafting becomes too advanced,” the letter stated.

The letter also flags up that the ICAEW has had “no problem” around ensuring that partners of other professional bodies in accounting firms are supervised appropriately.

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