PracticeAccounting FirmsICAEW hits back against Law Society’s probate criticism

ICAEW hits back against Law Society's probate criticism

Institute outlines a riposte to Law Society concerns on probate, to the Legal Services Board

ICAEW hits back against Law Society’s probate criticism

A STRONG RIPOSTE has been issued by the ICAEW against criticisms of its plans to become a probate licensing body.

The institute’s professional standards director, Vernon Soare, has rebutted claims by the Law Society that the ICAEW’s application to license probate services fails to address issues of regulatory oversight, the complexity of probate, and how clearly the public would understand its complaints process.

Writing to the Legal Services Board chief executive Chris Kenny, Soare said that the Law Society’s observations are “inconsistent with the objectives of the [Legal Services] Act or are disproportionate to the relevant consumer and public risk”.

Soare rebutted concerns that the institute would not be wholly separate from the probate regulatory function. He said that an ICAEW probate committee, with a majority of lay members, would be accountable to the Legal Services Board, not the institute.

Some of his strongest words were reserved for the society’s concerns about professional self-interest overcoming the public interest.

“In contrast” to the legal profession, Soare noted, the “primacy” of public interest has been written into the 1880 founding ICAEW charter and has characterised member conduct ever since.

“This is not a new concept introduced by the Legal Services Act but something built into the DNA of the accounting profession for over a century,” he said in the letter.

The institute also pointed out that it was “rather irregular” for the Law Society to choose to comment on the ICAEW consultation after the period to respond had passed.

Soare’s letter also covered the society’s concerns on issues around professional indemnity insurance, accountants’ ability to manage the probate process, practice assurance reviews, and consumer rights.

Click here to view the ICAEW’s full response, and here for a roundup of the Law Society’s concerns

Related Articles

IPA issues first specialist insolvency licence

Accounting Firms IPA issues first specialist insolvency licence

1y Chris Warmoll, Writer
AAYP 2016: The 35 under 35

Accounting Firms AAYP 2016: The 35 under 35

1y Richard Crump, Writer
MP queries possible conflict of interest over ex PwC partner watchdog role

Accounting Firms MP queries possible conflict of interest over ex PwC partner watchdog role

2y Chris Warmoll, Writer
Losing their moral compass: Should accountants uphold the public interest?

Accounting Firms Losing their moral compass: Should accountants uphold the public interest?

3y Jaimie Kaffash, Writer
End game looms for Deloitte's MG Rover £14m spat with the FRC

Accounting Firms End game looms for Deloitte's MG Rover £14m spat with the FRC

3y Chris Warmoll, Writer
Institutes call for reliefs and extensions to help flood victims

Accounting Firms Institutes call for reliefs and extensions to help flood victims

2y Calum Fuller, Reporter
ICAEW hits a century of ABS licences

Accounting Firms ICAEW hits a century of ABS licences

2y Chris Warmoll, Writer
Hellas liquidator to push EY for compensation over botched administration

Accounting Firms Hellas liquidator to push EY for compensation over botched administration

2y Richard Crump, Writer