Probate consultation on regulatory reform

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is consulting on arrangements to regulate CILEx members

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The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) is in consultation with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to transfer regulation of its members to SRA. This will affect ACCA members holding a probate practice licence with CILEX. ACCA understands that the proposals do provide better opportunity with an easy transition at no cost to ACCA probate licence holders.

The key references to SRA’s proposed approach to the regulation of ACCA-Probate practitioners and entities, included in the consultation paper are as follows:

  • individual ACCA probate practitioners would be regulated by the SRA as authorised CILEX lawyers (page 11), and those who are already authorised by CILEX Regulation will not need to reapply to SRA for authorisation (page 19)
  • SRA proposes to maintain a separate regulatory regime for CILEX-ACCA Probate entities, based on the requirements in the current handbook, and will seek to align their guidance for them and the other firms it regulates where appropriate (page 13)
  • SRA will maintain a separate register for ACCA probate firms (page 24)

Since SRA will be maintaining the current handbook arrangements for ACCA probate firms: 

  • their PII requirements will stay the same rather than coming into line with the requirements for other SRA firms (page 30)
  • they will not have access to the SRA Compensation Fund (page 32)
  • SRA is not proposing to take on anti-money laundering (AML) supervision for ACCA-probate entities since this is done by ACCA (page 33) – SRA has also confirmed this to the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision
  • SRA is proposing that the current consumer information requirements in the handbook should continue to apply, rather than firms having to follow the SRA Transparency Rules (page 35), although the SRA have noted that potential changes to their rules in future may necessitate proposed changes to the rules for ACCA probate firms.

ACCA probate members should also refer to the CILEX Regulation (CRL) initial response to the CILEX consultation.