As part of its market study into the supply of legal services to individuals and micro businesses in England and Wales, the Competition and Markets Authority has requested information on the role and scope of the reserved legal activities set out in the Legal Services Act 2007. The Law Society’s response sets out the rationale for reserved activities and highlights the importance of these activities to consumers, the economy, the administration of justice, and the wider public interest.

The Law Society stresses how important it is that grant of probate remains a reserved activity. More than a ‘mere administrative procedure’, a grant of probate is a gateway enabling an individual to access potentially significant assets. A solicitor is required to comply with strict rules about handling client money and substantial redress is available should anything go wrong.

The response also states that due to the importance of estate administration, there is potential for the reserved activity to be extended in order to better protect consumers from unwittingly losing important protections by means of using unregulated providers.