LEGISLATION to liberalise the UK’s legal market looks set to be delayed by several months, after parliament failed to agree key parts of the reforms ahead of its summer break.
The Legal Services Act was due to come into force on 6 October, but the body set to license the new alternative business structures, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, has said it does not expect authorisation until later in the year.
“Before the Solicitors Regulation Authority can be designated as a licensing authority, it is necessary to have appeal arrangements for Alternative Business Structures in place,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice. “Work on the appeal arrangements is ongoing and will be debated after the recess.”
The Act, which has been called a big bang for the UK’s legal system, will mean firms can raise capital by floating on the stock market.
The UK arm of US law firm Greenberg Traurig Maher recently said it would seek outside investment once the Act comes into force.
Critics have dubbed the Act as a Tesco law, as it will mean high street shops and supermarkets could be allowed to provide basic legal services.