Schedule 3
Legal Services Bill [Lords]
12:45 pm

Exempt persons

Photo of Bridget Prentice

Bridget Prentice (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Lewisham East, Labour)

I beg to move amendment No. 129, in schedule 3, page 130, line 14, leave out from ‘individual’ to ‘in’ in line 15 and insert ‘whose work includes assisting’.

Photo of Frank Cook

Frank Cook (Stockton North, Labour)

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 130 to 133.

Photo of Bridget Prentice

Bridget Prentice (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Lewisham East, Labour)

These are technical amendments—I know that some people get a little worried when they hear that—that correct anomalies in the current exemption provisions in schedule 3. They relate specifically to exemptions for persons working under the supervision of authorised persons in relation to rights of audience, reserved instrument activities and probate activities.

Although all the applicable exemptions are currently effective to cover employees working under supervision of authorised persons, they do not always effectively cover partners or other managers in the same way.For some bodies—for example, licensed bodies under part 5—the exemptions cover both mangers and employees, while in other cases, such as solicitors’ partnerships, they do not. In other cases, the application of the exemption is not as clear as it might be.

The Law Society tells me that there are practical as well as legal reasons for achieving greater consistency. For example, under the current provisions, if a legal executive is employed by a firm of solicitors, he or she will not be authorised to conduct reserved instrument activities, but may nevertheless do so under supervision of a solicitor, by virtue of the exemption in schedule 3. If that legal executive became a partner, that would no longer be possible, because the exemption would cease to apply, which is clearly an inconsistency. I see no reason why partners or other managers should notin principle benefit from the same exemptions as employees. The amendment is therefore intended to make the position clearer and more consistent. On that basis, I commend it to the Committee.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly

Jonathan Djanogly (Shadow Solicitor General (Also Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry), Law Officers (Assist the Home Affairs Team), Shadow Minister (Corporate Governance (Also Shadow Solicitor General), Trade & Industry; Huntingdon, Conservative)

We agree to the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 130, in schedule 3, page 131, line 37, leave out paragraph (b).

No. 131, in schedule 3, page 131, line 39, leave out paragraphs (d) to (f) and insert—

‘( ) P is a manager or employee of a body which is an authorised person in relation to the activity, and E is also a manager or employee of that body.’.

No. 132, in schedule 3, page 133, line 10, leave out paragraph (b).

No. 133, in schedule 3, page 133, line 12, leave out paragraphs (d) and (e) and insert—

‘( ) P is a manager or employee of a body which is an authorised person in relation to the activity, and E is also a manager or employee of that body.’.—[Bridget Prentice.]

Schedule 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.