Advisers and solicitors are embracing the idea of working together after new legislation, which comes into force next week, will make it easier for them to establish a more permanent working relationship.
From March 31, solicitor firms can apply for the status of Legal Disciplinary Practice which means up to 25% of their business can consist of non-lawyer managers, including advisers. The services provided must be legal but for the first time ever, non-lawyers can be involved.
David Seager, development director at SIFA, a support group for IFAs who work with solicitors and accountants, says advisers have always wanted to develop solicitor connections and law firms too are starting to reap the rewards.
He says SIFA has noted an increase in the number of enquiries in recent months: "Since the launch of our SIFA Professional directory we have had around 150 IFA enquiries and in the region of 20 new members."
"We are generating huge interest from professional advisers, as well as fielding enquiries from the legal community, with solicitor enquiries becoming more regular."
Dominic Baldwin, managing director at IFA Xentum which works with solicitors and accountants, says the only real way to give clients the best possible advice going forward is to work in a collaborative manner with other professionals.
"As a result of the legal services act, law firms, accountants and IFAs are beginning to realise you need to take a multi-disciplinary approach to work. If you want to create a quality business you need to work with solicitors and accountants."
He says he has recently received referrals from solicitors whose clients are looking for advice on divorce, inheritance tax, probate and other private client areas
SIFA will be hosting three new roadshows for advisers in early July in Yorkshire, the Midlands and London.
For more information visit www.sifa-professional.info
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