Q&As

Is it a breach of the Legal Services Act 2007 for an individual who is not authorised to conduct litigation to complete certain tasks? Can the costs incurred by the unauthorised individual be recovered by the litigant in person? Does legal professional privilege apply as between a litigant in person and the unauthorised individual?

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Produced in partnership with Alex Bagnall of Total Legal Solutions
Published on LexisPSL on 18/11/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Alex Bagnall of Total Legal Solutions provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it a breach of the Legal Services Act 2007 for an individual who is not authorised to conduct litigation to complete certain tasks? Can the costs incurred by the unauthorised individual be recovered by the litigant in person? Does legal professional privilege apply as between a litigant in person and the unauthorised individual?
  • The potential breach of the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007)
  • The recoverability of costs
  • The privileged status of documents produced by the unauthorised individual

Is it a breach of the Legal Services Act 2007 for an individual who is not authorised to conduct litigation to complete certain tasks? Can the costs incurred by the unauthorised individual be recovered by the litigant in person? Does legal professional privilege apply as between a litigant in person and the unauthorised individual?

The potential breach of the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007)

The ‘conduct of litigation’ is a reserved legal activity for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA 2007).

It is an offence under LSA 2007, s 14 for a person to carry out a reserved legal activity if they are not entitled to do so or if they are not exempt.

This question therefore turns on whether any of the specific tasks identified amount to conducting litigation.

LSA 2007 contains some guidance on what amounts to the conduct of litigation at LSA 2007, Sch 2, para 4(1):

'The “conduct of litigation” means –

(a) the issuing of proceedings before any court in England and Wales,

(b) the commencement, prosecution and defence of such proceedings, and

(c) the performance of any ancillary functions in relation to such proceedings (such as entering appearances to actions)'

In Ellis v The Ministry of Justice, the Court of Appeal concluded that a former solicitor who had been the ‘driver’ of vexatious claims brought by numerous individuals had conducted litigation for the purposes

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