The Legal Services Institute (“LSI”), an offshoot of the College of Law, looked into the historical reasons behind the reserved legal activity structure and concluded it had “tenuous foundations”. The six reserved legal activities also include the conduct of litigation; reserved instrument activities; probate activities; and the administration of oaths. 

According to the LSI paper, “Reserved Legal Activities: History and Rationale”, consumers are “bewildered” by reserved activities.
Professor Stephen Mayson, director of the LSI, said the origins of many of the reserved activities were “remarkably obscure” and there was “little basis for suggesting a common policy rationale that justifies their existence”.

The LSI is calling on the Legal Services Board to ensure reservation is in the public interest. It will publish a second research paper later this year on reserved activities.