The regulator of legal executives has opened a consultation on extending its powers to encompass alternative business structures.

At present only entities run by chartered legal executives, CILEx practitioners or other lawyers can be authorised by CILEx Regulation, but not those with non-lawyer owners or managers. Addressing this restriction will expand opportunities for legal businesses while ensuring consumers are protected, CILEx Regulation said.

The regulator is asking stakeholders for views on applying to the Legal Services Board for powers to become a licensing authority for ABSs. This could potentially pose a competitive threat to the Solicitors Regulation Authority by increasing regulatory choice for law firms and existing ABSs.

Separately, CILEx also announced that it is looking at ’streamlined pathways’ that would enable paralegals more easily to become both chartered legal executives and CILEx practitioners.