The Legal Services Board (LSB) has given the green light to members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) to practise independently in probate and conveyancing.
The approval would allow regulator ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) to authorise entities practising in these areas.
Currently, CILEx members can only conduct many reserved legal activities under the supervision of an authorised person, most commonly a solicitor.
For example, certain Land Registry forms have to be signed by an authorised person, such as a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, even if the CILEx member is head of the conveyancing department.
The recommendation will go to lord chancellor Chris Grayling for final parliamentary approval next year. If granted, it will give the IPS further regulatory powers by early 2015.
Responding to the decision, chief executive of the Law Society Desmond Hudson, said: 'Solicitors are, rightly, the trusted brand for legal advice.
'Consumers will need to be satisfied that the regulatory arrangements and particularly those for compensation as apply to other little-known competitors are appropriate for their needs, and as robust as they would expect from a solicitor.’
A decision on rule changes for litigation and immigration services is also expected from the LSB.
The IPS additionally intends to apply to the LSB to license alternative business structures managed by non-lawyers.
IPS Chair Alan Kershaw said: ‘We have cleared a significant hurdle and now we hope the lord chancellor and parliament will move swiftly to approve these changes, opening the way for CILEx members to run their own businesses.’