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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

Ms. Blake, a solicitor employed by a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and classified as an ‘exempt professional firm’ for financial services purposes, is advising Ms. Johnson on the purchase of one of two neighbouring plots of farmland. Ms. Johnson seeks advice on which plot to purchase, and Ms. Blake refers her to a chartered surveyor who is ‘tied’ to a particular land agent. Ms. Johnson decides to purchase one plot based on the surveyor's advice. Neither Ms. Blake nor her firm receive any commission or benefit from the referral. The firm and Ms. Blake comply with the SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules and the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules. Which of the following statements best describes why Ms. Blake is not in breach of the general prohibition under s.19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000?

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Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), specified investments include financial products such as shares, bonds, and insurance policies. Real estate, such as plots of land, does not fall under the category of specified investments. Therefore, advising on the purchase of land does not constitute an activity regulated by the FSMA. As the plot of land is not a specified investment, Ms. Blake is not engaging in a regulated activity and thus is not in breach of the general prohibition under s.19 of FSMA. 


Key Point: Real estate transactions, such as the purchase of land, are not considered specified investments under the FSMA. Therefore, solicitors advising on such transactions are not conducting regulated activities and are not subject to the prohibitions or requirements related to specified investments.

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