The SRA has issued the following press release this afternoon. Conveyancers take note of who you are exchanging with.
SRA publishes names of firms that had no insurance
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published the list of 136 firms that did not have indemnity insurance in place by 1 October deadline and did not obtain new cover during the Extended Policy Period (EPP).
The EPP was introduced for the first time this year to replace the assigned risks pool (ARP ) and gave firms an extended period of indemnity insurance for 90 days. Firms that did not obtain new indemnity cover during the EPP, namely by 29 December, had to close their practice and are not insured to practise after that date.
The SRA does not normally publish the names of closed firms because firms have an obligation to inform clients and others that they are closing down. The SRA has taken the decision on this occasion to publish the names in the interests of protecting consumers and third parties. Publishing the names adds an extra layer to the protection already in place.
The majority of these firms have closed properly, dealing with client files and monies appropriately, and have fully co-operated with the SRA. There is no evidence that these firms practised without indemnity insurance.
There are a small number of firms that failed to close properly and they are subject to ongoing robust action.
Firms are aware that they should not undertake work without insurance, although clients have protection in these circumstances. If anyone has concerns that these firms are continuing to practise, they should inform the SRA via [email protected]
and disciplinary action will be taken if that is the case. If clients believe these firms are continuing to progress their matters, they should contact a new solicitor immediately to take over the case.
SRA records for these firms will reflect that they are or should be closed and The Law Society’s Find a Solicitor database is being updated.
The SRA is carrying out a full analysis of all those firms that entered the EPP.