SRA Updated Regulations Launching In November

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) have confirmed that their new regulations will come into force on November 25 2019.

The SRA have claimed to have streamlined the rules, making them shorter and more specifically targeted towards to main issues of concern for those working in the legal sector.

The new regulations will solidify rules on money handling and how the legal sector can protect the public and their money.

The thinned-down standards will also look to remove a myriad of prescriptive rules to help reduce the ‘burden on solicitors and law firms and allow solicitors greater freedom to use their professional judgement in considering how they meet the standards.’

The date of the new rules will also coincide with the digital badge becoming a mandatory inclusion on all digital platforms.

The SRA have reiterated that the updated regulations have been painstakingly completed, amended and scrutinised over a 4-year period. The SRA standards and regulations that were updated on March 20 have been approved by the Legal Services Board and smoothed out over four major public consultations.

Anna Bradley, Chair of the SRA Board, commented: “Our new regulations place a sharp focus on the high professional standards that we and the public expect, while allowing solicitors greater freedom in how they deliver their services.

“By stripping away outdated and unnecessary rules and giving solicitors more flexibility to design and deliver their services around their clients, our new regulations are designed to help people access a wide range of high-quality services with the confidence that proper protections are in place. That can only be good for both the public and the profession.”

Key changes being introduced include:

  • Creating separate codes of conduct for firms and solicitors
  • Simpler Account Rules that focus on the principles of keeping client money safe, rather than lots of specific technical rules
  • Freeing up solicitors to carry out ‘non-reserved’ legal work from within a business not regulated by a legal services regulator
  • Allowing solicitors to provide reserved legal services on a freelance basis

Download the SRA Standards and Regulations (updated 20 March 2019 – pending introduction) (PDF 186 pages, 1MB)

Will the amended rules improve the working conditions for solicitors? Are you concerned by any of the upcoming changes?

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