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SRA – Standards and Regulations introduced November 2019

We reported in our February 2019 edition (p32) and March 2019 edition (p33) that the SRA is phasing in its introduction of the new ’Standards and Regulations’ which will replace the 2011 Handbook. 

The SRA has announced that the Standards and Regulations will come into effect on 25 November 2019.

Key changes include:

 

  • creating separate codes of conduct for firms of solicitors;

  • simpler accounts rules;

  • freeing up solicitors to carry out non-reserved legal work from within a business not regulated by a legal services regulator; and

  • allowing solicitors to provide reserved legal services on a freelance basis.

 

The SRA has announced a relatively long lead-in time to give firms time to prepare. The SRA will publish a range of guidance over the coming months. Practitioners should be reviewing their policies and procedures against the new Standards and Regulations before their introduction. Note that ‘Outcomes’ and ’Indicative Behaviours’ will no longer be used terms.

The new Standards and Regulations are supported by the SRA’s revised enforcement strategy which was introduced in February 2019. Practitioners are reminded that from November 2019 use of the SRA’s digital badge will become mandatory for all regulated firms with a website. This badge was launched on a voluntary basis in December 2018. It uses smart technology to confirm to website visitors that a specific firm is regulated. www.sra.org.

 

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