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New SRA resources launched to help law firms prepare for new regulations

13 September 2019

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched a new ‘one stop shop’ webpage designed to help prepare solicitors and law firms for the introduction of its new standards and regulation on 25 November.

Featuring a range of videos, infographics, links and guidance materials, the page focuses on key areas of change from the SRA’s existing handbook, including where the new regulations offer opportunities to work differently in future.

Specific sections cover what the new regulations mean for individual solicitors, law firms, solicitors working outside law firms and those working in-house.

Under the new rules, solicitors will be allowed to work in unregulated entities or provide legal services on a freelance basis.

Different rules, eligibility criteria and protection requirements, including what insurance they must provide, will apply based on whether or not a freelance solicitor offers reserved activities.

Two separate codes of conduct for firms and solicitors will be published, along with a simplified set of accounts.

All regulated firms running a website will also have to use the SRA clickable logo. The logo uses smart technology to confirm to website visitors that a firm is regulated and what this means for clients.

A trial version of the new standards and regulations is already available online and has been developed based on feedback from more than 2,000 solicitors.

Features such as easier navigation, glossaries and contextual links throughout, will make it more user-friendly than the current SRA handbook, according to the SRA.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip said the new standards and regulations are designed to make life easier for firms.

“We have removed unnecessary bureaucracy, while protecting the public and providing a clear focus on what really matters – the high professional standards that have to be at the heart of every solicitor’s practice.”

He added: “These changes have been four years in the making and have benefitted from input from across the profession. 

"We have already provided a range of resources to help with the new approach and this additional material builds on that. 

"This is not just about compliance but helping everyone - whether working inside or outside a law firm – to understand the opportunities to work differently.”

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Regulation Regulators Ethics, professionalism and judgement