The updated SRA Handbook is now live
The amendments in Version 12 of the Handbook support the Authority’s reform programme, which was announced in the spring. The changes were agreed by the SRA Board at meetings in July and September.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to reforming our regulation to enable growth and innovation in the market, while striking the right balance between reducing regulatory burdens and ensuring consumer protection. These key changes to our handbook show we are taking action to deliver that reform.”
The key changes include:
- Measures to make it simpler for multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs) to be licensed to provide legal services under SRA regulation. These will ensure proportionate regulation where firms deliver a range of professional services under the oversight of a number of regulators. This is an important milestone in the programme, increasing competition and encouraging growth in the legal services market
- Changes to the requirements for accountants’ reports on client accounts to make them more targeted. Firms are required to deliver accountants’ reports to the SRA within six months of the end of their financial period if those reports are qualified. Firms that receive 100 per cent of the fees from Legal Aid work are exempt from needing to obtain a report
- Ending the annual Keeping of the Roll exercise so that those solicitors who wish to remain on the roll will no longer need to apply every year
- Simplification of the Overseas Accounts Rules to make it easier for firms with overseas practices to meet the SRA’s requirements