Solicitors Regulation Authority Announces Reforms

The SRA has announced a package of regulatory and transparency reforms four years in the making.

Louis Baker

The reforms, which focus on flexibility for law firms and individual solicitors, will see a drastic shortening of the current SRA Handbook from more than 400 pages to just 130, and will also introduce the long awaited (and also much shorter) SRA Accounts Rules.

Timetable for reforms

Without giving the precise timetable, the SRA has announced that the changes will be introduced on a phased basis, commencing in 2019. While many were anticipating that this would be the case, this is the first time that the SRA has officially announced it.

Increased transparency

The SRA confirmed plans to require firms to publish price information.

Coming into effect from December 2018, this will include providers of the following work types:

  • conveyancing
  • probate
  • motoring offences
  • employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal from individuals or defending claims for small businesses)
  • immigration (excluding asylum)
  • debt recovery (up to £100,000 for small businesses)
  • licencing application for business premises (again for small businesses).
  • The SRA also plans to implement a new searchable register to cover all solicitors and law firms, as well as a ‘Regulated by the SRA’ digital badge scheme.

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Louis Baker
Louis Baker
Head of Professional Practices