Ahead of the 25 November release of their new Standards and Regulations, the SRA has published a suite of guidance and support materials, designed to help you better understand any areas of significant change compared to our existing rules or areas of new opportunities.
The guidance has been divided into four different sectors:
- Accounts Rule
- Unregulated Organisations
Accounts Rule Guidance
The focus of this guidance primarily revolves around the concept of client accounts. Important questions tackled by the guidance include details of accountants’ reports, how to plan for their completion and when you have an exemption to obtain one, whether you need to operate a client account, how to keep accurate client accounting records, how to tackle joint accounts and the steps you should take to deal with third-party managed accounts.
This guidance explains the process for a Firm authorisation and discusses which businesses can now be authorised by the SRA, as well as whether a business is required to be authorised. There is also further guidance on how to prepare to become a sole practitioner or an SRA regulated independent solicitor. There is also further guidance on when a practising certificate is required.
Unregulated Organisations Guidance
An unregulated organisation requires an additional set of rules and regulations. This guidance focuses on conflict and confidentiality in relation to unauthorised organisations and the importance of giving accurate information to clients, there is also guidance for employers of SRA regulated lawyers such as in circumstances where they are hired as “in-house counsel”.
The SRA has also released guidance on other topics including how to deal with Client Care Letters, how to act with integrity (as opposed to honesty), being registered foreign lawyers, working in the not-for-profit sector, and general guidance on the SRA’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.
SRA Standards and Regulations training – four new courses
VinciWorks’ series of online SRA courses will cover the key sections of the Standards and Regulations. Written in clear, plain language, the training includes many examples and scenarios taken directly from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) decisions. VinciWorks’ SRA training suite includes a course for all staff and specialised courses for accounts staff, partners, managers and compliance officers.