Warning notices

Warning notices do not form part of the SRA Handbook, but we may have regard to them when exercising our regulatory functions.

The warning notices listed under the heading Pending review below were written and issued before the introduction of the SRA Handbook on 6 October 2011 and may refer to regulatory material that is no longer in effect. For further information, please contact our Professional Ethics helpline.

Recently issued

  • Investment schemes and client account: Warning notice
    Issued on 21 September 2016 — This warning notice is for law firms that are involved or asked to become involved in investment schemes. Members of the public who are considering paying money into an investment scheme where a law firm or solicitor is involved might also find it helpful.
  • Risk factors in personal injury claims: Warning notice
    Issued on 21 March 2016 — This warning notice is relevant to solicitors and all regulated persons who take personal injury referrals from third parties, work closely with them or act on their instructions.
  • Criminal legal aid and clients’ best interests: Warning notice
    Issued on 27 July 2015 — We are concerned that solicitors and firms may not act in the best interests of each individual client, as required by the SRA Principles, should the protocol issued by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (Protocol Phase 2 The Crown Court) be followed without fully considering the circumstances of each individual client.
  • Money missing from client account: Warning notice
    Issued on 12 June 2015 — This warning notice is aimed at all those we regulate but is particularly relevant to you if you are a manager of a firm or a firm's COFA or COLP. Any deficiency on client account exposes clients and others to a risk of financial loss and damage to public confidence. Missing money must be replaced with extreme urgency.
  • Improper use of client account as a banking facility: Warning notice
    Issued on 18 December 2014 — This notice is relevant to all regulated persons holding client monies, and must be read in conjunction with our four case studies on improper use of client account as a banking facility, also published on 18 December 2014.  
  • Money laundering and terrorist financing: Warning notice
    Issued on 8 December 2014 — This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; you should be aware of the warning signs, and they may require you to take action in order to avoid committing a criminal offence or breaching your professional obligations under the SRA Handbook. 
  • Money laundering and terrorist financing - suspicious activity reports: Warning notice
    Issued on 8 December 2014 — This warning notice is relevant to all SRA-regulated persons and deals with the making of requests to proceed with suspicious transactions.
  • Employed solicitors publicity and information provided to third parties: Warning notice
    Issued on 8 July 2014 — This warning notice is for in-house/employed solicitors, reiterating the key parts of Chapter 8 of the Code of Conduct, which deals with publicity. It highlights an overall obligation to take positive steps to ensure third parties are clear about their status and about their relationship with any organisation on behalf of which they seek to recover a debt.
  • Referral fees LASPO and SRA Principles: Warning notice
    Issued on 11 October 2013 — This notice is for all practitioners who have referral arrangements for personal injury work. It reminds practitioners of the need, when entering into such arrangements, to consider not only whether they may be in breach of the ban in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), but whether they are able to comply with their regulatory obligations, in particular the SRA Principles and the outcomes in the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.
  • High-yield investment fraud: Warning notice
    Issued on 10 September 2013 — This warning notice is for anyone who is involved in, or is considering acting for clients involved in, the promotion or facilitation of financial arrangements that appear dubious.
  • Debt recovery work and relationships with debt recovery businesses: Warning notice
    Issued on 11 June 2013 — This notice provides information about some regulatory issues which might arise in connection with debt recovery work including arrangements between firms and debt recovery companies.
  • Land banking schemes: Warning notice
    Issued on 14 September 2012 — This warning notice is for anyone who is involved or who is considering acting for clients involved in the promotion or facilitation of investment schemes which involve selling plots of land to investors on the basis of prospective planning permission.Whilst this notice does not form part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) Handbook, the SRA may have regard to it when exercising its regulatory functions.
  • Bogus law firms and identity theft: Warning notice
    Issued on 26 March 2012 — There are serious and continuing risks to the public arising from the activities of criminals and criminal gangs who are setting up bogus law firms or bogus branch offices of genuine law firms with the intention, usually, of stealing mortgage loans. This warning provides information about the threat and advice about how to protect yourself and others from it.
  • Stamp duty land tax schemes: Warning notice
    Issued on 16 February 2012 — This warning notice is for anyone who is or is considering becoming involved in the promotion or facilitation of schemes the purpose of which is to avoid or reduce stamp duty land tax. We are particularly concerned with schemes involving residential properties, but this notice may be helpful in relation to schemes involving any type of property.

Pending review