General provisions and interpretation

Version 10 of the Handbook was published on 1 July 2014. For more information, please click "History" above.

Part 1: General provisions and interpretation

Rule 1: Authority

1.1

These Rules are made on 22 June 2012 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 37, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974, section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, and paragraph 19 of Schedule 11 to the Legal Services Act 2007, with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.

1.2

These Rules regulate indemnity provision in respect of the practices of solicitors, recognised bodies, RELs, RFLs, and licensed bodies in respect of their regulated activities and certain other European lawyers, carried on wholly or in part in England and Wales.

Rule 2: Citation

2.1

These Rules may be cited as the SRA Indemnity Rules 2012.

Rule 3: Definitions and interpretation

3.1

The SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 (the Glossary) shall apply and unless the context otherwise requires:

(a)

all italicised terms shall be defined in accordance with the Glossary;

(b)

terms shall be interpreted in accordance with the Glossary;

(c)

a reference to a Rule is to a Rule forming part of these Rules, except in relation to Schedule 1 where a reference to a rule is to a rule in the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules 1999;

(d)

the Schedule to these Rules forms part of these Rules; and

(e)

these Rules will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law.

Rule 4: Establishment and maintenance of fund

4.1

The Society shall maintain the fund in accordance with these Rules.

4.2

The purpose of the fund is to provide indemnity against loss as mentioned in section 37 of the SA as extended by section 9 of the AJA, Schedule 4 paragraph 1(3) of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 and section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 in the circumstances, to the extent and subject to the conditions and exclusions specified by the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules 1987 as the same have been and are in force and amended and applied from time to time and by any future Rules continuing, amending, adding to, applying or re-enacting such or other Rules to provide such indemnity in respect of annual indemnity periods (starting in 1987) unless and until otherwise determined by future Rules.

4.3

The fund shall be maintained by contributions previously made by or on behalf of solicitors, recognised bodies, RELs and RFLs in respect of each indemnity period in accordance with Part III of the SRA Indemnity Rules 2011 (or any earlier corresponding provisions), and by any additional contributions in accordance with Rule 16.

4.4

The Society may maintain the fund as a single continuous fund, and any deficiency in respect of one indemnity period may be met in whole or part from contributions in respect of another indemnity period or indemnity periods and any balance in respect of one indemnity period may be applied to the benefit of any other indemnity period or indemnity periods.

4.5

The fund shall be held, managed and administered in accordance with Part IV of these Rules by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited, a company set up by the Society for this purpose, or by such other person or persons (including the Society itself) as the Society may designate for such purpose, in place of Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited. References in these Rules to Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited shall include any such other person or persons.

Rule 5: Indemnity Periods before 1 September 1987

5.1

The policies taken out and maintained and the certificates issued by the Society pursuant to the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules 1975 to 1986 shall continue to provide cover subject to and in accordance with their terms in respect of their respective periods up to and including 31 August 1987. They shall not provide cover in respect of any subsequent period.

Rule 6: Application of the Rules

6.1

These Rules shall apply to a practice carried on by:

(a)

a sole solicitor;

(b)

an REL practising on or before 31 March 2012 or the date on which an order made pursuant to section 69 of the LSA relating to the status of sole practitioners comes into force, whichever is the later, as a sole practitioner;

(c)

a recognised body;

(d)

a partnership consisting of one or more solicitors and/or RELs and/or recognised bodies and/or licensed bodies;

(e)

a partnership consisting of one or more solicitors and/or RELs, together with one or more RFLs;

(f)

a partnership consisting of one or more RELs with or without one or more RFLs, together with one or more non-registered European lawyers practising from one or more offices in any state to which the Establishment Directive applies, but outside England and Wales; and

(g)

a licensed body in respect of its regulated activities.

Rule 7: Scope of indemnity

7.1

The following persons, namely:

(a)

solicitors , former solicitors, RELs, persons formerly practising as RELs, RFLs practising in partnership with solicitors or RELs, persons formerly practising as RFLs in partnership with solicitors or RELs, non-registered European lawyers practising in partnership with RELs, and persons formerly practising as non-registered European lawyers in partnership with RELs;

(b)

employees and former employees of the above;

(c)

recognised bodies and former recognised bodies;

(d)

officers and employees and former officers and employees of recognised bodies and former recognised bodies;

(e)

licensed bodies and former licensed bodies in respect of their regulated activities; and

(f)

regulated persons , including officers and employees and former officers and employees of licensed bodies,

shall be provided with indemnity out of the fund against loss arising from claims in respect of civil liability incurred in private practice in their aforesaid capacities or former capacities in the manner set out in Rule 10 and in the circumstances, to the extent and subject to the conditions and exclusions set out in Part II of these Rules and not otherwise.