Press release archive for 2013

December

Judges struck off the Roll of Solicitors by tribunal

18 December 2013

Two solicitors have been struck off the roll for misusing legal aid cash in a prosecution brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

SRA finalises identification of firms in the EPP

18 December 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has now finalised the work it needs to do to identify firms that have failed to secure a new insurance policy.

Firms in firing line for failure to declare insurance position

11 December 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has discovered a substantial number of firms that appear to have failed to declare their insurance position.

SRA prosecution leads to suspension of The Times' former legal director

6 December 2013

The Times newspaper's former legal director, Alastair Brett, will be suspended from practising for six months from 16 December by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal following a prosecution by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

SRA launches consultation on education and training regulations

4 December 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) launched yesterday (Tuesday, 3 December 2013) a twelve-week consultation on changes to its education and training regulations.

SRA warns against a return to protectionist regulation

3 December 2013

The SRA has warned against turning the clock back when considering the future of legal services regulation.

November

SRA takes first step to streamline training regulations

27 November 2013

The SRA today took the first step to remove the prescriptive requirements of the training contract and replace them with a more targeted approach to ensuring solicitors have the skills to deliver high quality legal services.

Firms without insurance advised on next steps

25 November 2013

Firms that have so far been unable to secure a new professional indemnity insurance policy have been advised of their next steps by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Increasing SRA fining powers could save solicitors £8,000

21 November 2013

Increasing the fining powers of the Solicitors Regulation Authority could save transgressors in "traditional" law firms an average of £8,000 in legal costs compared to those working in ABS firms.

SRA update on ERIC claims enquiries

14 November 2013

The SRA has been advised that Clear Claims Solutions is no longer handling claims on behalf of European Risk Insurance Company (ERIC).

SRA updates Risk Outlook

11 November 2013

The SRA has updated its Risk Outlook, adding to the issues identified when the Outlook was first published in July.

Firms warned to confirm insurance position

11 November 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has warned firms that have not declared their insurance position that they are breaching regulations and face enforcement action.

Balva Insurance claims handling update November 2013

11 November 2013

The SRA has been advised that the Latvian Liquidator of Balva has now appointed Caytons Law to manage claims on behalf of Balva.

BMG Research appointed for SRA's study in taking forward Training for Tomorrow competency reforms

7 November 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has appointed BMG Research, a social, economic and market research company, to undertake an empirical study of the competences of newly qualified solicitors.

Follett Stock intervention

7 November 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has intervened into the practices of Martin Pearse and Christopher Lingard at Follett Stock LLP and FSHL Limited.

SRA reminds firms of their duty to comply with Diversity Data Collection

7 November 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will be writing to firms next week to remind them of their duty to comply with the annual Diversity Data Collection requirement.

PC renewals 2013/14 update

6 November 2013

The regulatory deadline has now passed for those wishing to renew their Practising Certificate for 2013/14.

October

153 firms enter Cessation Period

31 October 2013

A total of 153 solicitors firms have entered the second section of the new Extended Policy Period (EPP), having failed to secure new professional indemnity insurance cover.

SRA appoints new Executive Director

23 October 2013

The SRA has appointed Crispin Passmore as Executive Director with responsibility for Policy.

Further information on consumer credit work

22 October 2013

Law firms that conduct consumer credit work can get further information on regulatory arrangements from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

LDPs advised of transitional period changes

22 October 2013

The SRA has written to all known legal disciplinary practices (LDPs) about the timescale for becoming an alternative business structure (ABS).

Further referral fee ban information - don't become too focused

18 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has issued a warning note for those involved in personal injury work based on its experiences of how firms have reacted to the first six months of the ban on the payment of referral fees.

Training for Tomorrow: have your say on the SRA's next steps in reforming legal education

17 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is inviting members of the profession, training providers, trainees and students to a series of six free events to hear about proposals to reform the current legal and education training system.

SRA and legal sector changed ‘beyond recognition’ in past seven years, says Townsend

16 October 2013

The changes in the legal sector over the past five years have been “unprecedented, relentless and at times, exhausting” Antony Townsend, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Chief Executive, said today.

SRA announces proposals for radical reform of education and training

16 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) today, Wednesday 16 October, publishes proposals for radical and wide-ranging changes to legal education and training.

SRA seeks views on cost-saving initiative

15 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is seeking views on its proposals for managing the storage of files and original documents following an intervention.

Intervention - GPB Solicitors

9 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has intervened into the practice of Mr Simon Andrew Clive Newbold, Ms Zakia Khalid and Mr Roy George at GPB Solicitors LLP based at GPB House, Arden Court, Arden Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6NT.

185 firms apply for extended cover

8 October 2013

A total of 185 law firms have applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for the extended indemnity period (EIP) of insurance having failed to secure cover by 1 October.

SRA intervenes into Abode Solicitors

4 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is due to intervene into the practice of Abode Solicitors at The Studio, Greengate, Cardale Park, Harrogate. The grounds of intervention are:

SRA reminds profession of PC renewals deadline

4 October 2013

With just 28 days remaining for firms and individuals to complete this year’s PC renewals exercise, the SRA is urging action.

New Director of Education and Training for Solicitors Regulation Authority

4 October 2013

Julie Brannan has joined the SRA as Director of Education and Training from Oxford Brookes University. She will lead the SRA’s work to introduce wide-ranging changes to the legal education and training framework.

SRA announces new Chief Executive

1 October 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has appointed Paul Philip, as its next Chief Executive.

First phase of QASA registration begins for solicitor advocates

1 October 2013

Solicitors in the Midlands and Western circuits wishing to perform advocacy in the criminal courts are now able to register for the QASA scheme.

September

Firms need own credit licence

18 September 2013

Solicitors’ firms may need to seek their own consumer credit licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) if they want to continue with consumer credit activities, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has advised.

SRA examines firms' financial data

18 September 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has started to evaluate the data on firms' finances following a substantial fact-finding exercise.

SRA launches PC renewals

16 September 2013

The SRA has today (Monday 16 September) launched the 2013 round of Practising Certificate renewals, with a closing date of Thursday, 31 October.

SRA announces PII legal adviser

13 September 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reappointed Norton Rose Fulbright LLP as its legal adviser for client financial protection arrangements.

Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) starting soon

11 September 2013

Registration for the first phase of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) – the Midlands and Western circuits - will start in just a few weeks on the 30 September.

SRA plans a better deal for consumers

10 September 2013

A two-year plan of actions to help ensure consumers have the information they need when they use legal services is due to be considered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board this week - including a new consumer-facing website called Legal Choices.

August

SRA renews contract with Kaplan for QLTS assessment

13 August 2013

Kaplan has been re-appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to assess the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS) for the next three years, until January 2017.

July

SRA welcomes LSB’s approval of QASA

29 July 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has welcomed the announcement by the Legal Services Board (LSB) that the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) (Crime) can proceed with its planned launch this autumn.

SRA Chair to lead Board for further year

23 July 2013

SRA Board Chair Charles Plant has been re-appointed for a further year, the SRA has announced.

SRA releases further information on PC renewals 2013

18 July 2013

The SRA will be today (18 July) emailing authorised signatories and organisation contacts within firms and organisations to provide further information on how the 2013 PC renewals exercise - which will run from mid-September to 31 October - will differ from last year.

SRA fees calculator goes online

18 July 2013

Solicitors and firms can get help with their budget planning for next year by using the fees calculator on the SRA website.

2013 SRA Diversity Data Collection goes live

15 July 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced that firms can now report their workforce diversity data online through a new facility on mySRA, designed to help firms demonstrate how they are meeting the requirements of Principle 9 of the Code of Conduct.

Single form is next stage in authorisation process

12 July 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (12 July) launched a single form for those applying for authorisation as either a recognised sole practitioner, recognised body or licensable body (Alternative Business Structure).

Risk Outlook maps out key risks

2 July 2013

A key foundation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) communication about its view of key risks and the approach it takes to managing risk has been launched today, 2 July 2013.

June

SRA reviews client protection by insolvent insurers

28 June 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is reviewing the risk to clients when a firm's professional indemnity insurer gets into financial difficulties.

SRA produces inducements guidance note

26 June 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has produced a guidance note to ensure the profession stays on the right side of the Code of Conduct when offering inducements to potential clients.

SRA responds to LETR research report

25 June 2013

Undertaking a radical review of the skills and knowledge required to merit qualification as a solicitor will be a key priority for the SRA in taking forward the findings of the LETR research report, published today.

Keeping of the roll exercise

20 June 2013

More than 23,000 solicitors who do not hold a practising certificate but wish to remain on the roll have now completed their applications this year.

Balva Insurance update

19 June 2013

On 17 June, the Latvian regulator (FKTK) decided to withdraw all the operating licences issued to Balva in order to protect the insured persons. In accordance with Latvian law, Balva has to launch the winding-up process, by appointing a liquidator and agreeing the procedure for debt c...

Firms need to keep control of debt recovery work

14 June 2013

Firms involved in debt recovery work need to ensure they have proper control over work carried out in their name, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has warned.

Planning for PC renewals 2013 begins

12 June 2013

The SRA is planning for this year's Practising Certificate Renewals Exercise (PCRE 2013) to revert back to the regulatory practising year.

SRA's annual equality report shows improvement in staff diversity profile

12 June 2013

The SRA's annual equality report, to be presented to its Board today (Wednesday, 12 June) shows that it improved its staff diversity profile in 2012.

Board asked to approve interventions costs' proposal

11 June 2013

The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been asked to approve plans to fund the cost of interventions from the Compensation Fund.

SRA invites prospective firms to webinar event - Getting authorised by the SRA: a step by step guide

10 June 2013

Prospective recognised bodies, alternative business structures (ABSs), and sole practitioners looking to get authorised by the SRA are being invited to a free webinar taking place on Tuesday, 18 June from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

SRA invites solicitor advocates to Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) webinar

10 June 2013

Solicitor advocates intending to register on the forthcoming Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) (QASA) are being invited to a free webinar on Wednesday, 26 June from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

SRA Chief Executive reiterates referral fee approach

7 June 2013

SRA Chief Executive Antony Townsend has reiterated that the Authority has taken an understanding approach to enforcing the ban on the payment of referral fees in personal injury cases.

SRA outlines the main risks to its regulatory objectives and the public interest

6 June 2013

Law firms are being invited to attend a free event to find out how the SRA views the main risks to its regulatory objectives and to consumers of legal services.

SRA warns of non-compliance trap in tough financial times

5 June 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has warned law firms of the temptation of straying from the compliance path as the tough economic climate continues.

SRA announces new litigation panel

5 June 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has concluded its tender process for the appointment of firms to its litigation and legal advice panel.

SRA spells out key authorisation application criteria for firms at event in Birmingham

4 June 2013

Delegates attending an event in Birmingham today (Tuesday 4 June), aimed at prospective firms seeking authorisation from the SRA will learn how to ensure their application runs as smoothly as possible.

May

SRA clarifies approach to referral fee ban

22 May 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is continuing to work with firms carrying out personal injury work to ensure they remain compliant with the ban on referral fees.

SRA Board approves change to phase 1 of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime)

22 May 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board has made rule changes to extend the deadline for the first phase of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) (QASA) Regulations from 10 January to 9 March 2014, following its approval in April of the Scheme and Handbook changes...

SRA urges consumers buying legal services to be 'scam aware'

13 May 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is supporting Scams Awareness Month, run by Citizens Advice and Trading Standards, by warning people about bogus solicitors who clone genuine firms to obtain money by deception.

Compliance officers reminded to have say on risk severity

10 May 2013

Compliance officers have just less than two weeks to have their say on a new element to the methodology for the risk assessment of firms.

Red Tape Initiative continues to gather pace

9 May 2013

The drive by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to remove unnecessary rules and processes from the Handbook continues with the launch of the second consultation on its Red Tape Initiative.

Law Firm comparison sites sign up to new standards to help consumers get a better deal

9 May 2013

Comparison website operators and legal regulators are already expressing their support for new good-practice standards for legal comparison websites, published today by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

SRA looks at best way to meet increased interventions' costs

8 May 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is considering options to meet the higher-than-expected costs of interventions.

Reminder for Keeping of the roll exercise 2013

7 May 2013

The SRA is reminding solicitors without a practising certificate who wish to remain on the roll that there are just six weeks left in which to apply online before the deadline of Tuesday 18 June 2013.

Webinar: Using the SRA's Risk Framework to deliver effective outcomes-focused regulation

2 May 2013

The SRA is inviting Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs) and Compliance Officers for Finance and Administration (COFAs), as well as risk managers and other key staff, to attend a one-hour webinar to give an introduction to how it uses its Risk Framework to deliver risk-based...

SRA Chief Executive to step down

2 May 2013

The SRA has announced that its Chief Executive, Antony Townsend, will be stepping down later in the year.

April

SRA announces 2013 diversity survey of the profession

29 April 2013

The SRA has released details of the arrangements for this year's diversity survey to give firms time to prepare for collection and reporting of the data.

Regulators give QASA proposals the green light

26 April 2013

The Boards of the respective members of the Joint Advocacy Group (JAG) - the Bar Standards Board (BSB), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) - have approved the detailed Handbook for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) ready fo...

SRA makes ‘genuine progress’ in dealing with complaints about itself

25 April 2013

The SRA has been praised for having made 'good and real improvements' in dealing with complaints about itself over the past two years - according to a report issued by the Independent Complaints Review Service (ICRS).*

SRA publishes report on equality and diversity data collection for 2012

25 April 2013

At its meeting on 24 April, the SRA Board considered the findings from an equality and diversity thematic review carried out on compliance with Principal 9 together with the report on the 2012 workforce diversity survey for 2012.

SRA decisions on busy Board agenda

25 April 2013

The SRA Board considered the following items at its meeting on 24 April 2013:

Consultation on next round of SRA Red Tape Initiatives

25 April 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced that it will be consulting on a second round of 'Red Tape Initiatives', aimed at cutting back on bureaucracy in line with a risk-based approach to regulation. If agreed, the proposed changes would be implemented in the October 20...

Getting your firm authorised by the SRA

24 April 2013

New firms intending to provide legal services who need to apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to become authorised are invited to attend a free event at the Novotel Birmingham on 4 June to learn what the SRA is looking for when assessing applications.

SRA responds to Lord Hunt's legal regulation review

24 April 2009

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today published its response to the Call for Evidence of Lord Hunt's Legal Regulation Review.

SRA makes it easier to get financial stability advice

23 April 2013

Comprehensive advice and support to help firms maintain financial stability in difficult economic times has been published by the SRA.

Busy agenda for SRA Board

22 April 2013

 The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has a packed public agenda for its next meeting, which takes place in Birmingham tomorrow, Wednesday (24 April).

SRA looks at intervention impacts on clients

19 April 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to examine the effects on clients when it closes down a firm as part of an intervention.

SRA tells compliance officers to take a responsible approach to help weather the storm

18 April 2013

In a keynote speech delivered at the COLPs and COFAs Conference held today (18 April), SRA Executive Director Samantha Barrass highlighted some key areas of risk for compliance officers to focus on.

Familiar theme in conveyancing research

15 April 2013

Conveyancers have outlined concerns about financial stability in new research published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

SRA reassures firms using Balva Insurance

15 April 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reassured firms using Balva Insurance for its professional indemnity cover in light of the Latvian company being restricted by its regulator.

SRA announces Keeping of the Roll dates

10 April 2013

The SRA has confirmed that the Keeping of the Roll exercise will run from Tuesday 16 April to close of business on Tuesday 18 June 2013.

Referral fees and Red Tape in seventh version of Handbook

2 April 2013

The seventh version of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Handbook is now in force.

March

Deadline looms for students with suitability issues

28 March 2013

Students hoping to enrol with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) prior to starting a Legal Practice Course (LPC) in October are being given a quick reminder that, if they have character and suitability issues, they only have until 2 April to submit their application and support...

COLPs and COFAs asked for risk severity views

27 March 2013

The COLP and COFA community are being asked for their views on a new element to the methodology for the risk assessment of firms used by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

SRA repeats advice to firms in financial difficulty

26 March 2013

Firms facing financial difficulties have once again been urged to seek outside help and advice at the earliest opportunity by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Referral fee ban help available

25 March 2013

Guidance and support have been made available by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for those still needing advice ahead of the introduction of the ban on the payment of referral fees in personal injury cases.

SRA publishes new guidance about applying for authorisation

19 March 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published new guidance about applying for authorisation as part of its work to streamline the process for both alternative business structures (ABSs) and recognised bodies.

Keeping of the roll 2013

19 March 2013

The SRA has announced that the keeping of the roll exercise is expected to run from mid-April to mid-June.

Reporting requirements eased on non-material breaches

18 March 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) plans to drop the requirement for compliance officers to report all non-material breaches, it has been announced.

SRA 'concerned’ at revocation bounce-backs

6 March 2013

The SRA has expressed concern that hundreds of letters and emails sent to individuals containing notice of revocation, have been returned unopened as ‘not known at this address’, or, in the case of emails, have simply bounced back.

COLPs and COFAs nomination process nears completion

1 March 2013

A total of just under 97% of firms now have COLPs and COFAs in place, the SRA announced today.

February

Local schoolchildren get an insight into regulating lawyers at The Cube

27 February 2013

A group of year 8 schoolchildren from Waverley school, Small Heath will be finding out more about the legal world when they visit the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) headquarters at The Cube in the City on Friday, 1 March.

Red Tape Initiative amendments are just the start

26 February 2013

Proposed amendments to the Solicitors Handbook aimed at reducing unnecessary bureaucracy will be just the start of an ongoing initiative to streamline regulatory processes, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has promised.

SRA invites tender for litigation panel

25 February 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is inviting tender bids for appointment to its litigation panel, as the current contracts for the existing panel of five firms expire at the end of May 2013.

New research highlights impact of OFR's first year

18 February 2013

A new report on the impact of the first year of outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) on solicitors' firms has revealed that perceptions of OFR have become more positive, but the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) still has work to do in embedding the regime in the legal services sector.

SRA brings successful prosecution against Registered European Lawyers

8 February 2013

Three Italian lawyers have been found to have committed a host of accounting irregularities while acting for clients in overseas property deals.

SRA begins revocation process

7 February 2013

The SRA has confirmed that it began the revocation process the week commencing Monday, 4 February, when it contacted individuals who had failed to complete the practising certificate renewals exercise.

Fees structure remains the same for 2013/14

6 February 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed that its structure for setting practising fees in 2013/14 will remain unchanged.

January

SRA praised for consumer initiatives

30 January 2013

 A discussion paper just issued by the Legal Services Consumer Panel has singled out the SRA for praise in several areas relating to making consumers' lives easier when choosing legal services and understanding their rights.

Consultation launched on financial penalty guidance

29 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for feedback on its proposed guidance on the fines it can levy against firms and individuals that have breached the Code of Conduct.

SRA compliance officers exercise moves into new phase

23 January 2013

The SRA has published its latest update on the approval of compliance officers.

Handbook amended for financial advisers

21 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has amended its Handbook to allow solicitors to refer clients needing financial advice to any financial adviser.

SRA lays out Compensation Arrangements Review schedule

18 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has laid out the schedule for reviewing the SRA Compensation Fund.

Feedback requested on consultations

15 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for views on two key consultations.

SRA marks a year of ABS licensing

11 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has completed its first year of authorising and regulating alternative business structures (ABS).

SRA appoints new disciplinary proceedings and regulatory appeals panel

8 January 2013

The SRA has recently concluded its tender for the appointment of a new panel of law firms to conduct and advise on disciplinary proceedings and regulatory appeals. The successful firms are:

Nearly 90 percent of COLPs and COFAs approved

1 January 2013

Individuals at more than 8,800 firms have been approved to take up their roles as Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs) and Compliance Officers for Finance and Administration (COFAs) from 1 January.