News release

SRA set to end regulating insolvency practitioners

The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has decided the SRA will no longer regulate solicitors who act as insolvency practitioners.

The decision was taken at the Board's meeting on Wednesday 11 March, in view of the fact that insolvency work is not central to the work of a solicitor, and consumers would be better protected if solicitors were regulated by those organisations identified by the Insolvency Service.

A November to January consultation exercise was held on SRA regulation of solicitor insolvency practitioners.

There are currently 129 solicitors operating as insolvency practitioners and the SRA met with a group of them during the consultation process. A total of 17 written responses to the consultation were received. Insolvency practitioners had opposed the proposal.

Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director, said: "Insolvency practice is not integral to the services provided by solicitors, so there is no case for us to regulate in this area. It's also in the public's interests for solicitors providing insolvency services to be regulated by the recognised professional bodies with specialist expertise in insolvency practice."

The SRA will now apply to the Legal Services Board (LSB) to revoke the Insolvency Practice Rules 2012 and to amend the necessary regulatory arrangements. If it agrees with the proposal, the Insolvency Service will lay an order before the Secretary of State for the Law Society's Recognised Professional Body status to be removed.

The regulatory change should take effect from 1 November 2015. The SRA is contacting solicitor insolvency practitioners to inform them of the decision.

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