SRA Update

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Issue 25 – June 2012

COLPs and COFAs

Nominations are now coming in for compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and compliance officers for finance and administration (COFAs).

Filling these two roles forms one of the critical requirements of our move away from the previous focus on prescribed rules to outcomes-focused regulation.

More on COLPs and COFAs


Minimum salary

SRA Board Chair Charles Plant

SRA Board Chair Charles Plant 

Chair of the SRA Board Charles Plant explains why we have decided to end our role in setting a minimum salary for trainees from August 2014.

The board made this decision in May, and Charles Plant discusses how the evidence suggested that the aim of increasing access to the profession and creating a more diverse workforce could be achieved through other routes, and that the minimum salary was therefore no longer achieving its aims.

More on the minimum salary


Referral fees in personal injury cases

business-card

We've started the debate on implementing the Government's proposed ban on referral fees in personal injury cases, which is due to come into effect in April next year.

The issues are not clear cut and our discussion paper lays out what we think are the key points to clarify over the coming months, before the formal policy is drawn up by the end of the year.

More on referral fees

 

Case study: First breach of an RSA results in suspension and fine

A case heard by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal at the start of May showed what can happen when solicitors fail to take seriously their obligations under regulatory settlement agreements (RSAs).

Find out what happened when the first ever case of a party failing to comply with an RSA was taken to the SDT.

More

Question of ethics: Should we appoint a "deputy" COLP or COFA?

Your queries about COLPs and COFAs have been flooding in. For example: "Is it advisable to appoint a deputy COLP or COFA in case one of the compliance officers leaves or is absent?"

Get the answer

QASA: Act now if you wish to practise criminal advocacy

You should have received communication from us recently if you are a solicitor or registered European lawyer in England and Wales, inviting you to notify us between 2 July and 21 September 2012 if you wish to register under the new arrangements for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime), which will be launched at the turn of the year.

More

Diversity data collection

We will soon be starting the process of complying with the Legal Service Board's requirement for all approved regulators to gather a more comprehensive evidence base about the diversity characteristics of the legal workforce. This has in part been driven by the Legal Services Act 2007, which includes a specific regulatory objective to "encourage a strong, independent, diverse and effective legal profession".

More

APF consultation

We are currently consulting on the future of Authorised Professional Firms (APFs) and the implications for those that wish to be licensed as alternative business structures.

More

Version 4 of the Handbook

Version 4 of the Handbook has now gone live. The latest alterations have been approved by the Legal Services Board after being put forward following approval by the SRA Board meeting in May.

More

Legal Education and Training Review update

The Legal Education and Training Review is the most far-reaching and comprehensive research into the education and training of lawyers and legal services providers since the Ormrod Report in 1971.

Find out more about the latest developments in this ground-breaking project.

Webinars

Short on time? Need to catch up on what's going on in regulation? Then sign up for one of our free lunchtime webinars—you don't have to move from your office, and you get CPD points, too!

Our webinars continue to be very popular. There are two more over the coming months that you can register for. Both last for an hour and have associated CPD points attached.

Learn more, book your place on an upcoming webinar or view recordings of previous webinars at www.sra.org.uk/webinars.

In brief

This issue's "In brief" includes new online applications, keeping of the roll, fees for 2012/13, the Red Tape Challenge, our response to the LSB's immigration paper and SRA Board meetings.

More

Consultations

As highlighted above, we are consulting on the future of Authorised Professional Firms.

If you want to respond, you have until Friday 17 August. More

Don't forget we're also looking for your views on the discussion paper on the ban of referral fees in personal injury work. More

Social media

SRA YouTube channel subscribers receive email alerts when we publish new video clips.

We also alert our Twitter followers when we release clips on YouTube. Almost 6,000 of you already follow us on Twitter. To join our "twitterati", visit www.twitter.com/sra_solicitors.

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