News release

SRA consults on European authorisation approach

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for views on its proposed approach for authorising law firms from European Establishment Directive States.

The Establishment Directive for Lawyers, implemented in England and Wales in 2000, imposed obligations on European lawyers to register and adhere to the host state's code of conduct, regardless of the type of law that those lawyers were practising. The SRA has set out a new approach on the authorisation of law firms from European Establishment Directive States.

The SRA is therefore asking stakeholders for views on the objectives underlying the proposed approach and on the mechanisms chosen to achieve them. For registered European lawyers' firms wanting to work in England and Wales, the changes would allow them to choose between:

  • seeking authorisation as an SRA-authorised body and becoming subject to the full rights and obligations of the SRA Handbook; or
  • carrying on as an unauthorised entity, and therefore unable to carry out any reserved legal activities in England and Wales.

This approach is designed to apply the SRA’s entity-based regulatory regime to European law firms in a proportionate way, depending on their form of practice in England and Wales. The new approach is also intended to clarify to the users of services provided by RELs about the protections and rights of redress that exist.

The consultation closes on 14 April.

Go to the consultation

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