A clearer approach

by Crispin Passmore, Executive Director, Policy

1 June 2016

Today we have launched a consultation on our new Codes of Conduct and SRA Accounts Rules. These are important steps towards a modern approach to regulation that recognises that firms are different and solicitors practise in different ways. We do not want to constrain innovation or growth, but regulation alone cannot make it happen. Your energy and commitment—to your business and your clients—is what counts. As a regulator we can make sure that we give you the freedom, flexibility and support to practise. The consultation we launch today is designed to deliver that.

We will be clear about the standards we expect from individual solicitors wherever and however they practise. And we will also set clear standards for firms so that they have systems and controls to ensure that their legal services are safe and ethical. Clear standards are accompanied by freedom and flexibility for you to practise or run your business as you think fit so long as you maintain those standards.

For the few that do not want to, can't or won't meet those standards, we need to be a robust regulator. That does not mean second guessing firms but means focusing on those that risk or cause serious harm to consumers or undermine the rule of law and proper administration of justice. Following this consultation we will consult on other changes, including to our enforcement policy so that you can have confidence in when your regulator will take action.

But the starting point in any regulatory environment is clear professional standards. We think our new Codes of Conduct and SRA Accounts Rules provide that. But we know that you will have views on making them better.

We want to hear what you think of our consultation. You can do this by:

We look forward to hearing from you.