In a rather discrete release, guidance for the new Standards and Regulations has started to become available on the SRA website.
You can find it here.
So far, the new guidance covers firm authorisation and client accounts. Here’s a brief overview of what’s new. Don’t forget that the below guidance takes effect on 25th November – so SRA firms should continue to comply with the current guidance until then.
Firm authorisation (guidance note) HERE
Guidance note that sets out whether a firm is required to be authorised and/or to help firms to establish if they meet the basic requirements to be authorised. It also defines reserved legal activities, explains exemption from authorisation and other authorisation.
Can my business be authorised? (checklist) HERE
Does my business need to be authorised? (checklist) HERE
Two handy checklists to help firms determine if they require authorisation and sets out a summary of the eligibility requirements. Complements the Firm authorisation guidance above.
Preparing to become a sole-practitioner or an SRA regulated independent solicitor (guidance note) HERE
Guidance for solicitors intending to set up a business trading on their own account providing legal services to the public, including SRA Registered European Lawyers (RELs).
When do I need a practicing certificate? (questionnaire) HERE
Useful for all solicitors on the roll to help them to understand the circumstances in which they must have a practising certificate. May also be useful for SRA authorised bodies, Non-SRA authorised bodies and all employers of solicitors.
Do I need to operate a client account? (Q&A) HERE
Questions and answers for SRA authorised firms that receive and hold client money in the form of fees and disbursements and want to rely on the exemption not to operate a client account.
Helping you keep accurate client accounting records (guidance note) HERE
Guidance for all SRA authorised firms, and their staff, that receive or hold client money. Reporting accountants may also find it helpful when reviewing a firm’s systems and controls. This guidance helps firms to understand ways in which they might comply with obligations around dealing with client money (Rule 8.1) under the SRA Accounts Rules, as well as providing wider best practice advice.
Joint accounts and record keeping (guidance note) HERE
Guidance for all SRA authorised firms and their staff, that hold or receive money jointly with a client or a third party, to help them think about the types of joint accounts that they may operate and the records which they need to keep in order to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules.
How is Legal Eye are preparing for the new Standards and Regulations?
There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at Legal Eye.
One of our major projects is to completely revamp our SRA office manual to help firms demonstrate their compliance with the new Standards and Regulations. We’ll keep in regular contact with our SRA firms to update you on progress and practical advice in the run up to 25th November – the proposed effective date for the new Handbook changes.