It is now officially stated that new SRA Standards and Regulation would enter into force on 25th November 2019. The new SRA Standards and Regulations will take over the old Handbooks and it enables the solicitors to utilise their proficient judgements. The SRA assures that new opportunities for the profession will be offered by new STARs also with that solicitors and law firms will likely to have more diluted work and much lessen the regulatory burden. Like old time frames have been removed now the firms can independently decide their own time frames. The New SRA will be specific and more targeted than the existing SRA Standards and Regulations. The primary focus of SRA is to protect and secure the public and their finances.
The changes being done in existing SRA Standards and Regulations include:
- Establishing the distinct role of conduct and protocols for solicitors and firms
- It is letting the legal practitioner offer legal services on a freelance basis
- Easy rules are designed that only focus on guardianship the client’s money rather than applying different technical rules
- New STARs has changed the concept of professional disbursements because with new STARs in the future, all disbursements will be managed in the same way.
- Current 10 principles have changed into seven principles main focus on honesty, providing standardized services, proper setup of good governance, to safeguard the client’s money and assets that shifted to another part of regulatory.
- The code of conduct is further divided into two that code of solicitors and the other is code for firms. And the solicitors are responsible for those activities who manage and administer.
The purpose of innovating the STARs is to provide competent legal services with freedom and in a new way. Along with the regulations and compliance, the SRA Handbook and Standards have also amended.
The new SRA Handbook is shorter and less prescriptive. The contents are structured in a very simple manner. Why there was a need to change the handbook? Because the current handbook was more complex and lengthy also was difficult to apply the standards defined in the book. Therefore the rules were revised and reviewed again to remove the complex rules make it more convenient to read and apply. There’s no duplication in new SRA handbook. The intention of amendments is to provide up-to-date information with the demands of the fluctuating legal services market.
All-new sections are introduced for instance SRA Application Notice Review, SRA Transparency Rules. Transparency rules were introduced on the basis of competition and no proper system of transparency for the consumer of legal services. Some new provisions are also done for the betterment or to facilitate the changes in legal services in a better way. The biggest amendments are the entire change of the existing rules such as changes in simplifications and consolidation. The other new rule enables the self-employed solicitors to offer reserve legal services to the public without being recognized as a self-employed or to working with any charter body.
Some new principles explained in SRA Handbook named as “The Fundamental Tenets of Ethical Behaviour” which is implemented on all individuals and firms who are working under the SRA. Like need of working with honesty, unity, and coalition. All the code of conduct essential principles are mentioned in the SRA Handbook. The new code of conduct makes the approach more clear and the main focus to structure the new code is to examine the behaviour of individuals, systems, and the culture of the firm. Authorization rules in the new Handbook have also amended. These rules are The Assessment of Character and Suitability Rules when you are considering this rule you must be clear that you are required to protect the public interest and confidence in the particular profession. It is necessary for the firms to be prepared according to the new Handbook and also review the impact of the new Handbook will have on their business in the future.
SRA Standards and Regulations
The new SRA focus on Standards and Regulations the primary attention is on each legal practitioner must be able to rationalize the work that they carry out and manage. Therefore the new SRA Standards and Regulations give an emphasize to solicitors that they must have skills to explain the compliances at all time. The new SRA course will surely help the solicitors including the managers and other staff to understand the related SRA Standards and Regulations. It ensures that all employees of SRA regulated law firm must follow the SRA Standards and Regulations and have sufficient knowledge about it in order to stay complaisant. SRA Standards and Regulations contents are clearly defined in the new SR Handbook that will be coming on November 25th, 2019.
The Standards and Regulations not only give you workability and pliability on how you can run your business but it also gives you the opportunity to work in new and innovative ways. Also, the new set of Standards and Rules will replace the existing SRA Handbook. The three main courses of SRA Standards and Regulations which helps the firm to hold firmly these new Standards and Regulations. The courses include SRA Standards and Regulations, SRA Accounts Rules Advanced and SRA compliance Advanced. These courses are helpful in a way that staff is compliant with SRA standards and Regulations that they are performing their relevant roles and activities.
So this was all about new SRA STARs Standards and Regulations so are you all ready for the change and improvement? Have you thought about all those challenges and the consequences that will arise with the new SRA?