The new SRA Accounts rules: consultation outcome

Recently the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) released a consultation on the new rulebook and code of conduct, which currently sits at over 430 pages combined. The consultation closed on 30 September 2016.

In June 2017, the SRA released the outcome of the consultation together with their take on the comments received. They highlight that there was an overall support of the changes that had been included, although there had been differing opinion on some of the detail.

For instance, the proposed new definition of ‘client money’ split opinion. The suggested change meant that any funds received in advance in respect of fees and disbursements would be treated as the firm’s money. The SRA has listened to all of the comments and has amended the included wording so that firms can continue to operate as they currently are.

If you would like to see the amended rules or the SRA consultation responses, you can download a copy on the SRA website.

There are currently more consultations in connection with the handbook revisions so don’t expect any changes this year. We envisage that the new rules and handbook will be adopted by late 2018. Before then we are expecting the SRA to release several toolkits to help firms with their adjustments to the new rules. We will share these when they are released.

As a part of our national association MHA, we undertake many solicitor firms’ compliance checks to ensure the legal firm is operating in line with the current issued guidance relating to client money. We are also starting to undertake for a number of firms a review of the internal systems they currently have in place to minimise fraud, especially concerning clients’ money.

If you are interested in a systems review, please contact our Solicitors team on 01903 234094.

A version of this blog originally appeared on the website of one of our MHA Association member firms, Larking Gowen.