Looking to the future

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What we are trying to do

We are reviewing and refining our approach to regulation and simplifying the Handbook.

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Who needs to know

Everyone working in a firm we authorise and/or regulate

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What's going on

Our rules and regulations need to reflect a legal sector that is changing at pace. However our current 400+ page Handbook is long, complex and costly to apply.

We believe solicitors and firms do not need lots of detailed, prescriptive rules to do the right thing. That is why our Board has decided to introduce new and shorter principles and codes of conduct, as well as more proportionate and targeted Accounts Rules. This is the first stage in a wider review of our Handbook.

So what is changing?

  • Fewer principles which go to the heart of what it means to be a solicitor and put greater trust in professional judgment.
  • Shorter, clearer codes - one for individual solicitors and another for firms. These cover the standards for practice and put greater trust in professional judgment.
  • We are freeing up solicitors to practise outside of law firms - giving them the flexibility to offer services to the public in new ways.
  • Revised and streamlined Accounts Rules - that strip out unnecessary bureaucracy and focus on the what matters: keeping clients' money safe.

This new approach sets out clearly the high professional standards we expect and gives solicitors more flexibility and choice in how they run their business. But it does not necessarily mean change; we expect that if a solicitor or firm is compliant now that they will be under the new arrangements.

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Get involved

Join our reference group

We want you to get involved in our work—whether you are a solicitor, a firm we regulate or a member of the public. Join our virtual reference group and help us develop our thinking by telling us your views about our proposals.

We also want to hear your ideas on support that would help you understand how the new rules might work in practice.

Take our 'shape the future of guidance' survey

We are committed to helping you understand and comply with any changes we make to our regulations.

We want to know the topics and areas in which you would most like guidance from the SRA.

Please complete this survey and tell us about your needs and references.

Responses are anonymous.

Your scenarios

When you look at the new draft codes of conduct, do you see grey areas? Where would case studies or other support be helpful? Tell us about the scenarios that you think need a case study. You can also tell us where you have issues with any of the rules we are reviewing in phase 2.  

Share a scenario now