SRA Handbook

The overarching objective and underlying principles

Version 19 of the Handbook was published on 1 October 2017. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 1: The overarching objective and underlying principles


The purpose of these rules is to keep client money safe. This aim must always be borne in mind in the application of these rules.


You must comply with the Principles set out in the Handbook, and the outcomes in Chapter 7 of the SRA Code of Conduct in relation to the effective financial management of the firm, and in particular must:


keep other people's money separate from money belonging to you or your firm;


keep other people's money safely in a bank or building society account identifiable as a client account (except when the rules specifically provide otherwise);


use each client's money for that client's matters only;


use money held as trustee of a trust for the purposes of that trust only;


establish and maintain proper accounting systems, and proper internal controls over those systems, to ensure compliance with the rules;


keep proper accounting records to show accurately the position with regard to the money held for each client and trust;


account for interest on other people's money in accordance with the rules;


co-operate with the SRA in checking compliance with the rules; and


deliver annual accountants' reports as required by the rules.

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