SRA Handbook

Authority and commencement

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

Rule 1: Authority and commencement

1.1

These Rules are made on 13 June 2013 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 31, 37, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974, section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, and paragraph 19 of Schedule 11 to the Legal Services Act 2007, with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.

1.2

These Rules come into force on 1 October 2013.

1.3

These Rules require solicitors, RELs, RFLs, recognised bodies and their managers and licensed bodies (in respect of their regulated activities) in private practice in England and Wales to take out and maintain professional indemnity insurance with participating insurers with effect from 1 October 2013.

Commentary:

These Rules apply to:

  • solicitors
  • RELs
  • RFLs
  • recognised bodies and their managers and
  • licensed bodies in respect of their regulated activities (but not to any other activities that may be undertaken by the licensed body concerned)

carrying on private practice in England and Wales as a firm at any time after 1 October 2013. Refer to the interpretation provisions in Rule 3 and the SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 (the Glossary) and to the definitions in the Glossary for guidance on the exact meanings of these terms.

1.4

These Rules will apply to any indemnity period beginning on or after 1 October 2013.

Commentary:

Before 1 September 2000, firms were required to take out insurance with the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. Since 1 September 2000, firms have been required to take out insurance in accordance with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules and SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules. From 1 October 2013, firms must take out insurance in accordance with these Rules with one or more participating insurers. Continuing arrangements dealing with past claims on the Solicitors Indemnity Fund are covered in the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules and the SRA Indemnity Rules.

1.5

The SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2012 shall not apply in respect of any indemnity period beginning on or after 1 October 2013 but they shall remain in force in respect of the indemnity period from 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013 inclusive subject to the provisions of Rules 19.1(a), 19.1(b), 19.1(c) and 19.1(d) below.

Commentary:

You should refer to previous Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules and SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules in relation to earlier indemnity periods since 1 September 2000. However, you should refer to Rules 19.1(a) to 19.1(d) in relation to time limits in respect of an application for a waiver of the provisions of the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 to 2010 and the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011 and 2012.

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