SRA Handbook

Use of information

Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 6 December 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 18: Use of information

18.1

Without prejudice to the Society's power under Rule 4.5 to designate itself as the person responsible for holding, managing and administering the fund, information and documents obtained by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited about any particular practice or member thereof in the course of investigating and handling any claim made or intimated or any circumstances notified as mentioned in Rule 21, may be utilised by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited for the purpose of preparation of general records, statistics, reports and recommendations (not identifying the particular practice or member) for or to the Society.

18.2

Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited may bring to the attention of the Society at any time and without notice to the practice or person concerned:

(a)

any failure to provide information in respect of any practice as required by Part III of the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules 2006 (or any earlier corresponding provisions) or any material omission or inaccuracy in such information;

(b)

any failure to pay any contribution or other sum due when required to do so under these Rules (or any earlier corresponding Rules) or to reimburse any amount due by way of a Deductible, Due Proportion or Penalty Deductible, or (in the case of an expired run-off claim) which falls within a policy excess;

(c)

a material inaccuracy in any proposal form submitted by or on behalf of a practice;

(d)

(in the case of an expired run-off claim) any matter or circumstances that would permit the expired run-off cover to be avoided or but for the provisions of clause 4.1 of the MTC (and/or the corresponding of the expired run-off cover);

(e)

any dishonesty or fraud suspected on the part of any person in relation to any practice or member thereof, or any other person subject to these Rules or any earlier corresponding Rules, or any insured; and

(f)

any claim of inadequate professional services of which it becomes aware made against any such practice, member or person or any insured.

18.3

Such information and documents shall not otherwise be disclosed or available to the Society without the prior consent of the practice (or any subsequent or successor practice thereto) or member concerned, except where Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited or the Society have reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of any practice, previous practice, subsequent or successor practice or any member or former member thereof, or insured.

18.4

Any information and documents held by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited about a particular practice or member thereof may be disclosed or available to the Society without the prior consent of the practice (or any subsequent or successor practice thereto) or member concerned where the Society has been requested by any practice, subsequent or successor practice or member thereof to grant, amend or revoke any waiver under Rule 19 or to make a determination under Rule 20.

18.5

Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited may pass to the Society the name of any practice (including any subsequent, successor or previous practice) or any member or former member thereof in circumstances where Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited has cause for concern having regard to:

(a)

the nature, incidence or value of paid and/or reserved claims in respect of any such practice or member; or

(b)

the existence of circumstances which are considered by the fund to create an increased risk of claims occurring in respect of that practice or member; or

(c)

failure on the part of a practice or member thereof, or any insured, to comply with their obligations under these Rules (or any earlier corresponding Rules);

and for the purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) above Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited shall have the power to determine criteria which would indicate the likelihood of an increased risk of claims occurring and to specify those obligations in respect of which a failure to comply could form the basis for Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited to pass on information.

18.6

In the exercise of the powers set out in Rule 18.5 Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited may give details to the Society of the reasons for the decision to pass the name of the practice or member thereof to the Society including, in appropriate cases, releasing documentary information provided that no such documentary information will be released which could breach the general duty of confidentiality owed by a practice or member thereof to a client or former client.

18.7

In respect of any information that may be brought to the attention of the Society in accordance with Rules 18.1 to 18.6:

(a)

the Society shall keep all such information confidential;

(b)

the Society shall not (except where and to the extent required by law or in the proper performance by the Society of its regulatory functions) at any time reveal any such information to any person other than a duly authorised employee of the Society or any of its subsidiaries; and

(c)

any privilege attaching to such information shall not be regarded as having been waived whether by virtue of such information having been provided to the Society or otherwise;

but the provisions of this Rule 18.7 shall not prevent the Society from making use of any such information for the purpose of bringing disciplinary proceedings against any person.

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