Release notes for SRA Handbook, Version 9

Index of release notes

1 April 2014

The ninth version of the Handbook was published on 1 April 2014.

The changes contained in Version 9 came into effect on 1 April 2014 (unless otherwise stated below) and the key changes are summarised in these release notes. The notes give a brief update only and you will need to refer to the Handbook itself for full details. Any sets of rules or regulations not referred to below remain substantially unchanged in this version.

There are three groups of changes contained in Version 9:
  • The SRA Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2011 have been amended to exempt the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court from their scope, meaning solicitors do not have to hold the Higher Rights qualification in order to appear in hearings at this court.
  • A change to implementation dates in the SRA Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) Regulations 2013, to take account of recommendations made within the judgment handed down from the judicial review in early 2014. The amended implementation dates came into effect on 9 March 2014.
  • Changes to the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001and the SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 have been made in order to facilitate the transfer of regulation of consumer credit activities to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The transfer of regulation from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA takes effect on 1 April 2014.

SRA Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2011

A new regulation 2.2 has been inserted which states that solicitors and registered European lawyers appearing in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) do not need to hold a Higher Courts (Civil Advocacy) Qualification.

Guidance on regulation 2.2 is set out in a new guidance note (ii) to regulation 2.

SRA Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) Regulations 2013

The table in regulation 21.2 detailing the dates of phased implementation for each Circuit has been updated with effect from 9 March 2014.

SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001

Rule 5.11 has been inserted which requires firms that carry on a "credit-related regulated activity" or a connected activity to comply with the relevant provisions and guidance set out in the FCA's Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC) as they were in force immediately before 1 April 2014.

Guidance on rule 5.11 is set out in a new guidance note (ii) to rule 5.

SRA Handbook Glossary 2012

The changes to the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001 has necessitated the insertion of definitions of "CONC" and "credit-related regulated activity".

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