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Feedback requested on consultations

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for views on two key consultations.

Feedback is welcomed on both the International Strategy and the Red Tape Initiative, both exercises being announced during the launch of the SRA's Strategic Plan on December 14. The International Strategy consultation considers how to amend the Handbook to deal with cross-border regulation and sets out specific proposals in two areas:

  • A new chapter of the Handbook, which brings together the conduct provisions which apply when practising overseas
  • A new outcome in Chapter 7 of the Code which will apply to individuals and firms practising in England and Wales but who are involved in overseas practice. This outcome is intended to mitigate the regulatory risks posed by the managerial and financial interdependencies which a SRA-regulated law firm in England and Wales might have with connected overseas offices and practices

The consultation also proposes further changes, such as substantial revisions to the Notes to the Principles and the application provisions, and the removal of the current application of outcomes to overseas practice in each chapter of the Code. Respondents have until 14 March to put forward any comments on the SRA's proposed way forward.

The SRA's Red Tape Initiative is the Authority's drive to tackle excessive bureaucracy, and feedback from firms can help the SRA maximise the benefits of OFR by removing bureaucratic processes which may have carried through from the old, rules-based approach to regulation but which are no longer necessary. The consultation runs until 8 February.

Further information on all current SRA consultations, including an exercise on the proposed Co-operation Agreements, which runs until 23 January, are available on the consultations page


Note to editors

The Red Tape Initiative looks to remove any proven unnecessary administrative burdens on solicitors and has asked for suggestions along these lines. However, as part of the consultation, the SRA has already identified a number of potential regulations that could be removed. These proposals, listed in the consultation document, are:

  • Proposal 1 - Remove restrictions on charging by in-house lawyers employed in not-for-profit organisations
  • Proposal 2 - Allow in-house solicitors employed by local authorities to charge charities for legal services
  • Proposal 3 - Approval of RELs and RFLs as new managers and owners
  • Proposal 4 - COLPs and COFAs in related entities
  • Proposal 5 - Remove the need for SRA approval for trainee secondments
  • Proposal 6 - Introduce a lifetime authorisation for training establishments
  • Proposal 7 - Remove half-equivalence provisions in training contract reductions
  • Proposal 8 - Remove the time limit or an academic award to remain valid
  • Proposal 9 - Remove the need for student re-enrolment after 4 years
  • Proposal 10 - Remove the need for QLTS certificates of eligibility in certain, specified circumstances
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