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Final Version of new SRA Handbook now online

The final version of the new SRA Handbook—which will underpin the introduction of outcomes-focused regulation on 6 October—is now online.

The Handbook includes the updated Code of Conduct and can be accessed via the SRA's website at Producing the content was the result of two years' intensive preparation and significant effort by the SRA, working in consultation with partners including solicitor organisations, consumer groups and other stakeholders.

The new Handbook would run to 532 pages if printed out, so the SRA has enhanced its online presence to make it as user-friendly as possible for viewing online. This includes the introduction of material that acts as a guide to what's new, advanced search options that allow specific sections to be looked at, a quick guide to the Handbook itself and a section specifically for updates.

Those wishing to print hard copies can use the online function to print it in its entirety, or just the sections that are needed.

From 6 October, all solicitors and law firms regulated by the SRA will be subject to the new regulatory approach. This will be expanded to include owners of companies who may not be lawyers when the SRA is in a position to regulate Alternative Business Structures (ABS), probably in the New Year.

Antony Townsend, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: "The Handbook outlines fully the framework we have put in place to put consumers at the heart of legal services. It makes sense therefore to make that Handbook as easy to use as possible.

"So it's been created in just that way, making it easy to navigate and simple to search. This should help the profession adopt the consumer-led principles of OFR, and ensure resources are deployed on areas where they are needed most."

Simon Harbord, Compliance Officer, Client Acceptance at Ward Hadaway, added: "The layout of the new Handbook, such as the ability to search though all the Rules, rather than looking at the Code of Conduct, then the Accounts Rules etc, makes it a very helpful single point of reference. To be able to print sections of interest and even e-mail them is really useful.

"I particularly like the ability to search on one term (e.g. COLP) and get results from the whole Handbook. The quick guide will be useful for those people who haven't been keeping up to speed with the changes - no doubt from 6 October the site has been extremely busy!"

The Handbook, which was first highlighted to the regulated profession at a series of roadshows in the spring, can be accessed at

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