SRA Update

Issue 27 – November 2012

In brief

In-house solicitors research

We've started some detailed research as part of our bid to understand better the in-house solicitors sector.

Nearly a fifth of you work in house, and we're keen to learn more about how you work and the challenges you face. Our review will deliver more detailed information about your work and help us work with the sector in terms of emerging risks and common issues.

The research will involve an online survey, case studies and a literature review. Watch our news pages for further information about when the surveys will go live. Once the review has been completed, it will be used to inform future SRA policy. The work is due to be completed by spring 2013.

Please help us by completing the survey. We value your contribution.

OFR, one year on

In the last SRA Update, we told you about the research being undertaken to look at the impact of the new regime of outcomes-focused regulation one year after its launch on 6 October 2011.

Our survey, carried out by independent research organisation IFF, is now complete, with 1,000 firms asked for their views. No one should now be contacted in connection with this survey, so if you are called by someone claiming to be from IFF, do not proceed.

Annual versus lifetime licence

From 31 March 2012, all recognised bodies were transitioned under the our Authorisation Rules for Legal Services Bodies and Licensable Bodies 2011 and therefore no longer need to renew recognition annually.

This does not affect the requirement for solicitors, registered European lawyers, registered foreign lawyers and recognised sole practitioners to renew their practising certificates, registrations and endorsements annually. Organisations will still be required to submit information regarding the firm and pay the annual periodical fee.

Organisations have been able to access and print out their lifetime certificate of authorisation via their mySRA profile since 1 November 2012.

New board members

We have appointed four new members to our board, and changed its make-up at the same time.

The board will have a lay majority in line with our governance arrangements, and will decrease in size from 17 to 15.

The new members are Enid Rowlands, Bill Galvin and Peter Phippen (all lay members) and Paul Marsh, a solicitor member.

The first meeting for the 2013 intake of board members will be on Wednesday, 23 January. For more information on the SRA Board and its committees, visit

Social media

SRA YouTube channel subscribers receive email alerts when we publish new video clips.

We also alert our Twitter followers when we release clips on YouTube. More than 7,500 of you already follow us on Twitter.

PC renewals exercise 2012

The process for renewing practising certificates for 2012/13 began on 1 November. When SRA Update "went to press", nearly 9,000 applications had been created using mySRA, with more than 2,500 completed. Individuals and firms who have not yet started the PC renewal process are strongly encouraged to update their details in mySRA and submit the appropriate renewal application, to ensure they meet the deadline for submission and payment of Friday, 14 December.



Our Executive Director Samantha Barrass reported on the progress we've made with the nominations process at a special COLPs and COFAs Conference in Holborn Bars last month. She also reiterated the benefits of co-operation and proactive engagement between us. The majority of firms met our nomination deadline of 31 July, and many of those that hadn't responded to our prompts a few weeks later.


Case study: Solicitors warned to attend hearings

The High Court has thrown out a challenge from a solicitor who was struck off in his absence. Nathaniel Akindele Faniyi appealed the decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on 2 December 2010 when it found proved nine allegations against him. But in Faniyi v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2012] EWHC 2965 (Admin), Mr Justice Foskett dismissed the appeal and reiterated a warning that those who fail to attend SDT hearings do so at their own peril.


Question of ethics: Do I need a practising certificate?

I am a solicitor in the Government Legal Service. As such, I am told that I do not need a practising certificate. However, I am being seconded to a private practice firm for a short period; does this alter the position?

Read the answer


Our consultations can be found at

Referral fees

The consultation asks for feedback on our proposals for dealing with the ban on the payment of referral fees in personal injury cases, which comes into effect on 1 April 2013.

It is part of the Government's drive to reduce the number of claims for compensation.

Our proposals include two new mandatory outcomes. There is also information to help you assess whether you might be affected by the ban.

The consultation closes on Tuesday, 18 December.


Co-operation Agreements Policy

This policy will decide on potential agreed outcomes for those who breach the Code of Conduct, but then disclose their and others’ misconduct. A key objective is to enable us to receive information that will help us to take public protection action when necessary.

If the policy is adopted, we would enter into co-operation agreements with possible witnesses who might also be in some regulatory difficulties. They would provide full disclosure and, if necessary, give live evidence in a court or tribunal. Their own conduct would be dealt with as part of the agreement.

The consultation closes Wednesday, 23 January.


Webinars and events


Our webinars are great ways to get help and advice on key matters.

The next will be a PC Renewals Question and Answer Webinar held from 12.30 to 13.30 on Wednesday 21 November. It should help you complete the PC Renewals exercise for 2012/13.

The session will provide answers to common questions that have been asked about

  • access and set-up,
  • maintaining profiles,
  • completing the application forms.

It is primarily aimed at Organisation Contacts and Authorised Signatories completing bulk renewals on behalf of organisations, and will give attendees an opportunity to ask further questions.

Anyone wishing to take part should go to the mySRA section of our website where they will find a registration form. The webinar is free, and a recording of it will be available at 48 hours after the event.

Referral fees forum

As part of the consultation on referral fees in personal injury cases, outlined earlier, a forum will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Birmingham on Monday 19 November.

More than 100 delegates will be attending to help us gather feedback on the best way to implement the ban.

The forum is fully booked, but we'll be feeding back on what happened, to help inform the debate.

Aiming for excellence workshops

The latest Aiming for Excellence - Working With Your Regulator workshop will take place on Wednesday, 5 December, at the De Vere, Colmore Gate, Birmingham. It is aimed at solicitors from BME communities and will look at our outcomes-focused regulatory approach.

The workshop runs from 14.30 until 18.45 approximately and attracts three CPD points. Place are limited, so those who wish to attend should email providing their email address, telephone number, the firm they work for and their SRA number by 17.00 on Wednesday, 28 November.

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