Warning notices

Warning notices do not form part of the SRA Handbook, but we may have regard to them when exercising our regulatory functions.

Recently issued

Compliance with the money laundering regulations – firm risk assessment

29 October 2019

This warning notice is relevant to all regulated persons and firms who have a legal obligation to ensure that they do not facilitate money laundering or terrorist financing.

Holiday sickness claims

09 August 2018

This warning notice is relevant to all those we regulate who act in personal injury cases, particularly holiday sickness claims.

Improper use of client account as a banking facility

06 August 2018

This guidance is relevant to all practitioners who have any involvement in holding or using money received for clients or others.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims

20 June 2018

This warning notice is relevant to all those we regulate acting in claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

Use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)

12 March 2018

We recognise that NDAs, including with employees, can legitimately be used to protect commercial interests and confidentiality and in some circumstances, to protect reputation.

Money laundering and terrorist financing suspicious activity reports

02 March 2018

This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; you should be aware of the warning signs, and they may require you to take action in order to avoid committing a criminal offence or breaching your professional obligations under the SRA Handbook.

Risk factors in personal injury claims

15 December 2017

This Warning Notice is relevant to solicitors and all regulated persons who take personal injury referrals from third parties, work closely with them or act on their instructions.

Tax avoidance - your duties

21 September 2017

Solicitors and firms advising clients about tax, or handle client matters of tax affairs, schemes or arrangements. It is important that you are aware of these arrangements.

Offensive communications

24 August 2017

This warning notice is relevant to you if you are a solicitor, a REL or an RFL and your communications fall short of the standards expected of the profession.

Investment schemes (including conveyancing)

23 June 2017

All law firms should read this warning notice because so-called "investment" schemes are being continually changed to avoid features that have been warned about previously. Practitioners in many fields of law may find that they are at risk of facilitating a dubious investment scheme.

Investment schemes and client account

21 September 2016

This warning notice is for law firms that are involved or asked to become involved in investment schemes. Members of the public who are considering paying money into an investment scheme where a law firm or solicitor is involved might also find it helpful.

Criminal legal aid and clients’ best interests

27 July 2015

We are concerned that solicitors and firms may not act in the best interests of each individual client, as required by the SRA Principles, should the protocol issued by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (Protocol Phase 2 The Crown Court) be followed without fully considering the circumstances of each individual client.

Money missing from client account

12 June 2015

This warning notice is aimed at all those we regulate but is particularly relevant to you if you are a manager of a firm or a firm's COFA or COLP. Any deficiency on client account exposes clients and others to a risk of financial loss and damage to public confidence. Missing money must be replaced with extreme urgency.

Money laundering and terrorist financing

22 March 2018

This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; solicitors should be aware of the warning signs, which may require you to take action in order to avoid committing a criminal offence or breaching your professional obligations under the SRA Handbook.

Employed solicitors publicity and information provided to third parties

08 July 2014

This warning notice is for in-house/employed solicitors, reiterating the key parts of Chapter 8 of the Code of Conduct, which deals with publicity. It highlights an overall obligation to take positive steps to ensure third parties are clear about their status and about their relationship with any organisation on behalf of which they seek to recover a debt.

Referral fees LASPO and SRA Principles

11 October 2013

This notice is for all practitioners who have referral arrangements for personal injury work. It reminds practitioners of the need, when entering into such arrangements, to consider not only whether they may be in breach of the ban in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), but whether they are able to comply with their regulatory obligations, in particular the SRA Principles and the outcomes in the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

High yield investment fraud

10 September 2013

This warning notice is for anyone who is involved in, or is considering acting for clients involved in, the promotion or facilitation of financial arrangements that appear dubious.

Land banking schemes

14 September 2012

This warning notice is for anyone who is involved or who is considering acting for clients involved in the promotion or facilitation of investment schemes which involve selling plots of land to investors on the basis of prospective planning permission. Whilst this notice does not form part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) Handbook, the SRA may have regard to it when exercising its regulatory functions.

Bogus law firms and identity theft

26 March 2012

There are serious and continuing risks to the public arising from the activities of criminals and criminal gangs who are setting up bogus law firms or bogus branch offices of genuine law firms with the intention, usually, of stealing mortgage loans. This warning provides information about the threat and advice about how to protect yourself and others from it.

Stamp duty land tax schemes

15 February 2012

This warning notice is for anyone who is or is considering becoming involved in the promotion or facilitation of schemes the purpose of which is to avoid or reduce stamp duty land tax. We are particularly concerned with schemes involving residential properties, but this notice may be helpful in relation to schemes involving any type of property.