The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 06/12/2018. For more information, please click 'History' Above
Rule 3: Status disclosure
A firm shall give the client the following information in writing in a manner that is clear, fair and not misleading before the firm provides a service which includes the carrying on of a regulated activity and in good time before the conclusion of a contract of insurance:
the name and address of the firm;
a statement that the firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; and
a statement explaining that complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Ombudsman;
Before a firm provides a service which includes the carrying on of an insurance distribution activity with or for a client, and in good time before the conclusion of a contract of insurance, it must state that it is an ancillary insurance intermediary and make the following statement in writing to the client in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading:
"[This firm is]/[We are] not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register."
Where the status disclosure relates to insurance distribution activities then the statement in rule 3(3) must be used. The status disclosure need not be tailored to the needs of the individual client. The disclosures may be provided alongside or integrated with other material provided to the client. These disclosures may be made in the firm's client care letter or in a separate letter.
Outcome (8.5) in Chapter 8 of the SRA Code of Conduct is that your letterhead, website and e-mails must show the words "authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority" which will assist in meeting the requirements of rule 3(2).
The provisions of rule 3(2)(d) and rule 3(3) reflect the requirements of the outcomes in Chapter 1 of the SRA Code of Conduct in respect of complaints handling.