The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
InterpretationBack to version 21
Version 12 of the Handbook was published on 31/10/2014. For more information, please click 'History' Above
Rule 2: Interpretation
The guidance notes do not form part of the rules.
The SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 shall apply and, unless the context otherwise requires:
all italicised terms shall be defined; and
all terms shall be interpreted,
in accordance with the Glossary.
References to the Legal Aid Agency are to be read, where appropriate, as including the Legal Services Commission.
The effect of the definition of "you" is that the rules apply equally to all those who carry on or work in a firm and to the firm itself. See also rule 4 (persons governed by the rules) and rule 5 (persons exempt from the rules).
The general definition of "office account" is wide. However, rule 17.1(b) (receipt and transfer of costs) and rule 19.1(b) and 19.2(b) (payments from the Legal Aid Agency) specify that certain money is to be placed in an office account at a bank or building society. Out-of-scope money can be held in an office account (which could be an account regulated by another regulator); it must not be held in a client account.
For a flowchart summarising the effect of the rules, see Appendix 1. For more details of the treatment of different types of money, see the chart "Special situations - what applies" at Appendix 2. These two appendices do not form part of the rules but are included to help solicitors and their staff find their way about the rules.