The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.

SRA Handbook

Overseas Accounts Rules

Back to version 21

Version 15 of the Handbook was published on 01/11/2015. For more information, please click 'History' Above

Part 3: Overseas Accounts Rules

Rule 2A: Purpose of the overseas accounts provisions


The purpose of Part 3 of these rules is to describe how Overseas Principle 10 applies to client money (overseas) in order to ensure that it is protected and used for appropriate and proper purposes only.

Rule 2B: Application and waivers




as a regulated individual practising overseas must ensure that you; or


as a responsible authorised body, must ensure that your overseas practice, and those for whom you are responsible,

comply both with Parts 3 and 4 of these rules, and any applicable legal or regulatory requirements of the jurisdiction in which you or your overseas practice are practising relating to handling of client money or assets. If compliance with any provision of these rules would result in you or your overseas practice breaching local law or regulation, you may disregard that provision to the extent necessary to comply with the local requirements subject to the overriding obligations of Overseas Principle 6.


In any particular case or cases the SRA may waive in writing any of the provisions of Parts 3 or 4 of these Rules, may place conditions on, and may revoke any waiver.

Rule 2C: Dealings with client money


In all dealings with client money (overseas), you as a responsible authorised body must ensure that your overseas practice:


keeps client money (overseas), separate from money which is not client money (overseas);


on receipt, pays client money (overseas) into a client account (overseas) without undue delay and keeps it there, unless the client has agreed otherwise or it is paid directly to a third party in the execution of a trust under which it is held;


ensures by use of proper accounting systems and processes that client money (overseas) is used for the relevant client's matters only and for the purposes for which they have been paid;


uses money held as trustee of a trust for the purposes of that trust only;


establishes and maintains proper accounting systems and proper internal controls over those systems to ensure compliance with these rules;


returns client money (overseas) to the person on whose behalf the money is held promptly, as soon as there is no longer any proper reason to retain those funds;


keeps accounting records to show accurately the position with regard to the money held for each client and trust for a minimum period of six years; and


accounts for interest on client money (overseas) in accordance with local law and customs of the jurisdiction in which you or your overseas practice are practising and otherwise when it is fair and reasonable to do so in all circumstances.