The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect.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

SRA Handbook


Back to version 21

Version 19 of the Handbook was published on 01/10/2017. For more information, please click 'History' Above

Rule 1: Purpose


The Law Society is a designated professional body under Part XX of FSMA, and firms may therefore carry on certain regulated activities without being regulated by the FCA, if they can meet the conditions specified in section 327 of FSMA. As a designated professional body the Law Society is required to make rules governing the carrying on by firms of regulated activities. The purpose of these rules is to set out the scope of the regulated activities which may be undertaken by firms which are not regulated by the FCA.


These rules:


prohibit firms which are not regulated by the FCA from carrying on certain regulated activities;


set out the basic conditions which those firms must satisfy when carrying on any regulated activities;


set out other restrictions on regulated activities carried on by those firms.



FSMA makes the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) the statutory regulators of financial services business. Under FSMA anyone carrying on regulated activities needs to be regulated by the FCA. Part XX of FSMA enables firms authorised and regulated by the SRA to be treated as exempt professional firms and to carry on activities known as exempt regulated activities provided that these firms are able to comply with the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001 as these Rules set out the scope of the activities which may be undertaken.