The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
GeneralBack to version 21
Version 4 of the Handbook was published on 21/06/2012. For more information, please click 'History' Above
Part 1: General
Rule 1: Authority and commencement
These Rules are made on 17 June 2011 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 31, 37, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974, section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, and paragraph 19 of Schedule 11 to the Legal Services Act 2007, with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.
These Rules come into force on 1 October 2011.
These Rules require solicitors, RELs, RFLs, recognised bodies and their managers and licensed bodies (in respect of their regulated activities) in private practice in England and Wales to take out and maintain professional indemnity insurance with qualifying insurers with effect from 1 October 2011.
These Rules apply to:
- recognised bodies and their managers and
- licensed bodies in respect of their regulated activities (but not to any other activities that may be undertaken by the licensed body concerned)
carrying on private practice in England and Wales as a firm at any time after 1 October 2011. Refer to the interpretation provisions in Rule 3 and the definitions in Appendix 4 for guidance on the exact meanings of these terms.
These Rules will apply to any indemnity period beginning on or after 1 October 2011.
Before 1 September 2000, firms were required to take out insurance with the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. Since 1 September 2000, firms have been required to take out insurance in accordance with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules. From 1 October 2011, firms must take out insurance in accordance with these Rules with one or more qualifying insurers. Continuing arrangements dealing with past claims on the Solicitors Indemnity Fund are covered in the Solicitors' Indemnity Rules and the SRA Indemnity Rules.
The Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2010 shall not apply in respect of any indemnity period beginning on or after 1 October 2011 but they shall remain in force in respect of the indemnity period from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011 inclusive subject to the provisions of Rules 19.1(a), 19.1(b), 19.1(c) and 19.1(d) below.
You should refer to previous Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules in relation to earlier indemnity periods since 1 September 2000. However, you should refer to Rules 19.1(a) to 19.1(d) in relation to time limits in respect of an application for a waiver of the provisions of the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 to 2010 and the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011.
Rule 2: Citation
These Rules may be cited as the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011.
Rule 3: Definitions and interpretation
In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the terms in italics will have the meaning set out in Appendix 4.
In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires:
the singular includes the plural and vice versa;
words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and vice versa and references to the masculine or feminine include the neuter;
the word "body" includes a sole practitioner, and a special body within the meaning of section 106 of the LSA;
the word "person" includes an individual, partnership, or a body of persons (corporate or unincorporated);
any explanatory notes, guidance notes and/or commentary are for the purposes of guidance only and where any conflict exists, they shall not affect the interpretation of the provisions within these Rules;
any headings are for ease of reference only and shall not affect the interpretation of the provisions within these Rules;
"in writing" includes any form of written electronic communication normally used for business purposes, such as emails;
references to certificates, letters or other forms of written communication include references to those in both electronic and hard copy format;
a reference to a Rule is to a Rule forming part of these Rules;
a reference to any statute, statutory provision, code or regulation includes:
any subordinate legislation (as defined by section 21(1) of the Interpretation Act 1978) made under it; and
any provision which it has superseded or re-enacted (with or without modification) or amended, and any provision superseding it or re-enacting it (with or without modification) or amending it either before, at the date of or after the date of the commencement of these Rules; and
these Rules will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law.
These Rules shall not apply to licensed bodies until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA and all definitions shall be construed accordingly.
In these Rules, references to the Rules being made under paragraph 19 of Schedule 11 to the Legal Services Act 2007 shall have no effect until the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA.