The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
PublicityBack to version 21
Version 7 of the Handbook was published on 01/04/2013. For more information, please click 'History' Above
Chapter 8: Publicity
This chapter is about the manner in which you publicise your firm or in-house practice or any other businesses. The overriding concern is that publicity is not misleading and is sufficiently informative to ensure that clients and others can make informed choices.
In your publicity, you must comply with statutory requirements and have regard to voluntary codes.
You must achieve these outcomes:
your publicity in relation to your firm or in-house practice or for any other business is accurate and not misleading, and is not likely to diminish the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
your letterhead, website and e-mails show the words "authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority" and either the firm's registered name and number if it is an LLP or company or, if the firm is a partnership or sole practitioner, the name under which it is licensed/authorised by the SRA and the number allocated to it by the SRA.
Acting in the following way(s) may tend to show that you have achieved these outcomes and therefore complied with the Principles:
where you conduct other regulated activities your publicity discloses the manner in which you are regulated in relation to those activities;
where you and another business jointly market services, the nature of the services provided by each business is clear.
Acting in the following way(s) may tend to show that you have not achieved these outcomes and therefore not complied with the Principles:
approaching people in the street, at ports of entry, in hospital or at the scene of an accident; including approaching people to conduct a survey which involves collecting contact details of potential clients, or otherwise promotes your firm or in-house practice;
advertising an estimated fee which is pitched at an unrealistically low level;
describing overheads of your firm (such a normal postage, telephone calls and charges arising in respect of client due diligence under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007) as disbursements in your advertisements;
advertising an estimated or fixed fee without making it clear that additional charges may be payable, if that is the case;
Outcomes 8.1 to 8.4 apply to your in-house practice unless it is clear from the context that the outcome is not relevant in your particular circumstances.
Outcomes 8.1 and 8.4 apply to your overseas practice. In addition you must comply with the following outcome:
publicity intended for a jurisdiction outside England and Wales must comply with any applicable law or rules regarding lawyers' publicity in the jurisdiction in which your office is based and the jurisdiction for which the publicity is intended.
This chapter should be read in conjunction with Chapters 1 and 9.