The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
Your client and introductions to third partiesBack to version 21
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Chapter 6: Your client and introductions to third parties
There may be circumstances in which you wish to refer your clients to third parties, perhaps to another lawyer or a financial services provider. This chapter describes the conduct duties which arise in respect of such introductions. It is important that you retain your independence when recommending third parties to your client and that you act in the client's best interests.
You must achieve these outcomes:
clients are in a position to make informed decisions about how to pursue their matter;
Acting in the following way(s) may tend to show that you have achieved these outcomes and therefore complied with the Principles:
any arrangement you enter into in respect of regulated mortgage contracts, general insurance contracts (including after the event insurance) or pure protection contracts, provides that referrals will only be made where this is in the best interests of the particular client and the contract is suitable for the needs of that client;
any referral to a third party that can only offer products from one source is made only after the client has been informed of this limitation;
having effective systems in place for assessing whether any arrangement complies with the statutory and regulatory requirements;
Acting in the following way(s) may tend to show that you have not achieved these outcomes and therefore not complied with the Principles:
entering into any arrangement which restricts your freedom to recommend any particular business, except in respect of regulated mortgage contracts, general insurance contracts or pure protection contracts;
being an appointed representative.
The outcomes in this chapter apply to your in-house practice.
See Outcome 1.15, in relation to financial benefits that you may receive in respect of introductions to third parties.
If the introduction is in connection with the provision of financial services, and your firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, you will need to comply with the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001 and the SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001. Where an introduction is not a regulated activity because you can rely on an exclusion in the Regulated Activities Order, you will need nevertheless to consider Outcome 1.15.
This chapter should be read in conjunction with Chapter 12 (Separate businesses).