SRA Accounts Rules


These rules set out our requirements for when firms (including sole practices) authorised by us receive or deal with money belonging to clients, including trust money or money held on behalf of third parties. The rules apply to all firms we regulate, including all those who manage or work within such firms.

Firms will need to have systems and controls in place to ensure compliance with these rules and the nature of those systems must be appropriate to the nature and volumes of client transactions dealt with and the amount of client money held or received.

This introduction does not form part of the SRA Accounts Rules.

Part 1: General

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Part 2: Client money and client accounts

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Part 3: Dealing with other money belonging to clients or third parties

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Part 4: Accountants' reports and storage and retention of accounting records

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Supplemental notes

Made by the SRA Board on 30 May 2018.

Made under sections 32, 33A, 34, 37 of the Solicitors Act 1974, section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, and section 83(5)(h) of, and paragraph 20 of Schedule 11 to, the Legal Services Act 2007.

SRA Accounts Rules

You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019
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You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019



Improper use of client account as a banking facility - Case studies

Case studies to be read in conjunction with the warning notice on improper use of client account as a banking facility.

Improper use of client account as a banking facility - Warning notice

Warning notice: How to prevent your firm’s client bank account being improperly used as a banking facility.

Granting authority to withdraw residual client balances - Guidance

Decision making: To help you understand how we make decisions to grant authorisation to a firm to withdraw residual client balances over £500.

Planning for and completing an accountant's report - Guidance

Guidance: Advice to help reporting accountants and a firm’s senior managers/ COFA prepare for and complete an accountant’s report and statutory reporting obligations to us.

Accountant's report and the exemption to obtain one - Guidance

Guidance: Understand when the exemption to the requirement to obtain an accountant’s report will apply.

Do I need to operate a client account? - Guidance

Guidance: Questions and answers for SRA-authorised firms that receive client money in the form of fees and disbursements and want to rely on the exemption not to operate a client account.

Helping you keep accurate client accounting records - Guidance

Guidance: Understand your obligations under the SRA Accounts Rules to keep accurate accounting records relating to the receipt and handling of client money.

Joint accounts and record keeping - Guidance

Guidance: Understand the types of joint accounts that you can operate and the records which you will need to keep in order to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules.

Statement of our position regarding firms operating a client’s own account - Guidance

Guidance: Understand in what circumstances under Rule 10 of the SRA Accounts Rules you can operate a client’s own personal bank account as signatory.

Third party managed accounts - Guidance

Guidance: When and how to use a third party managed account as an alternative to the use of a client account.

Bogus law firms and identity theft - Warning notice

Warning notice: This warning notice explains the serious risks posed to the public and the profession by criminals who set up bogus law firms or branch offices of genuine law firms.

Withdrawal of residual client balances

Use this form to apply for an authority to withdraw funds from client account for balances of £500 and over.

The prescribed circumstances in which you can withdraw client money from client account to pay to a charity of your choice

A residual client account balance is money that you have not returned to your client at the end of a retainer and it is now difficult for you to do so as you cannot identify or trace the client.

Money missing from client account - Warning notice

Warning notice: Relevant to all firms and individuals we regulate but is particularly relevant to you if you are a manager of a firm or a firm's COFA or COLP.