SRA Principles


Introduction

The SRA Principles comprise the fundamental tenets of ethical behaviour that we expect all those that we regulate to uphold. This includes all individuals we authorise to provide legal services (solicitors, RELs and RFLs), as well as authorised firms and their managers and employees. For licensed bodies, these apply to those individuals, and the part of the body (where applicable), involved in delivering the services we regulate in accordance with the terms of your licence.

Should the Principles come into conflict, those which safeguard the wider public interest (such as the rule of law, and public confidence in a trustworthy solicitors' profession and a safe and effective market for regulated legal services) take precedence over an individual client's interests. You should, where relevant, inform your client of the circumstances in which your duty to the Court and other professional obligations will outweigh your duty to them.

The Principles and Codes are underpinned by our Enforcement Strategy, which explains in more detail our approach to taking regulatory action in the public interest.

This introduction does not form part of the SRA Principles.

The principles are as follows:

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Supplemental notes

Made by the SRA Board on 30 May 2018.

Made under section 31 of the Solicitors Act 1974, section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and section 83 of the Legal Services Act 2007.

SRA Principles

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

Guidance

Law firms carrying on insurance distribution activities

This guidance explains key changes introduced by the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).

Access to and disclosure of an incapacitated person's will

To clarify circumstances where a solicitor can disclose a copy of a client's will to a property and financial affairs attorney.

SRA Principle 2 - public trust and confidence - Case study

Case study: Behaviour within or outside practice which undermines public confidence damages not only any individual involved but also the ability of the legal profession as whole to serve society.

Offering inducements to potential clients or clients

To highlight your professional obligations and issues which need to be considered with the offering of inducements to existing or prospective clients.

Drafting and preparation of wills

Areas of concern associated with will writing and the professional obligations of those responsible for the preparation and drafting of wills.

Dealing with claims for mis sold payment protection insurance

To remind practitioners of their professional duties when accepting and dealing with claims relating to mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Payment Protection Insurance claims

This warning notice is relevant to all those we regulate acting in claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

Risk factors in personal injury claims

This Warning Notice is relevant to solicitors and all regulated persons who take personal injury referrals from third parties, work closely with them or act on their instructions.

Public trust and confidence

To explain when you are likely to be found to have breached your obligation under SRA Principle 2 to act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence.

Tax avoidance your duties

Solicitors and firms advising clients about tax, or handle client matters of tax affairs, schemes or arrangements. It is important that you are aware of these arrangements.

Money laundering and terrorist financing suspicious activity reports

This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; you should be aware of the warning signs, and they may require you to take action in order to avoid committing a criminal offence or breaching your professional obligations under the SRA Handbook.

Driving excess alcohol convictions

This guidance relates to convictions for driving with excess alcohol and may also apply to offences of driving under the influence of drugs.

Acting with honesty

This guidance is to help you understand your obligations and how to comply with them. We may have regard to it when exercising our regulatory functions.

Topic guide: A guide to the application of Principle 1

This guidance sets out examples of circumstances in which consideration should be given to whether Principle 1 is engaged.

Q&As on the ban of personal injury referral fees

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) introduced in 2013 a ban on referral fees in personal injury actions.