Issue 68 - July 2018
Welcome to the latest issue of SRA Update. It’s that time of year when most of us are thinking about our summer holidays, but there is still lots to think about in our sector. In this issue, we talk about new developments in claiming for mis-sold payment protection insurance, and the latest Insurance Distribution Directive.
We have also finalised the detail of the changes that our programme of regulatory reform will bring, including what firms will need to do to provide people with better information on pricing and services. And finally, we are consulting, jointly with the Law Society, on fee levels for the next practising year – there is still time to have your say.
The Government’s cap on fees that can be claimed for helping clients claim for compensation due to mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) has been introduced. The small number of firms operating in this area will only be allowed to take 20 per cent.
A new insurance distribution directive comes into place in October. The Financial Conduct Authority and Legal Services Board have agreed the approach, while we will be publishing guidance on the new directive in the coming months.
We have finalised our proposals for reforming the Handbook, making it easier-to-follow and placing more trust in your professional judgment to do the right thing by your client. This has been a four-year process involving extensive consultation.
Our Better Information programme is aimed at giving potential clients the details they need to make the right choices about the legal services they receive. Too many members of the public and small businesses miss out on using a solicitor for their legal issue because they do not know what help is available and at what cost.
We are consulting with the Law Society on the level of fees to be charged from October. We propose that the amount we need to raise for our budget through PC fees will not rise in 2018/19. Compensation Fund contributions, however, will need to increase to cover potential claims. The consultation runs until 12 July.
We have published our indicative fees calculator to assist you with budget planning. Once the detail has been agreed by the Law Society Council and the Legal Services Board, we will, as ever, make this information available in the final fees calculator so that you can plan your budgets more accurately.
Some law firms that have successfully bid for civil Legal Aid contracts might have done so on a joint venture basis, and will therefore need to be authorised. Such firms should get in touch with us as soon as possible to make sure they are approved in time.
Alpha Insurance A/S was declared bankrupt on 11 May 2018. This impacts on all closed firms that have run-off cover with Alpha. If you need to make a claim or check the status of an existing claim, you should contact the claims-handling agent detailed in your Alpha Insurance policy documents.
Cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime in the country, accounting for more than 75 percent of all reports to the police. Law firms, handling large amounts of client money, are prime targets for such criminals. Are you doing all that you can to minimise the risk of your firm being caught out?
Want to know the high-risk scams that could affect your business? Our new round-up brings together the latest risks and advice on how to help keep your firm safe.
Are you worried about your health affecting your work? We recognise that life as a solicitor can be challenging. The demands and pressures can easily build and make you feel like things are getting on top of you. We can signpost you to sources of help and make adjustments for you if you are in difficulty.
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