Issue 74 - October 2019
Welcome to the latest issue of SRA Update. As ever there is plenty going on, especially as the new legal year has just started. With less than two months to go until the introduction of our new Standards and Regulations, you can find out about the new support materials we are putting in place to help you and your firm prepare.
We also have details about how we are working with insurers to prepare for PII changes which will come in with the new regulations. The renewals period is now open, while for those of you who are, or who employ, European lawyers, we also explain what you need to do by 31 October to prepare in case of a no-deal EU Exit.
To help you prepare for the introduction of our new Standards and Regulations we have published the first in a series of guidance documents.
When our new Standards and Regulations come into effect, your professional indemnity insurance policy will need to change to reflect our requirements. Your insurer is aware of this and should have made all the necessary arrangements. If they have not already done so, they will tell you how this will be done.
In the event that the UK leaves the EU later this month without a deal, Registered European Lawyers (RELs) need to make sure they renew their registration by 31 October. If they do not and are revoked, they will not be able to work as an REL during any transitional period. If you employ English or Welsh solicitors who work in the EU, you should contact regulators within those countries regarding the implications of any no-deal exit.
Owners of closed firms should be aware that the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) will cease to provide post six year run-off professional indemnity cover after 30 September 2020. That means that former firm owners should consider whether they need to make arrangements to cover for claims made after that date.
The National Crime Agency has published a newsletter providing information and case studies you might find useful regarding submitting suspicious activity reports (SARs). For more advice and information on anti-money laundering visit the dedicated page on our website.
Booking for our Compliance Officers Conference are now closed but we have a waiting list you can join. If you've booked and cannot attend, please email us at email@example.com so that we can free up a space. You can also follow the event live on our YouTube channel.
Our Professional Ethics team regularly post answers to frequently-asked or pertinent questions to our website, which could save you a phone call. The latest questions concern what you will need to do when the new Standards & Regulations come in to force on the 25 November to meet the requirement to identify your client.
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?
We have been made aware of a new scam involving cloned cheques that could affect your firm. While responsibility for eliminating the crime is with the banks, you should still be aware of the issue in case there are consequences for you and your clients.
Do you want to know about 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? Life as a solicitor can be challenging and the demands and pressures can easily build up. We can signpost you to sources of help and make adjustments for you if you are in difficulty.
We are consulting on our next Corporate Strategy, which maps out our aims and objectives for the next three years. This is your chance to give your views on the priorities we have identified.
We are currently consulting on proposals designed to make sure that high standards of advocacy are consistently delivered by solicitors. Proposed changes include changes to how solicitor advocates are assessed and qualifying requirements for undertaking advocacy in more serious youth court cases.
We will be at this year’s London Law Expo in London on Tuesday 8 October. The one-day event consists of five presentation stages, 50 expert speakers and more than 70 exhibitors. SRA Chief Executive Paul Philip will be joining a panel to discuss the threats and opportunities from increasing deregulation.
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