Welcome to the latest issue of SRA Update. We continue to live and work in challenging times and I know that a large number of you are worried about what effect the lockdown will have on your practice. We have heard about the steps Government is taking to ease some of the restrictions and we all know there is some way to go.
This edition covers the resources we have put in place to help you, as well as information on our new series of virtual events and an opportunity to see the planned new look for mySRA. As ever, do let us have your feedback.
If your firm is struggling to renew its indemnity insurance policy because of practical difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be able to negotiate a further extension to your cover. You will, however, need to apply to us for a waiver. Find further information on our coronavirus information pages.
Visit our special coronavirus pages for guidance and support on upholding your obligations and running your business while dealing with the challenges of the lockdown. This includes queries on Accounts Rules, will writing, complying with anti-money laundering regulations and advice for students and trainees.
Over the next few weeks we are staging a series of free webinars designed to help you with many of the key challenges you may be facing at this time. Topics range from practising during the coronavirus to day-to-day issues such as complying with our Accounts Rules or creating inclusive workplaces.
We have added additional guidance to our Your Health, Your Career pages in light of the coronavirus lockdown. These pages offer advice on how to make sure you stay well while addressing the many varied challenges of work.
While the coronavirus lockdown means we are currently unable to take telephone calls through our Contact Centre or Ethics Guidance helpline, we are still very much here to help you at this difficult time. Our ability to respond to emails remains unaffected, so please use this method if you need to get in touch.
As we continue to develop our systems and improve the service we offer, we have taken a closer look at your experiences of using mySRA. We asked hundreds of you to work with us to make mySRA more intuitive and straightforward. This is your opportunity to see the planned new layout.
The winners of our Legal Access Challenge, which awarded grants to help develop technology which will increase access to justice were announced last month. Read more about the winning projects, an app which will deliver advice to domestic abuse victims and a chatbot that will help with social care justice issues.
The Interlaw Diversity Forum is currently developing a report on inclusion, diversity and culture in the legal sector, particularly in relation to career progression. If you have 15 minutes to spare, please support this work by completing a short online survey on your own experiences and thoughts in this area.
Our regular bulletin on developments of our new Solicitors Qualifying Examination, SQE Update, has been published. This bulletin covers the updated SQE1 sample questions, along with some further analysis of the SQE1 pilot and how to get involved in our April webinars
Read our latest answers to the most common questions you have been asking. Recent additions cover how to remotely witness wills, the impacts of furlough, complying with money laundering regulations, and contingencies for trainees due to qualify but unable to complete their Professional Skills Course.
With national crime agencies reporting a 400 per cent increase in cyber-attacks on UK businesses since March and specific cases involving law firms being reported to the SRA, read our guide on how you and your employees can stay cyber safe while working remotely.
The National Crime Agency has updated its glossary codes for making Suspicious Activity Reports. Solicitors have an obligation to make a report if they suspect that their firm is being used to launder money. The glossary codes will help you when filing a report to make sure the information you supply is as useful as possible.
With lockdown meaning the public are increasingly shopping online while firms are potentially looking for as much business as possible, it has never been more important that you are complying with our transparency rules.