SRA Update Issue 82 July 2020
Welcome to Issue 82 of SRA Update.
While lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased, we are all continuing to adapt to these unusual times. In this issue you can find news of an extension period for the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, information on the first phase of our IT upgrade, and reports on how legal tech can help people access the services they need.
We have been working to upgrade our information technology infrastructure to make sure it provides the systems needed to provide you with up-to-date and efficient services. The first phase of this IT programme, which upgrades the mySRA portal, is now live. You can access your mySRA account to see these improvements using your existing login credentials.
Our Board has decided to continue the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, which provides post six-year run-off cover for closed firms, for a further 12 months. In 2016, it was agreed that the fund would close on 30 September 2020, but the hardening insurance market means we have given firms and the profession longer to work with insurers to put suitable products in place for those who may want to buy this voluntary extra cover.
You will all be contacted over the next week by researchers IRN Research, inviting you to take part in an independent review into the impact of our transparency rules. IRN will ask you to have your say on the rules, your experience of them and what impact you think they have had, by completing a short online survey.
Find out more about how law firms and other providers are increasingly using technology and innovation to win new business and improve public access to legal services, in the newly published report into our recent Legal Access Challenge.
While we remain in lockdown, we have been able to re-open the telephone services provided by our Contact Centre and Ethics Guidance helpline. You can now give us a call to get an answer to your query.
Watch our webinar on July 8 to find out how the introduction of the SQE will help smaller law firms recruit, train and develop their own staff.
We are hosting a webinar on July 16 to explore the “double rainbow”, which describes members of the LGBTQ+ community that also have also been diagnosed with autism or similar conditions.
The latest issue of our monthly newsletter covering our Solicitors Qualifying Examination, SQE Update, is out now. This bulletin covers quality assuring the SQE assessments, new qualifying work experience Q&As and how to watch our upcoming and recent webinars.
For the first time, this year we are giving you the opportunity to have a say on our plans for the next 12 months. Our 2020-21 Business Plan sets out our key areas of work and how we intend to allocate our budget over the coming year. Consultation on the plan is open until 26 August, and we would value your input.
As part of our Business Plan consultation we also want your views on the principles which will underpin how our Board decided on the SRA Compensation Fund annual contributions.
While the Government continues to ease the restrictions caused by the pandemic, many of you will still be working in unfamiliar ways. Visit our dedicated Covid-19 pages for guidance and support on how to effectively run your day-to-day business during lockdown while still complying with our regulatory requirements
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.
Welcome to the Compliance News section of SRA Update Issue 82.
While lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased, we are all continuing to adapt to these unusual times and we know firms are working hard to provide legal services to your clients. There is more information here on keeping your website up to date, a report on potential issues related to cavity wall insulation claims, an update our own IT upgrade programme and a reminder about Compliance Conference.
We have been working hard over the last three years to radically update our information technology infrastructure to make sure it provides the systems needed to provide you and your clients with the services you deserve. The first phase of this huge programme, to upgrade the mySRA portal, is now live.
The continuing lockdown means the public are increasingly shopping online while firms are potentially looking for as much business as possible, so it has never been more important that you are complying with our transparency rules.
At this time of year, we would normally be telling you about this year’s Compliance Conference, currently scheduled for October. We are currently looking at our options for this hugely popular event and will of course update you with our plans when they are finalised. If you missed last year’s conference, you can catch up on what happened here.
We work closely with other organisations that regulate the work of partner companies for law firms. We have heard suggestions that some solicitors might not be fully compliant in their handling of claims relating to cavity wall insulation that has been incorrectly installed.
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