The Solicitors Regulation Authority has published resources to help solicitors prepare for the introduction of its new Standards and Regulation on 25 November.
A ‘one stop shop ‘ webpage features a range of videos, infographics, links and guidance materials. It focusses on key areas of change from the SRA’s existing Handbook, including where the new regulations offer opportunities to work differently in the future such as on a freelance basis.
Specific sections cover what the new regulations mean for individual solicitors, law firms, solicitors working outside law firms and those working in-house.
The SRA said a trial version of the new Standards and Regulations was already available online and had been developed based on feedback from more than 2,000 solicitors.
It believes this will be more user-friendly than the current SRA Handbook.
Further guidance and support materials will continue to be added to the new webpage and online Standards and Regulations over the coming months, the SRA said.
Paul Philip, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: “The new Standards and Regulations are designed to make life easier for firms. We have removed unnecessary bureaucracy, while protecting the public and providing a clear focus on what really matters – the high professional standards that have to be at the heart of every solicitor’s practice.
“These changes have been four years in the making and have benefitted from input from across the profession. We have already provided a range of resources to help with the new approach and this additional material builds on that. This is not just about compliance but helping everyone - whether working inside or outside a law firm – to understand the opportunities to work differently.”
The SRA has meanwhile confirmed that it would be using the term ‘freelance solicitors’ to describe individual solicitors who are working on their own, without being part of a regulated law firm or unregulated organisation.
Different rules, eligibility criteria and protection requirements, including what insurance they must provide, will apply based on whether a freelance solicitor does or does not offer reserved activities, it said.