Introductions to third parties—general regulatory requirements
Introductions to third parties—general regulatory requirements

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Introductions to third parties—general regulatory requirements
  • Difference between introduction to and instructing a third party
  • What is an introduction?
  • SRA Handbook
  • Core duties
  • Restricting freedom of choice
  • Financial services, mortgage, insurance and protection contracts
  • Commission and financial benefits
  • Separate businesses
  • Equality and diversity
  • more

This Practice Note explains generic regulatory requirements that apply when you introduce a client to a third party, such as a financial advisor, estate agent or other lawyer. This is not the same as instructing an expert, a barrister or another third party on your client’s matter. For more guidance on instructing an expert, a barrister or another third party, see: Instructing third parties—overview.

Difference between introduction to and instructing a third party

Chapter 6 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 imposes specific obligations in relation to introductions to third parties. There is no definition of 'third party', but the introductory notes to chapter 6 of the Code give the following examples:

  1. another lawyer

  2. a financial services provider

This suggests chapter 6 relates to introducing (or referring) your client to external third parties, rather than instructing third parties such as barristers or experts on behalf of your client as part of the matter you are handling for them. In practical terms, the difference is:

  1. where you introduce the client to a third party:

    1. the third party advises the client independently of your firm

    2. you are not responsible for the advice given by the third party

    3. the third party has a direct relationship with the client

    4. the third party invoices the client directly

  2. where you instruct a third party on

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