Looking to the future: SRA proposals for reform of the Handbook
Looking to the future: SRA proposals for reform of the Handbook

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

  • Looking to the future: SRA proposals for reform of the Handbook
  • The SRA's new approach to regulation
  • Allowing more flexible practice
  • Practical implications of the proposals
  • What happens next?

Less than five years since the SRA Handbook 2011 came into force in October 2011 (and sixteen versions later), the SRA published a consultation paper Looking to the future—flexibility and public protection in June 2016. The consultation set out proposals to:

  1. rewrite the SRA Principles and Code of Conduct, including splitting the Code into two separate documents, one for firms and one for individuals

  2. allow solicitors to provide non-reserved activities to the public from businesses that are not regulated by the SRA or any other approved legal services regulator

In June 2017, the SRA published its responses to this initial consultation.

A separate consultation running alongside this one set out proposals for a fundamental rewrite of the Accounts Rules. See Practice Note: Looking to the future: SRA review of the accounts rules.

This Practice Note considers:

  1. the drivers behind the SRA's plans for reform of the Handbook as a whole

  2. the SRA’s detailed consultation proposals to allow solicitors to deliver services to the public from within unregulated providers

For details of the proposals to rewrite the Principles and Code of Conduct, see Practice Note: Looking to the future: SRA review of the Principles and Code of Conduct.

The SRA's new approach to regulation

Underpinning the whole Handbook review is a desire to remove barriers for solicitors and clients and to introduce more flexibility in