Outsourcing and the SRA
Outsourcing and the SRA

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

  • Outsourcing and the SRA
  • SRA Handbook
  • Law Society guidance
  • Lexcel
  • What is outsourcing?
  • Different categories of outsourcing
  • What are the SRA requirements for each category of outsourcing?
  • Outsourcing and client care
  • Outsourcing and confidentiality
  • Outsourcing and conflicts of interest
  • more

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements that are specific to the legal sector in relation to outsourcing.

For guidance on requirements under data protection legislation, see Practice Notes:

  1. Data protection and outsourcing under the GDPR

  2. Offshoring—law firms

For guidance on general risk management best practice, see Practice Notes:

  1. Due diligence

  2. Limitation of liability clauses

  3. Step-in rights and other remedies

  4. Outsourcing and TUPE: law firm outsourcing

Whenever you engage in outsourcing activities, you will have to navigate a complex compliance obstacle course. We have attempted to simplify this in Outsourcing compliance lifecycle diagram.

SRA Handbook

The SRA does not prescribe in detail:

  1. what outsourcing is

  2. what you can and cannot outsource

  3. how to outsource

  4. what systems and controls you should have in place

However, outsourcing is one of the few areas where the SRA has provided some additional guidance. This guidance does not form part of the SRA Handbook. It is therefore not compulsory, but it should certainly be considered good practice and is reflected in this note.

Law Society guidance

The Law Society has produced a guidance note on outsourcing, which represents its view of good practice. It is not compulsory, but following the Law Society's guidance may help you to account to the SRA for your actions.


The Lexcel Practice Management Standard imposes certain requirements in relation to outsourcing—see