SRA regulatory regime—from 2019
SRA regulatory regime—from 2019

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

  • SRA regulatory regime—from 2019
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Who the SRA regulates
  • Direct regulation of individuals
  • Indirect regulation of employees
  • Firm-based regulation
  • Activities regulated by the SRA
  • Reserved activities
  • Immigration work
  • Other legal services provided to the public
  • More...

The way the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulates the solicitors’ profession has been evolving since its inception—from a prescriptive rules-based regime in the early days of the SRA, via outcomes-focused regulation between 2011 and 2019, to a more principles-based regulatory scheme from 2019 onwards. This Practice Note outlines the SRA regulatory regime, in force from 25 November 2019. It reflects the requirements of the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. It regulates the solicitors’ profession in England and Wales—both individuals and entities providing legal services.

The SRA’s purpose is to ensure consumers receive a good service and that the rule of law is upheld. It does not represent the solicitors’ profession, which is the function of the Law Society.

For more information on the structure, role and powers of the SRA, see Practice Note: Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Who the SRA regulates

Until March 2009, the SRA concentrated on regulating individual solicitors rather than the entities through which they practised. Since then, as well as individual solicitors and overseas lawyers, it has regulated all types of business model as entities, including sole practitioners and alternative business structures (ABSs). This is known as firm-based regulation.

Direct regulation of individuals

The SRA directly authorises and regulates the following individuals in England and Wales:

  1. solicitors

  2. registered European lawyers (RELs)

  3. registered foreign lawyers

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