Taking initial instructions from family clients
Taking initial instructions from family clients

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

  • Taking initial instructions from family clients
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority 2019 regulatory regime
  • Initial contact with the client
  • Preliminary checks
  • Initial information to be given to the client
  • Non face-to-face interviews
  • Objectives of the first interview
  • Issues of capacity
  • Information gathering—divorce
  • Information gathering—financial
  • more

This Practice Note is impacted by the decision of the UK on 23 June 2016 to leave the EU. This has implications for practitioners considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit and family law.

Solicitors Regulation Authority 2019 regulatory regime

From 25 November 2019, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Standards and Regulations 2019 are in force, replacing the SRA Handbook and Code of Conduct 2011. Mandatory outcomes and non-mandatory indicative behaviours are replaced with a more principles-based regulatory scheme.

The key requirements of the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 include the SRA:

  1. Principles

  2. Code of Conduct for Solicitors, registered European lawyers (RELs) and registered foreign lawyers (RFLs) (SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors) 2019

  3. Code of Conduct for Firms 2019

  4. Accounts Rules 2019, and

  5. Glossary

Practitioners need to be familiar with their professional obligations under the new SRA Principles, SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors and Code of Conduct for Firms which form part of the Standards and Regulations 2019. For further guidance, see Practice Note: The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regime 2019 for family lawyers.

Initial contact with the client

Initial contact with a client is usually by telephone, letter or email. Anyone who takes initial inquiries from prospective clients should be adequately trained as initial impressions are crucial. There should be