Q&As

We are considering working with a non-lawyer, on a self-employed/part time consultancy basis to help promote the firm, eg to chair conferences and present to our client base. What are the regulatory issues we need to consider?

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Produced in partnership with Dr David Smith of JMW Solicitors LLP
Published on LexisPSL on 17/01/2020

The following Practice Compliance Q&A produced in partnership with Dr David Smith of JMW Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • We are considering working with a non-lawyer, on a self-employed/part time consultancy basis to help promote the firm, eg to chair conferences and present to our client base. What are the regulatory issues we need to consider?
  • Advertising
  • Fees and Payment
  • Acting with integrity
  • Supervision and insurance
  • Conflict of interest
  • Self-Employment

There is nothing essentially wrong with law firms employing non-lawyers or with law firms engaging with lawyers or non-lawyers to drive clients. The issues derive from the manner in which this work is done and in which it is remunerated.

Advertising

Even though a non-lawyer is providing the marketing effort the Solicitors Codes of Conduct remain fully applicable to the firm. As with any firm carrying out marketing the more general obligations associated with advertising will also apply.

SRA requirements in relation to publicity are contained in the SRA Principles, the 2019 Codes and the SRA Transparency Rules.

Principle 2 is particularly relevant in relation to publicity—you must act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.

The SRA Codes of Conduct contain specific requirements in relation to client information and publicity. They apply only where you are providing services to the public or a section of the public, by which the SRA means external clients (consumer and commercial).

You must ensure publicity in relation to your practice is accurate and not misleading, including that relating to your charges and the circumstances in which interest is payable by or to clients.

In order to meet these requirements it will be necessary to ensure that the statements being made by the consultant are accurate and that they comply

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