SRA Handbook hits version 8

SRA Handbook hits version 8

The Solicitors Regulation Authority published on 1st October the 8th version of the SRA Handbook 2011 – just 6 months after the previous version.

The key changes fall into six groups:

  • The SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2013 – 14 – changes range from the minor (changing the name of the agreement with insurers from “the Qualifying Insurer’s Agreement” to the “Participating Insurer’s Agreement”) to the totally game changing (closure of the assigned risks pool and variable renewal dates)
  • changes to make consequential amendment relating to the new SRA Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) Regulations 2013, implementing the new SRA quality assurance scheme for criminal advocates, which came into effect on 30 September 2013.
  • Changes to the SRA Authorisation Rules, SRA Practising Regulations and SRA Accounts Rules to implement the proposals in the Red Tape Initiative – Second Phase. Broadly, these amendments remove the duty of the COLP/COFA in a “traditional” law firm to report non-material breaches of the rules, and simplify the practising certificate renewal process following certain events, such as the imposition of disciplinary sanctions.
  • The SRA Overseas Rules 2013 introduce a new section to the SRA Handbook containing new overseas provisions and there are consequential amendments to a number of other sets of rules, in particular the SRA Principles, SRA Code of Conduct (which now includes a new Chapter 13A dealing with practice overseas), and the definitions relating to overseas practice in the Glossary.
  • A set of miscellaneous amendments including:
    • correcting minor mistakes;
    • changes aimed at clarifying and better aligning the Handbook with certain provisions with the Legal Services Act (e.g. the changes to the SRA Disciplinary Procedure Rules); and
    • updating terminology and references.
  • The SRA Suitability Test is updated in line with changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 which introduced ‘protected’ convictions and cautions.

Full details of the changes can be found on the SRA web site at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/release-notes/release-notes-v8.page

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