The SRA have opened a consultation on revisions to the Handbook. The proposed revisions include:
- Revisions to the Principles governing the conduct of solicitors;
- The creation of two codes of conduct – one for solicitors as individuals and one for firms – which would be shorter and more focused than the current code;
- Removal of the current restrictions on solicitors from providing non-reserved legal activities through alternative legal services providers;
- The regulation of special bodies (such as charities and not for profit bodies) providing reserved legal activities; and
- Changes to the protections available to consumers, in part to reflect the way services are provided differently by solicitors’ firms and other legal services providers.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 21st September 2016. The SRA also intend to issue a further consultation later in the year regarding the “Practice Framework Rules” and their enforcement policy. After both of these consultations have been completed, it is anticipated that the revised Handbook will be published.