The Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) constantly publishes new updates to the SRA Handbook. Ensuring that law firms stay on top of their professional and regulatory obligations is becoming a greater burden. Solicitors are answerable not just to the SRA, but also in various respects to the Legal Ombudsman, the Legal Services Board, the Law Society and the Court. It is difficult to think of another profession that has to cope with that scale of regulation. As well as advising individuals who are setting-up a new firm or a legal business on all aspects of the SRA Handbook and the steps they need to take to ensure they comply with their professional and regulatory obligations, we regularly advise established firms that are considering offering new legal (or non-legal) services on the best way to achieve their objectives within the regulatory framework.
Terms of business
A comprehensive retainer agreement is crucial to minimise a firm’s exposure to risks and complaints. Well drafted terms of business can save firms a significant amount of time and cost because they address the relevant issues at the outset. They should set out what the agreed terms are between the firm and its clients and more importantly what happens if things go wrong or one party wants the arrangement to come to an end. Solicitors are under an obligation to put certain information to their clients in writing, such as their complaints procedure, the basis on which they charge, file retention policies and their limits of liability. Including that information in the firm’s terms of business avoids doubt as to whether or not the firm has provided that information. We have spent many hours updating and refining our own terms of business and engagement letter and those of many firms.
How Fox & Partners can help…
- draft comprehensive terms of business and a template engagement letter for your firm or offer a comprehensive review of your firm’s existing terms of business and engagement letter
- advise on regulatory and compliance queries arising from the SRA Handbook
- assist you to draw-up a tailored compliance plan to help your firm comply with its regulatory obligations.
Please call us on 020 7618 2400