An issue is beginning to emerge on regulation of volume personal injury claims. This is the requirement to ensure that claims handling staff work at the direction and under the super-vision of a suitably qualified lawyer in order to fall within the exemption from Financial Conduct Authority regulation of claims management companies. The SRA Transparency Rules are attracting further regulatory attention with most firms having had to confirm their compliance; guidance was issued on 4 August 2021.
The SRA’s Upholding Professional Standards 2019/20 report addresses several key themes, including sexual harassment, non-disclosure agreements, money laundering, dubious investment schemes, wellbeing, bullying, and improperly brought consumer claims. We are advising many firms on investigations into these issues.
The Law Society has published a useful Practice Note, Providing services and taking on roles outside your practice as a solicitor, which addresses the regulatory and insurance considerations in a number of common situations – school governors, trustee of a charity, non-executive directorships and giving legal advice to friends or family members. There is also a further Practice Note on Solicitors offering legal services to the public from un-regulated entities.
Undertakings have been the focus of much discussion, following the decision of the Supreme Court in Harcus Sinclair LLP and another v Your Lawyers Ltd  UKSC 32, confirming that they are not enforceable against incorporated practices (or non-solicitor practices) under the inherent jurisdiction over solicitors as officers of the court. Guidance is expected from the Law Society. Although the Supreme Court suggested that, pending any legislative change, the issue might be addressed by seeking a personal undertaking from a solicitor, we think that is an un-desirable option for many reasons.
Links to the above are on www.legalrisk.co.uk/News.‹ Back to Publications