SRA’s ‘Small Firms Team’ hopes to Build Stronger Relationships with Solicitors

Graduates at Raffingers

Over the last year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been trying to build a stronger relationship with sole practitioners and small solicitor firms by introducing changes to specifically help them. Their last set of changes concerned reducing costs for smaller firms by altering the Account Rules. To continue their support, as of May 2015, the SRA now has a new team that specialises solely on advice, guidance and compliance issues for small firms. The launch of the SRA’s specialist team was in response to the replies they received following their discussion paper last year. The small firms that responded specifically asked SRA for more specialist support and for them to do more to involve small firms in regulatory developments. Consequently, the SRA’s ‘small firm’s team’ was born. The aim of SRA’s ‘small firms team’ is to help firms of a smaller size comply with rules and regulations. To this end, small firms can expect to receive:

  • An Ethic Guidance Helpline
  • A Dedicated Small firms page website
  • A compliance guide
  • Focussed webinars on key issues

Alongside this, small firms will also have access to informal virtual reference groups where they can discuss key issues concerning compliance. Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive stated, “The team understand the needs of small firms and will be able to offer advice that is appropriate for a firm’s size and circumstance. It will offer a first point of contact for small firms making business easier for small firms whilst protecting the public”. This latest announcement from SRA shows that they are taking the responses from small firms seriously and are committed to providing targeted support and regulations that are appropriate to all solicitor types. We now just have to wait and see how effective this service is. To find our more visit the SRA’s small firms page (http://www.sra.org.uk/smallfirms/)