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SRA Accounts Rules – are you using these to your advantage?

SRA Accounts Rules – are you using these to your advantage?

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

As the new SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) Accounts Rules have been in force for just over a year, it's a good time to review the rules and what they mean for you in practice.

Since the implementation of the SRA Rules in November 2019, you should have been able to reduce your administrative burden when operating a client account:

  • The 14-day rule can be replaced with a monthly (or daily) review.
  • The notification of residual balances can be eased, but in turn, the new SRA rules were beefed up to emphasise that offering banking services to clients is really frowned upon.
  • Disbursements are easier to handle.

By now, you should have considered the SRA Codes of Conduct for Solicitors and Firms and, in particular, whether your internal training on these codes is adequate.

If you haven't already, you’ll need to think about:

  • Whether you understand the new definitions for client money and disbursements.
  • How you deal with residual balances and avoid falling foul of the rules prohibiting banking services.
  • The new processes to take advantage of the simplification of rules 17, 20 & 21.
  • Training on the new rules and codes of conduct.
  • Clients' own accounts that you operate as sole signatory and making sure these are reconciled to comply with Rule 10.
  • Updating client care letters.

Need help?

Our specialist Legal team can offer you practical advice on using the new SRA rules to your advantage. Please get in touch with your usual Larking Gowen contact. You can find contact details on the Our People section of the Larking Gowen website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk.

John Atkins

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