After a wait of more than two years, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced 25 November 2019 as the date that the new Accounts Rules affecting law firms will come into effect.
This follows a long consultation and development period, both within the SRA and with the wider public, and the final approval by the Legal Services Board late last year.
We are still waiting for the supporting guidance, and to many this will be a critical factor in helping firms apply the new, much shorter, set of rules. Anna Bradley, Chair of the SRA, has announced that guidance will be published over the coming months – presumably in advance of the ‘go live’ date. What this guidance will look like remains a mystery and we will give further news when we know more.
The changes are not confined to just the new Accounts Rules, and on 25 November we will also see the new regulations around the two separate codes of conduct for firms and individual solicitors, the ability for solicitors to carry out ‘non-reserved’ work from unregulated businesses and the beginning of freelance solicitors.
Finally, the Digital Badge Scheme, which has been a voluntary initiative since last year, will become mandatory on that date.
We are more than happy to help and advise law firms on interpreting the new Accounts Rules in preparation of the effective date. We have been training law firms and finance staff on this subject for over a year now and will be running a variety of seminars over the coming months to explain the implications of the new Accounts Rules. Please contact Ian Johnson for more information.