Law firms facing financial problems have been urged to contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority for support and advice.
SRA supervisors are already getting in touch with practices that may need help, as part of the regulator’s new approach under outcomes-focused regulation.
Financial stability was one of six key risk areas identified by the SRA’s supervision team during a pilot study last year.
Of over 100 firms, around a quarter showed evidence of financial instability. This ranged from a lack of adequate systems to wanting, or needing, to close. Work has already begun with these firms to offer guidance and, where necessary, ensure an orderly closedown and minimum disruption to clients, the SRA said.
SRA supervisors are now contacting other firms showing evidence of being at financial risk. They will be offering guidance, which may include involving other agencies who can help, or working with firms to pursue an orderly wind-down.
Marc Baker, SRA head of supervision, said: ‘The message we are trying to get across is that firms should contact us when they start to experience problems, rather than leave it until the situation becomes more serious, or even worse, [until] it is too late.’
To contact the SRA email Contactcentre@sra.org.uk or telephone 0870 606 2555.