Solicitors can expect to experience a different regulator once the SRA has implemented its latest plans.
The organisation today finalised its three-year strategy that will establish the aims and priorities for the rest of the decade.
Setting high professional standards, ensuring regulation is proportionate and giving consumers more information are all included in the to-do list.
The SRA also vows to work better together and with others to improve its ’effectiveness and delivery of regulatory functions’.
Asked what visible changes solicitors can expect to see by 2020, executive director Richard Collins said the emphasis is on an organisation ‘more focused on delivering better customer service’.
He added: ‘[Solicitors] will notice change in interaction with us as an organisation, with even better levels of responsiveness and timeliness.
‘We will have completed the role-out of IT programmes and should definitely see better online services. The days of sending in paper forms will be gone.’
The SRA has already made preparations for meeting its aims around consumer information, with a consultation underway on forcing law firms to publish data on price and description of services.
Handbook changes are expected to remove rules around being ‘qualified to supervise’ and to allow a solicitor to provide reserved legal services, in certain circumstances, on a freelance basis to the public.
Following a consultation on the strategy which garnered 21 responses, the SRA has added the changing obligations on law firms regarding General Data Protection Regulations and placed greater emphasis on anti-money laundering.
Paul Philip, SRA chief executive, said the regulator had already improved customer service, cut bureaucracy, and made changes which will help the public in the last three years.
‘Now it is time to look ahead. We have consulted on our new corporate strategy for the first time and received a range of views.
‘The responses show broad support for our approach to creating a diverse, open and modern legal market, helping people to access legal services and enabling firms to thrive.’