The Solicitors Regulation Authority today revealed the ‘digital badge’ that will eventually have to be included on every regulated firm’s website.
The SRA's new digital badge is designed to help consumers.
The image is designed to help the public identify which firms are regulated so they can make informed choices.
At present, use of the image on websites is voluntary, but at some point next year – likely to be in the spring – it will be mandatory for all solicitor firms to display on the front page of their website.
The SRA states that due to the software through which the badge is provided, only regulated firms will be able to display it.
The 'smart logo' was developed by specialist partner Yoshki Digital under wider reforms aimed at giving the public more information about legal services providers. The cost of designing the badge has not yet been disclosed.
It is available in three different colour variations and in both English and Welsh, with firms able to choose which design best suits them.
The SRA said: ‘Provided via software which will make sure only regulated firms can display it, the badge will show online visitors that you are regulated and provide them with a link to information on the protections this provides. Displaying the badge will help you differentiate yourself from unregulated providers.’
If a visitor to a firm’s website clicks on the badge, they will be taken to an SRA-hosted page which confirms that the firm is regulated and outlines what protections this regulated status provides.
The context to the badge is the concern raised at the SRA allowing solicitors to practise in unregulated businesses, without the client protection that comes from a regulated provider. The idea is that this distinction will be made clearer by the presence of the badge.