The Law Society has revealed that it is asking the Solicitors Regulation Authority to clarify its position on firms making payments to a domestic violence helpline service for referrals from clients.
Chancery Lane revealed today that it was aware of concerns raised by 'a number of solicitors' about a regulatory settlement agreement under which Harrow legal aid firm Duncan Lewis accepted a rebuke from the SRA relating to fees paid to the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV).
A regulatory settlement agreement deemed the payment of £170 per referral to the NCDV to constitute a breach of Outcomes 9.4 and 9.6 of the SRA Code of Conduct.
In a statement today, Chancery Lane said it is 'aware that a number of solicitors have concerns about the implications of this regulatory settlement agreement. Concerns have been expressed from a regulatory compliance perspective by firms who may have worked with NCDV. Others have expressed concerns about the implications for victims of domestic violence.'
The Society is encouraging the SRA to clarify its position 'as a matter of urgency'. It advises practitioners who may be affected to call the SRA’s Ethics Helpline on 0370 606 2577.