Solicitors have just a few days left to object to plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s that could risk deregulating the profession, the Law Society has warned.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) is considering an application by the SRA to change its regulatory arrangements as part of its Looking to the Future proposals.
The Society warned when the SRA submitted its application earlier this month that the changes could create different tiers of solicitors and reduce consumer protections. But Chancery Lane is now encouraging solicitors to object to the proposals themselves.
President Christina Blacklaws said: ‘4 September is the cut off point for solicitors to contact the LSB to object to the SRA’s suggested changes to its handbook. The proposals would create a dangerously complex marketplace for legal services which would be baffling for many consumers who could struggle to work out who is fully regulated and who isn’t. Every single solicitor has stake in this. Public trust and the standing of the solicitor profession are on the line.’
When it objected to the proposals the Society said it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect clients to understand the difference between a recognised sole practice and a sole solicitor.
Another change would allow solicitors to deliver non-reserved legal services from unregulated entities, which the Society says would remove or reduce protections such as mandatory professional indemnity insurance, access to the compensation fund and legal professional privilege.