There is a “huge future” for high street law firms, but the way ahead will be for practices to become more specialised, the new chairman of the Sole Practitioners Group (SPG) has said.
The number of lawyers demanding an independent review of their treatment at the hands of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has gone up, despite a decline in members of the public making a similar request.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been forced to rely on outsourcing and recruit more staff after a 49% surge in referrals to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. It has also identified a series of emerging risks, including public sector cuts.
Sole practitioners have warned of “dire consequences” if the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) goes ahead with its plans to cut the minimum limit for indemnity cover from £2m to £500,000.
Sole practices are responsible for 45% of the latest claims made on the solicitors’ compensation fund, despite making up only around a third of firms at the time, research for the Solicitors Regulation Authority has found.
The Law Society council yesterday gave the body’s management a bloody nose after rejecting its proposals to remove representation for groups representing black solicitors, sole practitioners and solicitors working in-house in commerce and industry, and local government.
The third edition of the SRA Handbook in just seven months has gone live after being approved by the Legal Services Board. A fourth edition in less than a year since the Handbook went live on 6 October 2011 should be necessary in June.
The Solicitor Sole Practitioners Group could decide tomorrow whether to seek a special general meeting of the Law Society that would authorise a profession-wide poll on solicitors’ opposition to alternative business structures.