The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to carry out a wide-ranging review of financial protection during which the very existence of compulsory insurance for solicitors will be questioned.
Announcing a “fundamental root and branch review of the whole area of financial protection” at the SRA board meeting in London on Friday, board member Mark Humphries said it would be “all-encompassing – nothing is ruled out or ruled in”.
He added: “It is likely that some form of compulsory insurance for solicitors will remain, but even that is not necessarily ruled in.”
The review will begin immediately and the SRA aims to reach its conclusions in time for next year’s professional indemnity renewal. Mr Humphries said it would be undertaken “from the perspective of what is in the best interests of consumers”.
The review will also look at the enforcement powers and practices of the SRA in the whole area of financial protection, he said. Topics covered will include the minimum terms and conditions of insurance, the assigned risks pool, run-off cover, successor practice rules and the compensation requirement.
Bodies to be consulted during the review will include the Legal Services Board, the Law Society and other representative groups, insurers, the Legal Services Consumer Panel and other consumer bodies, providers and potential providers of legal services.