SRA hits back after Law Society attack on indemnity reforms

Print This Post

10 September 2015


Paul Philip

Philip: SRA will come back with specific recommendations

Paul Philip, chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), has hit back after the regulator’s indemnity insurance reforms were fiercely criticised by the Law Society.

Mr Philip said the latest plans, set out in a discussion paper published in July, contained “absolutely no recommendations”, despite what “other organisations” had said.

The chief executive told yesterday’s SRA board meeting that the regulator would “come back with specific recommendations late this year or early next year”.

Mr Philip described how the Legal Services Board said it needed more evidence before approving last year’s reforms plans, including reducing the minimum level of compulsory cover to £500,000.

“We have taken a wider view than we did before, but we have made absolutely no new recommendations”.

Responding to the discussion paper earlier this month, the Law Society said the regulator’s “starting points remain flawed” and the plans could “only increase the burden on firms and raise uncertainty” as to whether firms were complying with the rules.

The society said the paper appeared to be “driven by a desire to reduce solicitors’ overheads” and claimed cost savings which were not substantiated.

It said: “No one is calling out for radical changes of this kind. Firms and insurers are used to working with the existing protections and consumers rely upon them. Conveyancing firms in particular would find their business severely hampered.”

After the SRA board meeting, Crispin Passmore, executive director for policy, told a press briefing: “Over the last 12 months we’ve been trying to build evidence to make changes and are in discussions with insurers about data sharing.

“We have to justify regulation, not justify change. All regulation is costly and is paid for ultimately by consumers. If reducing the minimum level of cover to £500,000 reduces the cost of legal services, then it is a benefit.”

Mr Passmore said that for small firms, a 10% reduction in their indemnity insurance premiums could be significant. “It might not change the world, but you’ve got to keep chipping away.”

Tags: , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Succeeding online – what lawyers want to know

Chris Davidson Moore LT

Before you spend any money, it’s vital that you understand where your audience is and what the most effective channels for reaching them are. No matter what your budget is, you want to make sure that you are using it smartly. For sure, depending on your area of practice and location(s), the level of budget required to gain and maintain online prominence can vary quite dramatically, but in our experience, smaller firms can compete with their larger, more illustrious neighbours for prime online real estate by spending smarter.

October 12th, 2017