In the Media

SRA gives green light to client inducements

PUBLISHED June 26, 2013

Wednesday 26 June 2013 by John Hyde

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has rejected calls to ban solicitors from offering cash or gift inducements to potential clients.

The regulator said today there was no evidence to suggest clients are harmed by law firms offering advance payments for their cases.

Claims management companies have been barred from offering inducements by Ministry of Justice rules since the end of April.

The rules clamped down on companies targeting customers through advertisements offering individuals a cash incentive for signing up.

Agnieszka Scott, director of policy for the SRA, said today: 'We have often been asked to look at similar measures for solicitors, but we have not found anything to suggest that it is a significant problem of that clients' interests are put at risk.

'We have no evidence which suggests that inducements encourage spurious claims to be made. We want this situation to continue.'

The SRA has produced a guidance note to remind solicitors of their obligations to the code of conduct, which states that publicity should not inaccurate or misleading.

The note reiterates the mandatory outcomes and indicative behaviours set out in the SRA Handbook, and was approved by the authority's standards committee in May.

A ban was first suggested by Lord Young of Graffham in his review of health and safety in 2010.

Young suggested the perception of a compensation culture in Britain was fuelled by constant media advertising offering non-refundable inducements and the promise of a settlement.