In the Media

SRA to rubber stamp next phase of red tape cuts

PUBLISHED July 23, 2013

Tuesday 23 July 2013 by John Hyde

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has said it is open to further ideas for cutting regulation after several demands from members of the profession.

The regulator is this week expected to rubber stamp the second phase of its programme to reduce red tape.

Under the new reforms, compliance officers will no longer be required to report non-material beaches as part of their annual submission of information to the SRA.

The process for renewing practising certificates or registration of a European lawyer will also be simplified.

The suggestions met with widespread approval during a two-month consultation earlier this year.

That process also revealed an appetite for further deregulation, with suggestions to remove unnecessary regulation coming in from the Law Society and City of London Law Society.

An SRA board paper prepared ahead of its meeting tomorrow said these suggestions were outside the scope of the consultation, but would be considered 'as part of our continuing commitment to reduce red tape'.

The SRA has said reducing the reporting obligations of compliance officers will ease the regulatory burden on firms.

Officers will still have record all breaches for production to the SRA on request. Alternative business structures will still have to report non-material breaches.

Respondents to the consultation said the rule change would save time in completing annual returns and give firms greater control over rectifying matters before they become material.

Others commented that the SRA will be freed up to concentrate on firms that report material breaches, while firm members will feel more comfortable reporting issues to compliance officers if they know the matter will not be reported to the SRA.