WHAT ARE TRANSPARENCY RULES?

At some point in your day-to-day dealings you’ll have heard about the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Transparency Rules.

These obligate firms and freelance solicitors to publish clear and well-situated information on price, service and regulatory matters with regards to specific legal services.

For members of the public, these services include:

  • Residential conveyancing.
  • Summary motoring offences.
  • Uncontested probate.
  • Immigration (excluding asylum).
  • Employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal).

For Businesses:

  • Employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal).
  • Business licencing applications (new applications or varying existing licenses).
  • Debt recovery (up to £100,000).

WHAT DO PROPERO OFFER?

A full audit of your first-point-of-contact as well as recommendations and/or improvement services to make sure you are compliant. For most firms and freelance solicitors, first-point-of-contact will be their website. However, in a minority of cases it may be necessary to have printed materials on hand for easy distribution to any potential customers. In both cases, Propero can offer you a compliance overhaul, so that you are not subject to regulatory action which may take the form of a fine, or worse, business closure.

However, whilst Propero offers practice notes in the first instance and improvement services re: design and copy, it should be stressed that we do not accept legal liability in the event of misconduct complaints or inadequate professional service on behalf of our clients.

A NOTE ON SRA STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS

On 25 November 2019 the SRA Handbook (2011) was replaced by SRA Standards and Regulations. As such, all information on this leaflet is relevant to any law firms, sole practitioners or freelancers authorised by the SRA.

NEW PRICE TRANSPARENCY RULES

When it comes to compliance, one of the first areas the SRA are going to look at is whether cost information has been laid out clearly and concisely.

  • Information has to be clear and easily understood.
  • A total cost, where possible, has to be provided based on a typical case. If this is not possible then an average cost or range of prices needs to be delivered.
  • Any charges which may be incurred have to be explained and/or justified, including hourly or fixed rates.
  • Emphasise the likely circumstances for any disbursements and their costs.
  • Include VAT, or alternatively draw attention to the fact that VAT is not included.
  • If fees are conditional and/or damages-based, explain circumstances when clients may be required to make payments.

The Rules also require you to publish information on:

  • Any itemised services included within the displayed price.
  • Any services not included in the price but which might reasonably be expected to be incurred over the course of a normal case.
  • The experience (including relevant qualifications) of the people carrying out work on a specific area of the Law.
  • Timescales.

Become compliant with Propero! Book your compliance check today.

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