In anticipation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reviewing its Accounts Rules in spring 2016, the Law Society has examined the existing requirements in detail and devised options for how the rules could be improved.
In anticipation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reviewing its Accounts Rules in spring 2016, the Law Society has examined the existing requirements in detail and devised options for how the rules could be improved. The Society is keen to understand the views of members on both the options in this paper and the Accounts Rules in general. The views of practitioners will inform the Society’s policy position when the SRA consults in 2016.
The Society is not proposing a preferred or recommended option and, if practitioners have views that are not covered in this paper, the Society would very much welcome them.
The Law Society asks solicitors to consider the following options (further detail is provided in the discussion paper):
Option A: Retain the current Accounts Rules.
Option B: Replace the existing rules with an approach based on the Overseas Accounts Rules.
Option C: Simplify and shorten the existing Accounts Rules.
Option D: Simplify and shorten the Accounts Rules (as in option C) and remove the requirement for a separate client account.
Option E: Adopt a de minimis approach: disapplying certain rules to firms which only use client accounts sparingly (eg if the amount in the client account at any one time does not exceed a certain threshold and/or a total level during the financial year).
Option F: Additional option - the removal of rule 1.2, which places duties on Compliance Officers for Finance and Administration (COFAs)
The Society would like to know:
- Which out of options A-F would you favour and why?
- Which out of options A-F would you least favour and why?
- Do you have any other comments or proposals on changes to the Accounts Rules?
Please email your views to regulatoryaffairs@LawSociety.org.uk by Friday 29 April.