Over-regulation is bad for the Profession and the Public
he Law Society has welcomed today’s announcement by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that it is launching an initiative to reduce the burden of regulation on solicitor firms.
This is an area of serious concern for solicitors, particularly for those within small firms, with many reporting that the cost of compliance is harmful to their business.
Responding to the SRA announcement today Law Society Chief Executive said the Law Society is keen to work with the SRA and with members to examine how regulatory burdens might be reduced whilst maintaining standards and serving the public interest.
“All firms, and small firms in particular, have had to weather very turbulent conditions in recent years. Easing the regulatory costs will help firms to focus on better servicing their clients.
“We all want regulation that is effective, proportionate and affordable. Clients should have confidence that high standards are paramount but if matters do go wrong they can be assured of quick and fair redress.
“The SRA’s consultation proposals for consumer financial protections reforms are wide-ranging. The Society is concerned that – by indicating that it wants to implement any changes to take effect on 1 October – the SRA might not be allowing sufficient time to consider the complex and vital issues fully.
“It is critical that the SRA avoids unintended consequences and that changes to the professional indemnity insurance (PII) rules help to restore much needed stability to the PII market. The SRA’s decision not to go ahead with its proposal for minimum financial ratings for insurers underlines the importance for any debates that will take place around proposals to be underpinned by careful research so that the consequences of changes which may seem attractive on paper are fully thought through and are proportionate in their impact. The Law Society will actively engage in that debate.
Commenting on the SRA decision to drop its proposal for minimum financial ratings for insurers selling solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance, Chair of the PII Committee Alan Radford said:
“I look forward to working with our members to ensure that any changes that are proposed to the minimum terms and conditions, to the compensation fund and other PII elements which the Society has already identified as needing reform such as the costs of retirement, will work in the best interests of the profession and do not result in unintended consequences for firms and their clients.”
The Law Society is the independent professional body, established for solicitors in 1825, that works globally to support and represent its members, promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law.
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