Transparency Rules - SRA Requests nearly 500 law firms to declare they comply with the Transparency & Pricing Rules

We have spoken with the SRA and been informed that they have emailed nearly 500 law firms with a request that by 14th August 2020 the firm completed a questionnaire and a declaration signed that the firm complies with the SRA Transparency Rules. A copy of the email is below. There is a link in it that the firm should click to bring them to the correct place to sign the declaration. It should be completed by the COLP. Please note that the link is particular to the firm, so we have disabled the link in this email so as not to compromise the client from whom we obtained this email. 

Please check the junk mail of your COLP if this email does not appear to have come through. 

Please do not delay - the deadline is 14th August to have completred this declaration. Thereafter they plan to contact firms (possibly in tranches of 600) every quarter in a similar way. We understand that the initial focus will be firms carrying out Immigration work.

If you need help ensuring that your website is indeed compliant with the SRA Transparency Rules then feel free to contact us. [email protected] or 07887 524507. We have already helped many firms. We have a package to help firms with this. Indeed it was a firm contacting us about this which alerted us. Here is a link to the package:

Here is a link to a blog we posted in November 2019 which contains the link to obtain your SRA Clickable Badge from the SRA, together with instructions on what to do:

Below you will find the wording for the email.

"Dear XXX

We write to you in your capacity as the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice for OLD VICARAGE ADVISORY LEGAL (KEMPSTON) LIMITED, SRA ID 613473.

On 17 April 2020, we wrote to you about our enforcement of the SRA Transparency Rules (‘the Rules’). The Rules came into effect on 6 December 2018. They are designed to make sure consumers have accurate and relevant information about a solicitor or firm, allowing them to make informed choices. The requirement to display the SRA’s clickable logo (also known as the digital badge) came into effect on 25 November 2019, as part of the introduction of the Standards and Regulations.  

We now require you to declare whether you have a website that is compliant with the Rules and displays the SRA’s clickable logo.

The deadline for completion of the declaration is close of business on Friday 14 August 2020.   

The link below will take you to the declaration form. It will take around 10 minutes to complete and you will need to ensure the declaration is accurate before submission.

If your firm does not have a website, the declaration must still be completed to record this.

Complete the declaration at: URL for the Transparency Rules Self Declaraton for your firm (sorry - now removed by the SRA).

Is this compulsory?

Yes. We are requesting this information from each COLP on behalf of their firm under paragraph 3.3 of our Code of Conduct for Firms and 7.4 of our Code of Conduct for Individuals. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Your failure to respond may be a breach of our Codes of Conduct.  

What will I need to know?

You will need the name and SRA ID number of your firm. You will also be asked basic questions about your website. The declaration will take around 10 minutes to complete.

Do you have any guidance?

We have produced guidance about how to comply with the Rules and our enforcement approach. 

To help you understand the Rules and how to meet them we have issued guidance, alongside a Q&A.

To explain our approach to non-compliance you can view our enforcement strategy and the associated topic guidance.

Who can I speak to?

If you require further advice on complying with our Rules, you can contact our Ethics Guidance helpline on 0370 606 2577 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Yours sincerely

Robert Loughlin

Executive Director of Operations and Performance"

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