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SRA Transparency Rules: SRA asks for declaration of compliance

The SRA have given notice that this year they will be writing to all COLPs and COFAs at the 8,000 firms they have not yet asked, requiring them sign a declaration that they are adhering to the Transparency Rules.

You know what happens next: they will view your website (easy to do) and take action against those who are in breach. The SRA reports that they have already fined a dozen practices for repeatedly failing to display the required information.

We’ve heard from our clients that they have started to receive emails from the SRA. Below is an example of one. 

If you need help contact us:

Ingemar: 07887 524507 or ingemar@hunningsconsultancy.co.uk

Dear XXX
We write to you in your capacity as a Compliance Officer for XXX, SRA number XXX.
The SRA Transparency 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 your firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (‘COLP’) 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 27 August 2021.   
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 here
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 professional.ethics@sra.org.uk.
Yours sincerely 
Robert Loughlin
Executive Director, Operations and Performance”

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