Amended Certificate of Title from 30 November 2015

Law Society Approved Certificate

The amended certificate of title from The Law Society is the approved certificate of title agreed between the Law Society and the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

From the 30 November 2015, the short-form certificate of title incorporates reference to the revised approved certificate of title.

EU Directive on Consumer ADR from October 2015

With the embarrassing withdrawal by LeO of their application to the Legal Services Board (LSB) to become certified as an ADR approved body for the purposes of the ADR Directive EU Directive The Law Society has issued revised guidance regarding the new requirements which will apply from 1 October 2015 in relation to the information solicitors are required to provide to clients at the end of a solicitor’s internal complaints process.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) have approved a number of ADR entities who will be able to provide ADR services in the interim and beyond.

The Law Society’s new member-focused strategy

New member focussed strategy

Chief Executive, Catherine Dixon outlines the new member focussed strategy for The Law Society.

There are 3 main Aims

  1. Representing solicitors
  2. Promoting solicitors
  3. Supporting solicitors



SRA Consumer credit regulation to be approved 1 April 2016

Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director for Policy, said: “We have worked hard with the FCA to produce proposals that offer a balanced and proportionate approach to regulation. These proposals are good news for firms and their clients alike and continue our ongoing work of simplifying and streamlining our regulatory approach.

“We hope the LSB agrees with that view and approves the changes.”

If the LSB agrees, the relevant changes to the SRA Handbook will come into effect on 1 April 2016.

Office for Legal Complaints appoints new chief ombudsman

The Office for Legal Complaints has appointed a police regulator and former justice charity boss to the new standalone post of chief ombudsman.

Kathryn Stone will join the organisation in January from her current post as a commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Law Gazette

AML National Risk Assessment

The Home Office and HM Treasury have released the government’s highly anticipated National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing (NRA). The government describes the NRA as ‘the first comprehensive assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risk in the UK’.

The Law Society issued a policy update on 3 November 2015

AML Policy update

SRA introduces changes to help businesses thrive

Changes that will make it easier for law firms to do business are included in the latest version of the SRA Handbook, which was published on 1 November.

We are committed to reforming its rules and regulations, removing any deemed unnecessary that do not protect the interests of clients. In doing so, we are playing our part in freeing up law firms to get on with the business of delivering quality legal services. Changes in the latest version of the Handbook include:

  • Amendments to the Separate Business Rule that enable solicitors to offer other professional services;
  • Removing the need for the compliance officers of small firms to apply to be licensed by us;
  • Streamlining a number of processes for law firms applying to be licensed as alternative business structures, such as the need for us to approve individual managers; and
  • Expanding the exemption for firms to obtain an accountant’s report

Paul Philip, Chief Executive, said: “These changes are part of our commitment to reforming our regulatory model, encouraging growth in the sector, and ensuring our approach is proportionate. We have also taken another step towards opening up routes into the profession by allowing qualification through the apprenticeship route.

“A large number of the changes we have made have come from suggestions made by those in the profession. We will always look at ideas brought to us and carry them through if we believe they have merit, as these latest amendments show.”

Other major changes in Version 15 of the Handbook include harmonising the way sole practitioners are authorised, bringing them into line with all other firms, and removing the need for those taking the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme to obtain a certificate of eligibility. The Handbook can be found here

Go to the Handbook

Changes to CQS accreditation

Changes to CQS accreditation
The Law Society are introducing some changes to CQS.

The re-accreditation  process will change, as will elements of the mandatory training as well as how the CQS team monitor and assess firms within the scheme.

There will be no change to the length of your accreditation and CQS will continue to be awarded for a period of 12 months.

CQS Changes

SRA Handbook Version 15 changes 1 Nov 2015

1 November 2015

The fifteenth version of the Handbook was published on 1 November 2015, and all the changes in this version came into effect on that date. The changes are outlined in these notes: please refer to the Handbook itself for full details.

The main changes are to SRA Accounts Rules, Sole Practitioners Authorisation and Consumer Credit Activities extension of the transitional period which will now run until 31 March 2016.

Changes to SRA Handbook Release 15 1 Nov 2015

SRA Exemption from Accountant’s Report

Following approval by the Legal Services Board, from 1 November 2015, some firms will be exempt from the requirement to obtain an accountant’s report.

The exemption will apply where during the accounting period the average balance on client account does not exceed £10,000 and the maximum in each balance does not exceed £250,000.

Exemption Criteria