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Customer Review

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 February 2014

TO THE RULES GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF SOLICITORS --NOW IN THE LATEST EDITION

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

If you're a solicitor practising in England and Wales, you'll need to update yourself on any recent revisions, or additions to the rules governing the conduct, responsibilities and obligations of practising solicitors: in which case, you'll be glad to know that the latest edition from the Law Society of the SRA Handbook is out now.

This new October 2013 edition contains a number of revisions you do need to know about. A recent development for example, is the fact that regulated individuals will no longer be obliged to refer clients needing investment advice to an independent financial adviser.

In other developments, the Code of Conduct now imposes a prohibition on practitioners receiving or paying `prohibited referral fees'. Also, the SRA Overseas Rules 2013 governing overseas practice have been introduced -- and the SRA Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates has now come into effect from 3 September 2013.

As the introduction to this volume makes clear, the focus for any regulatory scheme is the interests of the general public and specifically in this case, users of legal services. The standards and requirements expected of solicitors are therefore set out in this Handbook for the benefit of the public generally and for clients in particular, whether services are provided in -house or through private practice.

The Handbook's general approach therefore, has two elements: firm-based requirements and individual requirements. The assurance is given that regulatory powers are exercised in a proportionate manner, with the emphasis on risk and outcomes for clients.

An especially noteworthy resource contained in this logically structured Handbook (which comes in handy paperback format) is its impressive sixty page glossary at the back with its detailed approach to the definition of terms, from, for example, `accreditation', to, (intriguingly), the multiple meanings, connotations and definitions of the word `you'.

Once again, Law Society Publishing has produced a work of reference for solicitors which can undoubtedly be called essential and therefore an essential purchase for the professional practitioner's library, especially when you recall that the updated Code and the Accounts Rules are all in one place. Also handy and particularly time saving are the regular updates to the Handbook available online. Thank you very much for keeping us up-to-date with the regular practice changes!
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