The benefits of SRA regulation: why instruct a regulated law firm?

The benefits of SRA regulation: why instruct a regulated law firm?

At Nexa, we are proud to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). But what does this mean and why does it matter to business and private clients, ie. every consumer of legal services?

Read the small print

A legal firm can be either SRA regulated or unregulated. While there is nothing to prohibit most legal services being offered by unregulated firms, there are some types of work which unregulated firms can’t, generally, do. For example, disputes and immigration work.  Unregulated law firms also don’t need to have professional indemnity insurance in place.

Non-SRA regulated firms are also unable to hold client money.

If a legal business is unregulated, it must ensure a client is aware of this and the risks this poses to them.

Conversely, there are some significant benefits to clients who choose to instruct an SRA regulated firm.

The benefits of regulation

The SRA is, in effect, the official body which polices solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. When you instruct a regulated law firm you can rest assured that it is subject to scrutiny and the on-going monitoring of its operations and lawyers by the regulator.

The SRA has various powers to sanction firms and individuals who don’t meet its standards. Ultimately, it can stop people working as solicitors and close down law firms.

What do you get with a regulated firm?

  • The SRA imposes very strict standards of professional conduct on law firms and solicitors. It regulates every aspect of the way they deliver legal services, for example through the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct and the requirement for on-going professional training.
  • Regulated firms must have an internal complaints procedure in place. There is a right of appeal to the Legal Ombudsman if a client’s issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily.
  • As mentioned earlier, unlike solicitors offering legal services to the public from unregulated entities (who are not required pay for professional indemnity insurance) the highest-quality insurance is compulsory for SRA regulated entities. Such firms are required to take out and maintain professional indemnity insurance each year. Nexa’s insurer is one of the largest and most recognised brands in the world – Allianz which gives comfort to our lawyers as well as our clients -every single solicitor at Nexa is vetted by Allianz’s underwriters before they are able to join us.
  • The SRA Compensation fund provides a further safety net for those who have suffered a loss for which a regulated person should have been insured but was not.

How does this work at Nexa?

At Nexa we often refer to our consultants as being self-employed and running their own legal micro-businesses. But it’s important to be clear that it is Nexa itself which is the body which is regulated by the SRA and all legal services delivered by Nexa’s consultants are scrutinised by the SRA and are insured by Allianz.

A win-win for everyone

We obtained SRA regulation for Nexa as soon as we could and we will always maintain it, because we think appropriate regulation is good for the legal sector – ensuring a level playing field for firms, protecting clients and their money and ultimately maintaining confidence in the legal market.

Nigel Clark, CEO

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