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Solicitors Code of Conduct

Solicitors Code of Conduct
A set of guidelines produced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which governs the way that solictors should conduct themselves when dealing with your case. Rule 1: Core dutiesRule 2: Client relationsRule 3: Conflict of interestsRule 4: Confidentiality and disclosureRule 5: Business management in England and WalesRule 6: Equality and diversityRule 7: PublicityRule 8: Fee sharingRule 9: Referrals of businessRule 10: Relations with third partiesRule 11: Litigation and advocacyRule 12: Framework of practiceRule 13: In-house practiceRule 14: Incorporated practiceRule 15: Overseas practiceRule 16: European cross-border practiceRule 17: Insolvency practiceRule 18: Property sellingRule 19: Financial servicesRule 20: Requirements of practiceRule 21: Separate businessesRule 22: WaiversRule 23: Application of these rulesRule 24: InterpretationRule 25: Commencement and repealsSolicitors Recognised Bodies Regulations 2007

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Serious required reading if you're a solicitor...a

Including SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 2009

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Law Society ISBN: 978-1-85328-813-5

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

If you are a solicitor, the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007 should be a permanently to hand on your nearest book shelf - particularly in view of the volume of regulation now faced by solicitors and the de-regulation of CFAs.

This, the 2009 edition is published almost 2 years after the 2007 edition. It reflects the accelerating pace of change in the legal services sector in the Age of Regulation. Core duties and rules and guidance, written in plain English, are logically laid out and of the highest standards we expect of the Law Society's excellent publications.

In addition to the guidance notes in the Code, the Solicitors Regulation Authority publishes "free standing" guidance from time to time, alerting you to new issues of public interest. The www.sra.org.uk site lists details.

Even if you're not a solicitor, you'll find it useful to be aware of the standards of service and conduct you should expect from any solicitor you instruct. The sections on core duties (set out in Rule 1) and client relations are certainly pertinent. Note section 2.03 - "Information about the cost", for example: "You must give your client the best information possible about the likely overall cost of a matter both at the outset and, when appropriate, as the matter progresses...." And so forth.

So there!

Key changes in this edition reflect the Legal Services Act 2007 regarding firm based regulation and legal disciplinary practices.

These apply to all managers and employees in firms. Rules that have been extensively amended include the following which are the linchpin of a modern practice:

o Rule 12 - Framework of practice
o Rule 14 - Recognised bodies (formerly incorporated practice)
o Rule 29 - Requirements of practice
o Rule 23 - Application of these rules

Other important changes have been made to: Rule 5 (business management in England and Wales) and Rule 7 (publicity).

As Peter Williamson of the Solicitors Regulation Authority points out, 'Professional ethics form the very bedrock of the delivery of legal services', adding that 'the core duties set out in rule 1 of the Code define the values to be displayed in everything lawyers and their colleagues do.

Integrity and independence - together with fairness and the values of equality and diversity - must remain constants, whatever the structures in which we work.'

It is heartening to know that the SRA is highly principled and upholds such high standards for the protection of the public. It is to be expected that all solicitors in England and Wales will be aware of the content of this Code and will at all times endeavour to comply with it- that's why it is serious required reading for all on modern conduct in the Age of Regulation.