New regulation for solicitors and legal services 

On the 25th of November, new legal services regulation came into force. The new regulations will allow a solicitor to work for unregulated firms without a waiver. Furthermore, these new regulations enable solicitors to work as freelancers in a chambers style set-up and without having to become a sole practitioner.

Founder of the City-based firm Aria Grace Law, Lindsay Healy said to The Law Society Gazette: “As an unregulated firm Aria Grace Law gets better rates for insurance, less compliance costs, and because we do not provide complex regulated services we are not encumbered with office costs needed to provide those services.”

Many firms are welcoming this change including Hybrid Legal. Alan Reid the director of Hybrid Legal has said that these changes mean that his solicitors can work without a waiver from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. “For us it is all about making legal services more accessible to sectors of business in the UK not well served by the current system. There is a reason why just one in 10 SMEs seek professional advice”.

However, these changes are not without their challenges as the chair of the law Society’s PII committee Nick Gurney-Champion mentions. He states that solicitors need to consider many aspects before going freelance including workload, future career prospects, and income stream.

Simon Bladen at Hawsons had this to say: There’s no doubt that the changes arriving this week will have far reaching implications for the legal profession. The extent of these changes probably won’t be fully known until later next year. This could be a potentially good move as long as clients are protected to ensure the good name and strong reputation of the UK legal sector is preserved.

Read the law gazettes full article here.

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Simon Bladen Partner

Simon Bladen

Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

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