The following statement, issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to the LPO Ethics Resource Center in July 2010, is the first public issuance by the SRA. The statement is seen in full below.
Where law firms are outsourcing some of their legal or administrative work to other law firms or non law firms, the SRA’s guidance is that this is allowed on the basis that all relevant rules are complied with (Solicitors’ Code of Conduct 2007) and that the arrangement is made transparent and is agreed with the client.
Particular rules which would apply in legal outsourcing are:
- Rule 4 Confidentiality
- Rule 2 Client Care and Costs Information
- Reserved activities/legal work must not be carried out by non lawyer organisations.
- Indemnity insurance provision to cover acts/omissions resulting in issues of negligence or inadequate professional services
In accepting work from a client, the firm must always consider whether the work should be outsourced at all as they should have the necessary resources and competency to undertake the task. In summary a firm must act in the best interests of their client and comply with their core duties.
The Solicitors Code of Conduct is available to view and download at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct.page