SRA Board decides to secure SIF's future
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board confirmed yesterday that it will bring post six year run-off cover under its direct control, meaning solicitors’ clients will still be able to claim compensation if something goes wrong years after a firm has closed.
Law Society of England and Wales president Lubna Shuja said: “We are delighted that the SRA Board has decided to continue to provide consumers with the vital protections of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF).
“This means clients can trust that their solicitor is adequately and appropriately insured, meaning they can be compensated in the unlikely event that a claim is identified beyond the usual six-year term of solicitors’ professional indemnity cover.
“Bringing the arrangements in-house means the SRA will be able to monitor the fund, and ensure it has the resources necessary to operate properly in the long-term.
“We are also pleased to note that the regulator has agreed to two significant suggestions made in our response to their consultation.
“If at some point in the future the SIF is wound up, and the SRA has no further indemnification purpose for the residual funds, any remaining money would return to the Law Society, to be used for the benefit of the profession.
“Also, in the unlikely event a dispute arises concerning the fund, an independent body will be called upon to appoint an arbitrator.
“The SRA will now start the process of transferring the SIF arrangements to its control, to take effect as of 1 October 2023.
“The Law Society’s Wales office worked closely with the Welsh government around the issue of the future of the SIF and we are enormously grateful for the support of Welsh government.
“We are also hugely grateful to the City of London Law Society, which supported the principle of law firms paying a levy on the fund, proving the profession as a whole wanted to retain the SIF, and to all members who wrote in support of retaining the SIF.
“This is a great result for consumers and solicitors and we look forward to continuing to work constructively with the SRA on this important consumer and solicitor protection, to ensure that it continues from 1 October 2023.”
Notes to editors
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