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In-house pro bono practice: regulatory requirements

Last updated: 31 May 2018

This practice note includes detailed advice on:

  • There are a number of regulatory requirements that apply to in-house practice, and the purpose of this practice note is to assist in-house lawyers wishing to offer pro bono services to the public. This will show them how to do so in accordance with the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA) Handbook.

Legal status

This practice note is the Law Society's view of good practice in this area. It is not legal advice.

Practice notes are issued by the Law Society for the use and benefit of its members. They represent the Law Society's view of good practice in a particular area. They are not intended to be the only standard of good practice that solicitors can follow. You are not required to follow them, but doing so will make it easier to account to oversight bodies for your actions.

Practice notes are not legal advice, nor do they necessarily provide a defence to complaints of misconduct or of inadequate professional service. While care has been taken to ensure that they are accurate, up to date and useful, the Law Society will not accept any legal liability in relation to them.

For queries or comments on this practice note, contact the Law Society's Practice Advice Service.

Terminology

Must - A specific requirement in legislation or of a principle, rule, outcome or other mandatory provision in the SRA Handbook. You must comply, unless there are specific exemptions or defences provided for in relevant legislation or the SRA Handbook.

Should - Good practice for most situations in the Law Society's view. If you do not follow this, you must be able to justify to oversight bodies why this is appropriate, either for your practice, or in the particular retainer.

May - A non-exhaustive list of options for meeting your obligations. Which option you choose is determined by the risk profile of the individual practice, client or retainer. You must be able to justify why this was an appropriate option to oversight bodies.

SRA Code - SRA Code of Conduct 2011

SRA - Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Law Society also provides a full glossary of other terms used throughout this practice note  

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