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Trust corporations

20 June 2016

Note that the SRA Handbook (version 21) was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on, and with effect from, 25 November 2019.

This practice note will shortly be updated to reflect the introduction of the SRA Standards and Regulations. Until then, you are advised to check any references in the practice note to the current Handbook against the new Standards and Regulations to ensure that you are aware of the up-to-date position on all issues to which the practice note refers.

This note summarises what a trust corporation is, the requirements for its creation and a number of other matters.

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.

Professional Conduct

The following section of the SRA Code is relevant to this issue:

  • Chapter 1 on client care
  • Chapter 12 on separate businesses

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 - Outside of a regulatory context, good practice for most situations in the Law Society's view. In the case of the SRA Handbook, an indicative behaviour or other non-mandatory provision (such as may be set out in notes or guidance).

These may not be the only means of complying with legislative or regulatory requirements and there may be situations where the suggested route is not the best possible route to meet the needs of your client. However, if you do not follow the suggested route, you should be able to justify to oversight bodies why the alternative approach you have taken is appropriate, either for your practice, or in the particular retainer.

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

Solicitor / you - Includes all bodies (recognised and authorised) regulated by the SRA. For the purpose of this practice note, the term 'solicitor' includes Registered European Lawyers, registered foreign lawyers, as well as recognised and authorised bodies, their managers and owners.

LLP - Limited liability partnership

ABS - Alternative business structure

COLP - Compliance officer for legal practice

COFA - Compliance officer for financial affairs

SRA - Solicitors Regulation Authority

SRA Code - SRA Code of Conduct 2011

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

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Practice Advice Service

The Practice Advice Service provides a dedicated support line for Law Society members and employees of law firms. Call us on 020 7320 5675.

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