The market for legal services and the way people choose and buy legal services is evolving faster than ever. We see people buying services from a variety of different providers. This ranges from individual members of the public buying a will or administering a divorce, to small businesses seeking legal advice to help their business grow, to global companies looking to integrate their legal service providers into a sophisticated supply chain. However, as of November 25, 2019, individual lawyers will be able to practice independently without being an RSP. Section 10.2 of the Regulations allows certain lawyers to provide legal services to the public without holding an RSP licence. The SRA recently chose to refer to these lawyers as “SRA-regulated independent lawyers” in its recent thematic guides, but it will take efforts to move people away from the term “freelancer” coined over the past year. Two types of professionals are provided for in the Regulations: those who provide only unconditional legal services (under Rule 10.2(a)) and those who provide additional reserved legal services (under Rule 10.2(b)). Interestingly, this change had created three different ways to decide to practice yourself without your practice having to be licensed by the SRA. Reserved legal activity: activities involving reserved instruments However, it should be noted that any activity of a judicial or quasi-judicial nature, including the role of mediator in a dispute, does not fall within this definition of “legal activity”. We are aware that a new manual based on our work model will be a significant change for the profession. We will conduct a comprehensive stakeholder engagement program to listen to the views, ideas and concerns of lawyers and others. We will also undertake a number of activities to support the implementation of the changes we have made.
It also means that we should review our current manual and adapt it in the future. We want to make it easier for the public and businesses to access the quality and variety of legal services they want at an affordable price. We will discuss our plans directly with the public and consumer organizations. We will also take into account the results of the ongoing consultation on professional standards: a matter of trust.  Under section 12(1) of the Legal Services Act 2007, this is the exercise of a public right; conducting legal disputes; activities relating to reserved instruments; real estate activities; notarial activities; and Eiden`s freelancer administration will certainly have lower overhead costs and potentially lower insurance premiums, depending on the legal services they offer, which may mean they may offer lower fees than RSPs and SRA-licensed firms. However, clients may still prefer to hire a professional with the enhanced protections of a regulated company, such as insurance that meets SRA TCMs. Our guide, first published in 2011, sets out our regulatory frameworks. It represented an important step towards modern regulation and marked the transition from an “rules-based” regulator to a “results-based” regulator focused on risk management. However, as noted above, it is necessary and timely to review and update our approach in light of the rapid changes in the legal services market in recent years. Lawyers work in traditional law firms, but also increasingly in companies other than traditional law firms. For example, many lawyers work in regulated firms that combine different types of regulated lawyers. And, of course, this also applies to other regulated lawyers – about 15% of lawyers work in SRA-regulated organisations (“authorised bodies”), as do many notaries, legal executives and carriers.
This means that we are no longer just regulating lawyers, but are increasingly becoming a regulator of the broader legal services market. If you provide legal or notarial services in connection with financial or real estate transactions, you must register with the SRA to comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Money Transfer (Payer Information) Regulations 2017.