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The SRA’s bonfire of red tape is a slow burn

The regulator's out with the old, in with the new attitude to handbooks and accounts rules is still a long time coming, writes John van der Luit-Drummond

3 June 2016

The Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) decision to ditch 'complex rules and unnecessary bureaucracy' looks set to continue, after the regulator's board agreed to use its unwieldy handbook as kindling for the promised 'bonfire of regulation'.

Plans to cut red tape by reducing the size of the handbook has been an ongoing exercise for the SRA. Its executive director of policy, Crispin Passmore, has already seen the hefty 600-page tome be chopped down by a third, but bigger, more ambitious cuts are now to be made.

The current handbook - 400 pages of regulatory requirements including a 30-page code of conduct - is to be slimmed down to just 50 pages, focusing on principles and professional standards rather than 'complex, prescriptive rules'. 'Yay' for the forests and 'hooray' for solicitors; but this is not just an exercise in environmental policy exec...

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