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Overseas rules: The SRA’s regulation of international practices

Tracey Calvert examines the SRA’s new regulatory requirements for UK law firms with international practices

23 January 2014

On 1 October 2013, the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA) changed the way that it regulates law firms with international practices through the publication of the eighth edition of its Handbook. Law firms now have a set of requirements that are intended to be an appropriate, realistic and proportionate means of achieving their regulatory objectives in respect of individuals, branches and connections overseas. The challenge now presented to law firms’ managers, compliance and risk management professionals is how to respond to these new requirements and demonstrate compliance in practice.

It is probably fair to say that firms with an international aspect to their business have found the regulatory requirements to be inappropriately rigorous and unrealistic. In terms of the new compliance culture, with all firms required to have compliance officers in situ as well as demonstrable
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