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Changes to UK legal training regulations approved by LSB

Details of changes and guidance to be provided on implementation date of 1 July 2014 

9 June 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

The Solicitors Regulation Authority's proposed changes to the education and training requirements for UK solicitors have been approved by the Legal Services Board and will come into effect on 1 July.

Specific details of the changes, including guidance on their implementation, will be provided by the SRA on the day that they are due to become effective.

The new regulations will replace the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 1 - Qualification Regulations, and the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 2 - Training Provider Regulations.

The changes form part of the SRA's Training for Tomorrow programme and Red Tape Initiative.

Commented Julie Brannan, the SRA's director of education and training: "I am delighted that the first part of our T4T programme of reform has been approved and that we can now move to implementation as planned on 1 July."

The changes do not alter the current qualification pathway to admission as a solicitor, but they do, according to the SRA, introduce a "more proportionate approach to the regulation of pre-admission education and training by taking into account the regulation of higher education by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education as well as developments in employment law".

Under the new regime, there is no longer a requirement for law students to enrol with the SRA (and pay a fee of £80) prior to commencing the Legal Practice Course.

The SRA has retained a check on character and suitability of individuals seeking to qualify as a solicitor at the point of admission. Under the new regulations, there is also a requirement to disclose any issues which relate to character and suitability before training commences.

Requirements for the length and scope of training have been retained, but this no longer needs to be done under the terms of an SRA-specified training contract. The new regulations also bring into force changes to the minimum salary of trainees, further to the consultation held in 2012.

The approved changes will be incorporated into the new SRA Handbook when it is published on 1 July and will come into force on that date.




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