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Enhancing support for in-house solicitors: SRA seeks input on new resources

Enhancing support for in-house solicitors: SRA seeks input on new resources


The Solicitors Regulation Authority introduces resources to aid over 34,500 in-house solicitors, seeking feedback for adoption

In a proactive step towards bolstering support for in-house solicitors in England and Wales, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has unveiled a suite of new resources. Developed in collaboration with the regulator's virtual in-house solicitor reference group, these materials address key issues identified in the 2023 thematic review of working in-house and incorporate feedback from the in-house legal community over the past year.

Among the resources is a dedicated document for employers, elucidating a solicitor's professional obligations and the advantages of employing a regulated professional. This resource aims to facilitate a mutual understanding between solicitors and employers regarding the scope of their responsibilities.

Additional guidance covers crucial areas such as client identification in an in-house setting, internal investigations management, and reporting employer wrongdoings. Complementing the guidance, the SRA has released case studies illustrating practical applications of the provided information.

The publication of these documents precedes the second annual in-house solicitors conference, uniting over 250 practitioners, scheduled for the upcoming week. The materials are also available on the SRA's website, inviting feedback until April 19.

Juliet Oliver, General Counsel at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, emphasised the significance of ongoing collaboration with the in-house legal community. She highlighted the unique challenges faced by in-house solicitors, citing recent high-profile cases like the Post Office case. Oliver expressed confidence that the resources would offer valuable support across various critical issues but stressed the importance of solicitors' input to ensure their efficacy.

The growth of in-house solicitors in England and Wales, now constituting over one-fifth of all practicing solicitors spread across 6,000 employers, underscores the need for tailored support. The upcoming in-house solicitor conference in London on March 14 will delve into pertinent topics, including in-house leadership, maintaining professional competence, and the role of in-house solicitors in providing environmental, social, and governance direction. As the SRA welcomes feedback, this initiative reflects a commitment to continuous improvement and responsiveness to the evolving landscape of in-house legal practice.