The SRA has shown that they mean business when it comes to the regulation and enforcement of the referral fee ban by beginning investigations into 10 law firms who are believed to have potentially breached the ban.
Chief Executive, Antony Townsend revealed in his report, which was submitted at last week’s SRA board meeting, that they have up to this point engaged with 45 firms, included 25 visits to see and assess whether or not their business practices abide but the restrictions of the referral fee ban.
He said in his report: “Visits continued during November to the high risk firms. The sample includes a variety of size and type of firms covering various personal injury referral schemes. The focus of our engagement with firms has been on how firms obtain new personal injury work and what information and advice is given to clients about any referral arrangements.”
The report comes after firms were warned in October to ensure that the practices they were undertaking since the introduction of the referral fee ban were in accordance to what was allowed and that the SRA planned to visit potential offenders.
Many firms have struggled to come to terms with the changes implemented from the 1st April 2013 onwards, with some choosing to close their doors, while others, including Scott Rees & Co have remained proactive in finding a way to continue to function.
1. Solicitors Regulation Authority; https://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page