Solicitors Indemnity Fund

Update to the closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund

I have previously written about the SRA’s proposed closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. The overwhelming response to the SRA’s consultation which ended in February 2022 was for the fund to remain open and as a result the fund was given a further year until September 2023. Since February 2022, the SRA have been consulting further.

The latest development is that the SRA issued a relatively short paper on 3rd August which they said is “to update stakeholders on the options we are considering, and to invite initial feedback”. They have said they will then meet in September to “decide on any future arrangements for post six-year negligence”.

The SRA’s period to respond ends on 31st August, so you haven’t got long. Here is the link to the paper:

The email address to send your response to is:

The main options put forward in the SRA’s paper are: (a) retain SIF with changes to reduce operating costs or (b) replace it with “a new consumer protection arrangement within the SRA”.

It isn’t clear what the other options are nor what “a new consumer protection arrangement within the SRA” would entail.

The basic fact is that, although reducing SIF’s operating costs is desirable, there is no reason at all to close SIF. SIF has significant reserves and the level of retained funds has hardly moved in 20 years. A report commissioned by the Sole Practitioners’ Group this year found that there is little doubt that SIF can continue for some time to come without the need for additional funds.

Therefore, we don’t need this “new consumer protection arrangement” or any other arrangement.

The SRA’s paper acknowledges that the response to their 2021/2022 consultation indicated that the legal profession would be willing to fund the cost of ongoing consumer protection via a levy and would not expect this cost to be passed on to consumers of legal services generally.

We can and should retain SIF as it is with (a) suitable efforts to reduce its running costs and (b) a levy from the profession which can be collected by the SRA as necessary quite legally and without huge additional administration when practising certificates are issued.

It is to be hoped that as many people as possible will respond to this paper seeking the retention of SIF. You don’t have to be a solicitor to respond. I am quite happy for anyone to crib or quote from my wording in this article when making their response.

If you’re a solicitor, it would be wise to include your SRA number. It may seem an obvious point, but anyone responding should state their name and address and profession/job or former profession/job. Anonymous or semi-anonymous responses are not going carry any weight.

Anyone wishing to join a group dedicated to keeping SIF open can email us at:

Gill Mather, retired solicitor formerly practising as Mather & Co Solicitors

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