Firms that continue to practise after 29 December will be subject to ‘swift’ regulatory action

One hundred and seventeen law firms have just 11 days to find insurance otherwise they must shut down by December 29.

The Solicitors Regulation Authourity (SRA) says it has sent compliance plan forms to provide supporting information for firms on how to wind down their business.

But only 94 firms have returned their forms and the regulator has warned it will consider disciplinary action for those that delay in returning the documents, or fail to give the required regular updates to the SRA on their insurance situation.

Of the 117 firms facing closure, 17 of these have also failed to notify the SRA that cover was being provided by their current insurer under the extended period and could face disciplinary action.

SRA director of supervision Mike Haley said: “Some firms are better than others when it comes to addressing all the issues associated with an orderly wind-down, for example, ensuring archived files are stored properly. We continue to work with firms to remind them of their responsibilities and the approaching deadline for closure.

 “All of these firms are aware that they should not be carrying out any work on behalf of clients beyond 29 December as they would be doing so without insurance, so all live client matters and client monies must be dealt with by that date.

“Firms that continue to practise after 29 December or fail to wind down in an orderly fashion will be subject to swift regulatory action. Exercising our powers of intervention may be considered where it is necessary and appropriate in the public interest.”

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