Our regulatory body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), has launched a digital badge to give online visitors to a legal services business website certainty that the business is regulated by the SRA. Other approved legal services regulators have launched similar electronic badges for their own regulated community.
At the date of this guidance, there are eight approved legal services regulators:
Please do not be misled by reference on unregulated business websites to membership of institutes or associations as although the may suggest a level of credibility, they do not provide the level of protection to you that you will receive by instructing a regulated firm.
As an SRA regulated firm we operate to Principles, a Code of Conduct and other mandatory rules to regulate our professional conduct. We also have strict rules to comply with that are in place to protect any of your money that we may hold on your behalf. Regulation also provides our clients with certain protections should things go wrong. SRA regulations mean that:
Provided via software, which will make sure only SRA regulated firms can display it, the digital badge shows online visitors that we are regulated and provides you with a link to information on the statutory protections this provides. Displaying the badge will help you differentiate regulated firms from unregulated providers who do not have such protections in place. Consumers should be alert to these very important protections when they decide whether to engage a regulated legal services provider or an unregulated provider.
Use of the badge is initially voluntary but will become a mandatory requirement for SRA regulated firms during the latter part of 2019. We decided to adopt the digital badge as soon as it became available because it will provide useful information, but most importantly it will help you differentiate us from providers who are not regulated.
An SRA online trial of nearly 2,000 people found that 79% felt more comfortable choosing a provider when that business displayed a regulator’s badge. In addition, 86% wanted to have easy access to information on the regulatory protections they will receive by after instructing a regulated entity.
The SRA runs a validation checks on all registered websites every day. A valid badge should always have the current date on it. This is to easily identify and prevent fraudulent use of the badge. If someone copies a static image of the badge and adds it to their website, the date will not update. Displaying a current date will also provide reassurance to the public that a firm’s regulated status is current.
You can view and click on our SRA digital badge on the homepage to find out more.
To find out how we can help you, please get in touch with Sarah Waddington Solicitors today.