Solicitors Regulation Authority launches referral fees inquiry

The Law Society’s Regulation Board yesterday (20 September) agreed to review and overhaul the principles governing the use of referral fees by solicitors’ firms.

It was agreed that the board should consider the underlying principles of the current referral fee arrangements at its November meeting, with a view to a full-scale review and consultation of the rules.

The board also said that there are currently “significant breaches” of the referral fee rules. Its Compliance Committee, led by Sir Stephen Lander, is to oversee a programme of enforcement activity to improve compliance.

The rules were last debated by the Law Society Council in 2004 following their introduction in March 2004.

At the meeting the board also agreed that from 1 January 2007 it will be known as the Solicitors Regulation Authority, to distinguish it from the Law Society which is now the profession’s representative arm.