Since the SRA implemented the ban on referral fees earlier this month, solicitors and claims management companies are now making the necessary changes in the way they handle personal injury claims.
To ensure that Law Firms comply with the referral fee ban, the SRA will be monitoring law practices and penalising any firms who are found to be breaching the personal injury referral fee ban.
Any firms who are found recklessly trading or breaching the conditions of their practising certificate will be penalised and even issued into the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), the SRA has announced.
The SRA will be considering any loop holes that firms will use to market themselves as well as special agreements with claim management companies.
e.g. Joint marketing schemes.
Samantha Barrass, the director of the SRA said they were expecting schemes that "may be used either unintentionally or deliberately to hide the payment of a prohibited referral fee".
"We expect firms to be able to demonstrate that the payments they make can be justified on the basis of the services they are receiving, be that marketing or any other service. We will be looking at the substance of the arrangement rather than just how it is labelled."
Since the referral fee ban became effective from 1 April 2013, Active Legal will not pay any prohibited referral fees to third parties and continue to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
Accident and Compensation Solicitors
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham