New SRA fee model puts many PI firms at significant risk
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal's judgement in SRA v Good & Others (here) places many personal injury forms in a very serious position.
As many as 75% of personal injury firms are estimated to be at risk.
If your model involves any of the following, the judgement has serious implications for you:
Hourly rates significantly in excess of the court guideline rates (especially for junior staff in Band D)
No risk assessment, or a mere "tick box" type risk assessment
The routine application of 100% success fees
The SRA is likely to be lenient to those firms who adopt their model in light of the decision. Firms who ignore the judgement may suffer more serious consequences.
Putting things right is not straightforward and will involve:
New financial modelling to ensure continuing profitability
Genuine risk assessment procedure
New billing process
Dealing with existing retainers which are now considered to be non-compliant
Implementing proper time capture processes to ensure profitability
New, safe hourly rates and new client care documents
Supporting advice note for COLP
If you wish to have your model audited and revised and the associated issues dealt with by the professional compliance experts at Complex Risk (www.complexlegal.com) this can be arranged for a fixed fee of £1000 (plus VAT).
Associate HR issues such as redundancies, managed pay-reductions and/or new performance management standards for junior employees can be dealt with by ComplexHR (for an additional fee).