Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is the SRA about to create a 'regulatory sandbox'?

Earlier this week (9th November) the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) unveiled a new initiative to support legal services firms that want to innovate and grow their business in creative ways.

The service is primarily there to assist those firms looking at a new ways of serving clients or have an idea but are not sure whether regulation could stop it getting off the ground.

The service - there is not much meat on the bones in terms of what the SRA are offering - will be of particular interest to firms looking at legal technologies such as those being built by Lexsure. We are living through a massive technological revolution, a significant law tech wave which is bringing us all sorts of new ways to innovate and get closer to customers of legal services.

The FCA , who usually blaze a trail that the SRA follow, have already set out their plans for a “Regulatory Sandbox”- a policy first announced in the summer Budget in May.

The proposed FCA sandbox is no different than a sandbox built for a child to play. By providing a sandbox to a child one simulates the environment of a real playground (in other words an isolated controlled environment) but with restrictions on what a child can do. A regulatory sandbox will use these principles in the legally defined parameters of legal services, ensuring the protection of consumers and accordance with regulatory requirements .