The nineteenth version of the Handbook was published on 1 October 2017 (no changes to the SRA’s Accounts Rules).
In summary, the amendments remove one of the barriers to firms who wish to leave SRA regulation and switch to another approved regulator. An approved regulator is a regulator listed in, or approved under, Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.
In essence the amendments remove the obligation on such firms to have run-off cover for claims arising from work done while the insured firm was under SRA regulation. However, it only applies if the firm’s new regulator is a signatory to a protocol on terms agreed by the SRA which relates to switching between approved regulators.
As at September 2018, whilst the SRA have various “memorandum of understandings” in place with many legal service regulators and legal service stakeholders (see https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/memorandum-understanding.page), only one of these protocols specifically relates to switching regulators:
Council for Licensed Conveyancers – dated 5th December 2017 (see https://www.sra.org.uk/documents/sra/mou/mou-switching-clc.pdf).