Legal Business Blogs

High Street gloom as SRA publishes full list of uninsured firms forced to close

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed the names of the 136 firms which have been forced to close since 1 October having been unable to secure professional indemnity insurance (PII).

The list of firms, which the SRA said it has published in the interests of protecting consumers and third parties, includes Alastair J Brett, the London-based firm set up by the former legal director of The Times newspaper, who was recently suspended over the Nightjack case.

Of the closed firms, 31 were in London, six in Manchester, four in Birmingham, five in Leeds, three in Liverpool and two in Newcastle.

The SRA, which says it is carrying out a ‘full analysis’ of all those firms that entered the Extended Policy Period (EPP) , said in a statement: ‘The majority of these firms have closed properly, dealing with client files and monies appropriately, and have fully co-operated with the SRA. There is no evidence that these firms practised without indemnity insurance.

‘There are a small number of firms that failed to close properly and they are subject to ongoing robust action.’

The full list of firms that were in the EPP can be found here.

The firms had entered the 90-day EPP when they failed to obtain cover before the 1 October deadline. Those still without cover ceased to take on new work from 1 November and faced closure on or before by 29 December.

The EPP was introduced for the first time this year to replace the assigned risks pool (ARP) and gave firms an extended period of indemnity insurance for 90 days. The last report from the SRA before Christmas had identified 117 law firms still requiring insurance on 16 December.