Outcomes Focused Regulation (OFR) concentrates on providing positive outcomes which when achieved will benefit and protect clients and the public. The Code of Conduct sets out the SRA's OFR conduct requirements so that firms can consider how best to achieve the right outcomes for their clients taking into account the way they work and their client base. The Code is underpinned by effective, risk-based supervision and enforcement.
Firms providing legal advice and representation are seen by clients as trusted advisors; there are fiduciary duties arising from this role and obligations owed to others, especially the court. No code can foresee or address every issue or ethical dilemma which may arise. Firms must strive to uphold the intention of the Code as well as its letter (don't try and find ways around the rules when they are clearly trying to say, "don't do it!").
The Code of Conduct is made up of Mandatory and Non-mandatory provisions:
- The outcomes;
- The application and waivers provisions in Chapter 13;
- The interpretations; and
- The transitional provisions in Chapter 15.
The outcomes describe what firms and individuals are expected to achieve in order to comply with the relevant Principles in the context of the relevant SRA Handbook chapter. The outcomes contained in each chapter are not an exhaustive list of the application of all the Principles.
- Indicative behaviours;
The outcomes are supplemented by indicative behaviours. The indicative behaviours specify, but do not constitute an exhaustive list of, the kind of behaviour which may establish compliance with, or contravention of the Principles. These are not mandatory but they may help the SRA to decide whether an outcome has been achieved in compliance with the Principles. Where a firm has chosen to move away from the indicative behaviours the SRA may require it to demonstrate how it has nevertheless achieved the outcome.