Terms of Provision of Legal Services

Hawkrose Terms of Provision of Legal Services

The purpose of this notice is for Hawkrose to explain to our clients (“you”, “our clients”, “the client”) the terms under which Hawkrose is legally allowed to provide only certain legal services to our clients, and this notice also sets out the scope of such permitted legal services.

  1. Non-reserved legal services
    1. The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (the “SRA”) is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales.
    2. The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 (the “Regulations”) allows qualified solicitors to deliver “non-reserved legal services” to the public on behalf of a business that is not otherwise authorised by the SRA. The Regulations came into force on 25 November 2019.
    3. Hawkrose currently employs one solicitor who is qualified to practice the laws of England and Wales: Charlie Ryan (“CR”) who is General Counsel of Hawkrose. CR is regulated by the SRA in his personal capacity under SRA ID 394929.
    4. Specifically, this note explains the legal regime under which CR is authorised to provide certain legal services, on behalf of Hawkrose, to our clients. Under the Regulations, CR is authorised to provide “non-reserved legal services” to you on behalf of Hawkrose (and the meaning of this term is set out in the next paragraph).
  1. Meaning of “reserved legal activities” and “non-reserved legal activities”

Pursuant to the Regulations, as from 25 November 2019 the SRA allowed solicitors to deliver “non-regulated legal services” to the public on behalf of a business that is not regulated by the SRA.

a) Regulated legal activities

The following legal activities can only be provided by a business which is regulated by the SRA:

  • Six “reserved legal activities”, these are:
    • the exercise of a right of audience
    • the conduct of litigation
    • reserved instrument activities
    • probate activities
    • notarial activities; and
    • the administration of oaths.
  • Immigration work – unless the business is separately authorised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
  • Claim Management Services – unless the business is separately authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Financial services or activities that are required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority unless the solicitor is acting on behalf of the firm and the firm has the appropriate authorisation.
  • Hold client money.

To be clear, Hawkrose does not provide any of the above “regulated legal activities” and is not regulated by the SRA.

b) Non-reserved legal activities

Hawkrose can carry out legal activities, without being regulated by the SRA, which are NOT any of the following any of the six “reserved legal activities” (see first bullet point in the paragraph above).

At the same time, whilst providing such “non-reserved legal activities”, Hawkrose must not at any time handle any client money.

Presently, to the extent Hawkrose provides any legal services at all, it is our view that such services should be classified as general commercial legal advice which therefore falls under the category of “non-reserved legal activities”, and therefore Hawkrose is not and does not deem it necessary to be regulated by the SRA.

Please see paragraph 4 below which sets out an explanation as to what the distinction is for clients where they receive “reserved legal services” from an entity which is SRA regulated (e.g. a law firm) vs. where they received “non-reserved legal services” from an entity which is not SRA regulated (e.g. Hawkrose).

  1. Hawkrose Solicitors are regulated by the SRA

It is a mandatory requirement that all Hawkrose solicitors are regulated by the SRA.  Hawkrose welcomes this requirement as it brings with it a number of benefits to all of our clients and Hawkrose, as well as Hawkrose’s solicitors.  For example:

  • Continuous professional learning and development
  • Adherence to the ethical and professional standards applicable to solicitors as set out in the SRA Principles and the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors.  These are available on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s website,  sra.org.uk. 
  1. What this means for you

The below table sets out sets out an explanation of the impact of the difference for clients as to where they receive “reserved legal services” from an entity which is SRA regulated (e.g. a law firm) vs. where they received “non-reserved legal services” from an entity which is not SRA regulated e.g. Hawkrose (e.g. Hawkrose).

As also set out in the below table, Hawkrose has taken a number of steps to take actions which either meet or exceed the SRA requirements that would have applied to Hawkrose if Hawkrose were subject to the SRA.

Protections for clients who receive advice from a SRA regulated entity Equivalent protection offered by Hawkrose Impact on Services
Minimum requirements in respect of Professional indemnity insurance and limitations on liability.

Hawkrose maintains professional indemnity insurance of five million pounds (£5,000,000).
For more information, please email robhibbert@hawkrose.com
Clear procedure for complaints. Hawkrose has a clear complaints procedure – please see paragraph 4 below. None.
Access to the Compensation Fund.
The Compensation Fund is a discretionary fund which is operated by the SRA to which all solicitors contribute. Its purpose is to make grants to people whose money has been stolen, misappropriated, or otherwise not properly accounted for; or those who have suffered a loss for which a regulated person should have been insured, but was not.
Whilst our clients are not able to apply to the Compensation Fund, as stated in the first row above, Hawkrose maintains a high level of professional indemnity insurance cover – £5million. In terms of practical effect, almost no impact.
Except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. a road traffic accident), the maximum payment amount the Compensation Fund will pay is set £2 million.
Whereas, Hawkrose’s professional indemnity insurance cover is more than twice this amount at £5 million.

As a general principle, legal privilege applies to all communications (e.g. emails) as between SRA regulated entity and their clients.
This means that, as a general principle, neither the solicitor nor the client you can be required to disclose any such communications to anyone (including and especially in the context of legal proceedings).
Strong arguments can be made that equivalent legal privilege applies as between Hawkrose and our clients in the context of our providing to you “non-reserved legal activities”.
However, this principle of law has not yet been confirmed because this whole area of law is new and untested.
In practical terms, unlikely to have any impact.
Hawkrose’s core services is general commercial advice.
For the sake of argument, if any matter developed such that there was a risk of litigation (in which case legal privilege is important to protect the client), we will of course alert our clients on this issue.

Solicitors must comply with the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors.
Such duties include: to act with honesty and integrity and in the best interests of clients, and obligations relating to conflicts of interest and confidentiality.
The SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors also applies equally to any solicitor working for or on behalf of Hawkrose.    
  1. Complaints procedure

Under the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, Hawkrose’s solicitors have a personal duty to establish, maintain and provide an adequate complaints handling system.

Complaints regarding Consultancy services should be made Rob Fern, Managing Partner of Hawkrose (and who is not a solicitor) at robfern@hawkrose.com (email subject “Complaint”).  All complaints will be handled in accordance with our complaints policy.

More generally, please contact us at robfern@hawkrose.com for details of our complaint policy.

If you are not satisfied with the result of that complaint, or if it has not been resolved within eight weeks, you may have the right to take any complaint about the Consultancy services performed by Laura to the Legal Ombudsman.

If you think any Hawkrose solicitor at any time has breached any of the SRA Principles, you can report the matter directly to the SRA – please see www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page.