In an announcement today – 12th April 2022 – it has been confirmed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority that the fund protecting retired solicitors from historical claims will continue until at least September 2023 to allow for further consideration of responses to its consultation.
The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF), which protects solicitors against claims made after the six-year run-off period following the closure of a law firm, was due to close in 2017, however, the deadline has been extended more than three times.
The consultation regarding the abolishment of the fund, which ran from November 2021 to January 2022, saw more than 330 formal responses submitted and direct engagement with around 3,200 people. The majority of respondents did not support the preferred option of ending the requirement for post-six-year run-off cover (PSYROC).
The Law Society, which lobbied to defer the closure, said after the announcement it was delighted by the reprieve. Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: ‘Possible alternatives to SIF include making changes to how the fund is set up and operated, reducing the scope of protection it gives or finding a different consumer protection vehicle funded via SIF’s surplus – which may also be subsidised by the profession.
‘We are pleased the SRA has heard our arguments about the importance of continuing consumer protection, rather than run the risks of not doing so, which would leave consumers unable to claim compensation for flawed transactions affecting wills, buying a home or child personal injury cases.’