Aim of this guide

This guide aims to help in-house lawyers navigate the requirements of the SRA Handbook. It adopts a practical approach to determine what obligations apply to in-house lawyers but does not seek to promote any particular approach or best practice.

On 26 November 2015, the SRA embarked on its “Looking to the Future” project, conducting a wholesale review of the Handbook with a view to adopting a revised version by mid to late 2017. This edition of The In-Houser is published after the first (of what is expected to be several) SRA consultations on its new Handbook. Although some of the proposed changes to the Handbook are referred to within this publication, its focus is to explain how the SRA rules apply to the in-house community as at October 2016.


The authors would like to thank members of the GC100 and in particular Randal Barker, Sarah Berwick, John Davidson, Graham Vinter and Mary Mullally, as well as Sarah Else for their valuable contributions to this guide.

About the authors

Julia is the Head of Slaughter and May’s Compliance Department, advising the firm on a wide range of regulatory matters.

Prior to joining the Compliance Department, Julia practised as a Corporate lawyer and IT specialist. She continues to be an expert on data protection and privacy-related issues.

Julia was an active member of The Law Society’s influential Money Laundering Task Force for a number of years and, more recently, has joined the City of London Law Society’s Professional Rules and Regulation Committee.

Julia is a regular speaker on a range of risk-related topics at industry events, including anti-money laundering and the challenges law firms face in adopting global ethical standards.

After practising as a Corporate/M&A lawyer, Sarah established Slaughter and May’s Compliance department in 2008. She is the firm’s COLP (Compliance Officer for Legal Practice) and a member of its Risk Committee. Sarah was appointed as Slaughter and May’s first General Counsel in May 2015.

Sarah has had a significant influence on the modernisation of the regulation of the solicitors’ profession. She was a founding member of the City of London Law Society’s Professional Rules and Regulation Committee (which she chaired until September 2016) and a member of the SRA’s Standards Committee from its formation until 2012 (during which time the SRA wrote its first Handbook and introduced outcomes-focused regulation). More recently, she has taken on a role with London First, joining its Security and Resilience Advisory Board in October 2016.

Renowned for her proactive and constructive approach to compliance issues, Sarah has been described as an “exceptional Head of Compliance” who “has a deep understanding of the wider commercial implications of regulation for both large law firms and general counsel”. She was given the Chief Compliance Officer of the Year award at the Women in Compliance Awards 2015.