Thursday, 5 January 2012

A boost for Legal Translation Services

Those that regard the SRA as patronising have had fuel added to the fire by the recent press release from the SRA entitled “Take care with vulnerable clients, SRA urges”

The SRA main area of concern seems to focused on “…. the risks of the most vulnerable members of society not receiving the right service. Providing appropriate client care that meets the particular needs of a client is an important requirement in the SRA’s outcomes-focused regulation regime through the new principles and code of conduct.”

Executive director Samantha Barrass gave an example: “If a firm specialises in family law and has a client base where some do not speak English particularly well, it is unlikely that simply putting a lot of information into a long client-care letter will be sufficient.
“Yet there are firms who have told me that they do just that! They do it because it is what they have always done, they thought it was compliant with the old code, and are assuming it will continue to be compliant.
Directing the firm to Google Translate will not work. So the alternative is to employ the services of legal translators.

I have seen a number if commentators hold out this release as an example of the ‘old’ headmasterly SRA resurfacing. I think that such a response is over cynical. If you are a law firm in an area where a lot of your potential clients are not fluent in English it is surely to your advantage to have Terms that are readily understood. There is no harm done. At the very least it may actually win you some instructions.

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