London law firms may have to renegotiate their outsourcing arrangements as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which regulates solicitors in England and Wales, moves to regulate outsourcing for the first time.

The new Code of Conduct to be published on April 6 sees the SRA assert that it should be given access to law firms’ outsourcing contracts and files, as well as potentially to outsourcers’ premises for regulatory checks. This would affect all legal and business process outsourcing arrangements the SRA deems critical to the firms’ activities.