“Providing access to financial advice enables solicitors to fulfil the key role of trusted adviser.” Ian Muirhead, Solicitor and Director, SIFA Limited
SIFA was established in 1992 to encourage and support involvement by solicitors in financial services work. SIFA was a founder member of the Law Society’s Financial and Investment Business Working Party and is recognised by the FSA as the trade body for solicitor financial advisers. However, since 2001 SIFA has also accepted accountancy IFAs as members.
The Legal Services Act of 2007 has prompted a further extension of SIFA membership, and eligibility is now based on professional status, which in the case of financial advisers means qualifying to be classified as independent in the terms of the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review. The Act ushers in a new era of professional advice in which the dividing lines between the legal, accounting and financial planning disciplines will be broken down and reconfigured business entities will emerge which are focused on identified client needs. SIFA’s revised objective, therefore, is to support and assist interaction between solicitors, accountants and financial advisers in whatever form this may take.
More information is available on the SIFA website.