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Solicitors

Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)

 

What is the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA)?

 

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the independent regulatory body created by the Law Society to regulate solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. The SRA sets the principles and Code of Conduct for those it regulates. Essentially, it ensures that individuals and firms operate with integrity in the interests of their clients and in the wider public’s interest. Additionally, it ensures that those persons that are regulated by them are qualified and insured to provide legal services.

 

What can the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA) do if there is an allegation of wrong-doing?

 

The SRA has a range of powers to take against those accused of wrongdoing or misconduct. Naturally, the severity of the breach will affect the action taken against the relevant person. Examples of the type of actions that can be taken are as follows:

 

Actions against an individual

 

  • Make a finding;
  • Make a finding and warn you about your future conduct;
  • Impose a fine;
  • Impose a rebuke;
  • Control how you practise by imposing conditions on your practising certificate or registration;
  • Control how you practise by imposing conditions on authorisation;
  • Suspend your practising certificate or registration;
  • Authorise the making of an application to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal;
  • Close your practice;
  • Revoke or suspend authorisation of your firm;
  • Make approval of an owner, manager or compliance officer subject to conditions on a body's authorisation;
  • Modify the terms and conditions of authorisation;
  • Enter into an agreement with you [see our guidance on Regulatory Settlement Agreements], the terms of which are accepted by you;
  • Withdraw approval of a compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) or compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA), manager or owner;
  • Disqualify an individual from acting as a HOLP, HOFA, manager or employee;
  • Refuse to bring a disqualification to an end following an application by the disqualified person to do so;
  • Withdraw approval of a person being an owner of a licensed body; and
  • Impose conditions on the holding of an interest.

 

Actions against a company

 

  • Issue a warning about future conduct;
  • Impose a disciplinary sanction, such as a fine;
  • Control how a firm or individual practices;
  • Refer a firm or individual's conduct to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal;
  • Revoke recognition of a firm or refuse to renew recognition of a firm; and
  • Close a firm with immediate effect (this is called “intervention”).

 

What should I do if the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA) bring proceedings/ allegations against me?

 

We would encourage you to seek legal representation. This is because legal representation can provide written and oral submissions on your behalf in an understandably difficult situation. These submissions will often focus on:

 

  • Knowledge: skills and performance;
  • Communication: safety and quality;
  • Collaboration: Teamwork and partnership; and
  • Trust: building and maintaining.

 

How to appeal a decision by the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA)

 

Appeals are made to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. You make made an appeal if the SRA has made a decision to:

 

  • Rebuke you (where they have also made a decision to publish the decision to rebuke);
  • Fine you; or
  • Publish a decision to fine or rebuke you.

 

What will happen at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal?

 

This sort of concern can lead to a hearing in front of a committee, panel or tribunal during which time you are entitled to professional representation.

 

Should the decision made be to disqualify your registration with SRA, you are able to appeal and Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors have substantial experience

 

preparing and presenting appeals, making sure you have tailored representation.

 

Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors are experts in representing solicitors in fitness to practice cases which have been brought about by the SRA. We work to give you peace of mind and aim to get you the best possible result.

 

There is a time limit to make an appeal in relation to a decision by the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA)

 

Where you are subject to such a direction or decision, you may appeal to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal within the period of 28 days from the date on which the notice of the direction or decision is given to you, or if there has been a decision following an internal appeal, within the period of 28 days from the date on which the notice of that decision is given to you.

 

What if my appeal to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is unsuccessful?

 

An appeal lies to the High Court from the SDT. The High Court may make such order as it thinks fit.

 

How can Duncan Lewis help me if the Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) bring proceedings against me?

 

Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors have a breadth of experience in representing solicitors registered with the SRA who are undergoing fitness to practice proceedings. We have in depth knowledge of the: SDT Appeal Rules 2011, SRA Authorisation Rules 2011, and Legal Services Act 2007.

 

As a solicitor registered with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), you will have a duty to maintain and build upon your standard of care by demonstrating good behaviour, ethical values, knowledge and skill.

 

Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors are experts in representing solicitors in fitness to practice cases which have been brought about by the SRA. We work to give you peace of mind and aim to get you the best possible result.

 

If you are a solicitor with a professional regulatory query, or you wish to appeal the decision of a tribunal, or a decision to withdraw your licence to practice, then contact Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors on 0333 772 04 09.

 


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