The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (‘SRA’) is a body set up for the regulation of solicitors and solicitors firms practicing in England and Wales. There are currently more than 140,000 solicitors practicing under the supervision of the SRA, this does not include the other legal professionals that also fall under the remit of the SRA.
What do the SRA do?
The SRA set out principles and codes of conduct that must be followed by those regulated by the SRA, or they will face disciplinary action. The aim of the regulations provided by the SRA are to ensure legal professionals act impartially and with integrity, with only the interest of the client and the general public interest in mind.
Under its broad remit of regulating the solicitor’s profession, the SRA has responsibility for the following areas:
- Monitor organisations responsible for the training of student solicitors to ensure the standard and quality of the training.
- Assess the character and fitness of solicitors and other persons regulated by the SRA.
- Setting the standards for qualification as a Solicitor in England and Wales
- Administering the Roll of Solicitors
- Monitor student training to be solicitors
What are the punishments the SRA can hand out?
If a firm or individual is found to be in breach of the SRA principles or code of conduct, they can face enforcement action. The wide-ranging powers and variety of enforcement actions available to the SRA mean they can tailor their action to the type and severity of the breach.
Some examples of the enforcement actions that can be taken are:
- Issue warnings
- Close down a firm
- Refer a firm or individual to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
- Control the way in which a firm or individual practice
- Revoke/refuse to renew a firm’s recognition
- Publish disciplinary decisions