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SRA asylum report: the quality of legal advice for asylum seekers

14 December 2016

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published a report on the quality of legal advice provided to asylum seekers.

The report is based on visits to 52 solicitors' firms which undertake both publicly and privately funded asylum work. The conclusions of the detailed report are a significant departure from the criticism levelled at practitioners in an SRA commissioned report of January 2016. It details findings on:

  • introduction of clients
  • client care
  • legal process
  • appeals and judicial reviews
  • staff supervision
  • qualifications and training

Although the report's findings are broadly positive, there are areas of concern, including:

  • adequately explaining costs
  • lack of case knowledge
  • lack of appeal hearing experience
  • poor interview technique and quality of witness statements
  • using unskilled interpreters

The Law Society will continue to work with the SRA and other regulators to address regulatory issues in this area which has high numbers of vulnerable clients.

Read the SRA report in full and the accompanying guidance Risk factors in immigration work.
 

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