Business management

SRA business plan 2020-21 consultation - Law Society response

The consultation

In June the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA) consulted for the first time on its forward Business Plan and Budget against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. The SRA said that it was building on a busy few years, culminating in the introduction of the new Standards and Regulations in November 2019.

The proposals

The SRA proposed the following:

  • making the introduction of the SQE a key priority
  • conducting research to review the effectiveness of the pricing and transparency requirements
  • conducting a one-year review on the period since the introduction of the Standards and Regulations
  • the SRA playing its part in the UK-EU transition and supporting the profession as the UK begins a new relationship with the EU
  • the establishment of an SRA office in Wales

Our view

In our response, we welcomed all of the above proposals, and agreed that the establishment of the SRA as a distinct legal entity within the Law Society Group created an opportunity for a clearer demarcation of our respective roles and responsibilities, avoiding unnecessary cost and duplication.

We also said that it would be helpful if the SRA were to join the Society in being vocal about the need for investment in legal aid as a necessary and central component of measures intended to increase access to justice.

Next steps

The Law Society responded to the consultation response in August. Since then we have been in conversation with the SRA about its research on transparency.

We look forward to further conversations with the SRA as the profession continues to operate in difficult times.

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