You have a duty to report serious concerns or breaches of the Codes of Conduct promptly.
If you’re an individual solicitor, or registered European or foreign lawyer, you should tell your firm’s compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) about your concerns, as appropriate. The COLP will then make a professional judgement on whether to report your concerns to the SRA.
However, if you think a report should be made to the SRA but you’re not satisfied the COLP will take the same view, you should make the report yourself.
You can find more information about when to report in section 1.2 Reporting Concerns in the SRA enforcement strategy.
Read more about your obligations in the Cooperation and Accountability section of the Code of Conduct for Solicitors
Read more about firms’ obligations in the Cooperation and Accountability section of the Code of Conduct for Firms
For advice on ethical issues, read the SRA’s online ethics guidance or call the SRA’s professional ethics helpline on 0370 606 2577.
You’ll find resources, including videos and ethical scenarios, on our Ethics page.
You can also contact our Practice Advice Service helpline on 020 7320 5675.
The SRA can handle reported breaches in different ways.
If the breach is minor and unlikely to be repeated, the SRA will not take action.
In more serious cases, it will open an investigation. But even when an investigation is opened, there may not be any sanction. For example, an investigation could be closed with advice to the firm, which may include a warning about future sanctions if the breach is repeated.
- a fine
- restrictions to prevent a firm carrying out certain work
- imposing conditions on your practising certificate
- striking you off the roll of solicitors
If firms cooperate with the process, the SRA may be more likely to resolve the issue by supporting them through guidance, supervision and monitoring.
Read the SRA’s enforcement strategy