The Solicitor's Regulation Authority's (SRA) Handbook outlines ten mandatory principles which apply to everyone that the SRA regulates and to all aspects of practice.
They are the key ethical requirements for firms and individuals who are involved in the provision of legal services.
Firms and practitioners must abide by these principles and use them as their starting point when faced with an ethical dilemma.
What are the principles?
The SRA sets out the following principles:
- uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice
- act with integrity
- not allow your independence to be compromised
- act in the best interests of each client
- provide a proper standard of service to your clients
- behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services
- comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsman in an open, timely and co-operative manner
- run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles
- run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity
- protect client money and assets
It may be the case that two or more of these principles come into conflict. If this is occurs then the principle that takes precedence is the one which best serves the public interest in the particular circumstance, especially the public interest in the proper administration of justice.