A solicitor's commitment to behaving ethically is at the heart of what it means to be a solicitor. The Law Society supports solicitors in recognising and handling difficult professional situations and making choices which can be substantiated by reference to the SRA Code of Conduct.
Our ethical scenarios guide you through ethical issues solicitors might face in practice. View our ethical scenarios
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Discussions were led by Paul Wilson, Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Law Society, with academic Joan Loughrey, Professor of Law at the University of Leeds, providing expert input.
Topics included the following:
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An ethics session hosted with the British Academy on 16 April 2018. The panel of Professor Colin Mayer, Philip Wood, Simon Davis, Ingrid Holmes and Sophia Adams Bhatti discuss questions such as:
How realistic or advisable is it for professionals to admit their own mistakes? Is it sensible to do so, or career limiting? What can lawyers learn from how other professions deal with their mistakes? How will you be protected if you report another person’s mistakes? These issues were explored in a keynote speech by Lord Brian Paddick, in four workshops, and by a panel of experts in our symposium, November 2017. View on YouTube
Can lawyers be competitive and act ethically? How do individuals and firms strike a balance between rule of law and reputation? A panel of experts discuss these issues and more. View on Youtube
Making a commitment to acting ethically is intrinsically linked with meeting the standards and requirements set out in the SRA Code of Conduct. These standards stem from the 10 mandatory principles. The principles apply to all solicitors and underpin all aspects of practice. Read more about the principles
The code says:
"They define the fundamental ethical and professional standards that we expect of all firms and individuals (including owners who may not be lawyers) when providing legal services. You should always have regard to the principles and use them as your starting point when faced with an ethical dilemma."
For advice on ethical issues, call the SRA professional ethics helpline on 0370 606 2577.
On 14 June 2018 the SRA announced that it is pressing ahead with its handbook reform programme. Read our member briefing about this programme of work
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Law Society practice notes
SRA Code of Conduct
SRA question of ethics
Ethical Performance (providing news and analysis on corporate social responsibility issues)
Institute of Business Ethics (latest business ethics thinking)
Business Ethics: A European Review (important issues in business ethics, and corporate social responsibility)
Part of the Regulatory Affairs Board, this committee monitors professional standards and values in regulation.