In 2018 the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) consulted on proposed changes to its rules on reporting concerns about potential misconduct.
In discussions with firms and solicitors, the SRA found there were differences in understanding of what should be reported and when. The SRA proposed changes to make sure legal firms are clear about their role and responsibilities in reporting concerns.
The SRA published its post-consultation position (PDF 256 KB), which included an analysis of responses, in January 2019.
We’ve always believed it’s in the best interests of our members and their clients that the reporting process is clearly defined and easily understood.
Clearer processes help everyone, from sole practitioners to large firms, to understand their responsibilities. This means serious breaches are dealt with quickly and over-reporting is reduced.
In our response to the consultation, we:
- suggested the SRA publish clear, consistent and accessible guidance
- explained our preferred wording for when to report a serious breach
- explained why there should be a clear definition of the term ‘serious breach’
- recommended that anyone who reports misconduct has protection from victimisation
What this means for solicitors
Solicitors will have to follow new rules on reporting concerns. These rules will be part of the new SRA standards and regulations which come into effect on 25 November 2019. You can find more details in rules 7.7 to 7.9 in the SRA’s new Standards and Regulations.