The SRA, better known as the Solicitors Regulation Authority regulates the solicitors and law firms in Wales and England.
They also regulate non-lawyers in the form of employees or mangers for the firms that they regulate along with other lawyer types such as RELs (registered European lawyers) and RFLs (registered foreign lawyers).
The Role Of The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The SRA sets out a Code of Conduct and Principles that need to be abided by for those that are regulated by the SRA.
They take on a risk-based, outcome-focused approach for their regulation to ensure that firms and individuals that they regulate are operating independently along with integrity as well as the best interests in association to their clients along with wider-public interest.
The SRA supervise individuals and firms such as DPH Legal that are regulated by them and are able to take enforcement actions against the firms or individuals that breach their Principles.
This institution has various legal powers which allow them to take several types of actions dependent on how severe the breach is and risks posed to the profession and the public. Some of these examples include the following:
• Issue warnings associated with future conduct
• Control how individuals or firms practice
• Impose disciplinary sanctions like fines
• Close down firms with an immediate effect known as an “intervention”
• Revoke the recognition of firms with refusal to renew the recognition
• Refer the individual’s or firms conduct onto the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal)
The SRA also ensures that the firms or individuals that they regulate are insured and qualified to offer legal services in the way of:
• Setting out the qualification standards within Wales and England
• Mentoring the students that are currently in the process of training that would like to become solicitors
• Monitoring performance of training organisations that provide qualifications
• Assessing the suitability and character of the individuals that they regulate
• Administering the Roll of the solicitors as well as ensuring that the overseas lawyers such as the RFLs and RELs meet up to the standards associated with suitability, English language requirements and training before they are allowed to register with the SRA to practice as a solicitor in Wales or England
How The SRA Regulates
The SRA uses an outcomes-focused approach when it comes to regulation.
What this means is that the individual’s or firms that they regulate have the choice to decide on the best way to deliver their legal services in regard to the daily operations of the firm.
The firms are able to operate controls and systems that match up to their practice type and client base. This offers the individual or firm with flexibility in regard to choosing the best ways to deliver their services provided they are not putting the wider-public interest at risk.
The SRA Handbook
The Code of Conduct and Principles form a part of the SRA handbook which defines the basic professional and ethical standards what is expected of individuals and firms regulated by the SRA, whether they happen to be employees or managers, non-lawyers or lawyers.