What is an SRA breach?

Asked by: Prof. Davonte Bailey  |  Last update: February 19, 2022
Score: 4.4/5 (60 votes)

Every firm will have a minor SRA breach every now and then, be it correspondence sent to the wrong address, payments allocated to the wrong accounts, or failing to notify clients of the name and status of supervisor in a client care letter. Some of these breaches will be trivial, others immediately rectified.

What happens if you breach the SRA Code of Conduct?

A breach of any part of the Code of Conduct is treated as strict liability, and solicitors are treated as being liable to a sanction (and a direction to pay the SRA's costs) for any such breach. Further, the new policy of the SRA does not seem to have been consistent in cases prosecuted before the tribunal.

What is a serious breach SRA?

Facts or matters that you reasonably believe are capable of amounting to a serious breach”. It means you do not have to gather evidence in advance to report a breach – the SRA will do so as part of its investigation. This is to help make reporting more of an objective – rather than subjective – judgement.

What action can the SRA take?

Taking action in cases of serious misconduct

We can prosecute solicitors and firms at the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). It can issue fines and suspend or even strike off solicitors.

What are the consequences of a breach that the SRA could impose?

Where we are satisfied that a firm or individual has failed to comply with our rules involving breaches which occurred wholly before 1 June 2010, we may issue either a reprimand or a severe reprimand. This is a form of disciplinary sanction applied before new powers were granted to us by the Legal Services Act 2007.

SRA Accounts Rules 2 - Common Breaches and Problem Areas

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What is an SRA investigation?

The SRA will investigate when it suspects misconduct – a breach of the SRA's rules – or when misconduct is reported to it. ... The SRA will normally request a position statement and it has wide powers to compel third parties – including clients, counsel, banks or accountants – to provide them with information.

What do you have to report to SRA?

You must promptly report to the SRA, or another approved regulator, as appropriate, any facts or matters that you reasonably believe are capable of amounting to a serious breach of their regulatory arrangements by any person regulated by them (including you).

What is meant by professional misconduct SRA?

When we talk about misconduct in these guidelines we mean when a regulated person has failed to comply with a requirement imposed by the statutes under which we regulate or with professional rules or, more broadly, has committed professional misconduct.

Can the SRA strike off a solicitor?

In particular, it can prevent a solicitor from practising by suspending them indefinitely or for a fixed period, or permanently striking them off the Roll. It can also impose an unlimited fine.

Who can give an undertaking SRA?

Professional obligation to perform undertakings

The SRA imposes an obligation on solicitors, Registered European Lawyers (RELs), Registered Foreign Lawyers (RFLs) and the firm itself to perform all undertakings they give.

What can I do if my solicitor isn't doing his job?

If you have complained to your solicitor about poor service and you are not satisfied with their response, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman deals with poor service, such as: delayed or unclear communication. problems with your bill.

Can I complain about someone else solicitor?

Home buyers and sellers whose transactions are messed up or delayed by someone else's solicitor could be given rights to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. ... At the moment, you can only complain about your own solicitor – not, for example, the other party's conveyancer who may have lost information or dragged their heels.

Can you complain about a conveyancing solicitor?

First of all, you should complain directly to your conveyancer/solicitor. All solicitors have a procedure for handling complaints, it should be outlined on the documents you've been sent or on their website. ... Each conveyancer/solicitor will do everything in their power to avoid complaints going to Legal Ombudsman (LeO).

How long does it take for SRA to investigate?

How long the investigation will take. Many cases are concluded within three months and most cases within 12 months. We will provide you with an update at six-monthly intervals if we have not been able to conclude the case sooner.

What is SRA law?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales. ... While formally an arm of the Law Society, the SRA is a statutory creation and operationally independent of the Law Society.

Can the SRA award compensation?

1.1 The SRA and other legal services regulators1 are required to have in place appropriate professional indemnity insurance and compensation arrangements. ... 1.2 The SRA operates a compensation fund to help people who have lost money as a result of a law firm's dishonesty or failure to account for money received.

What is professional misconduct for a lawyer?

The expression professional misconduct in the simple sense means improper conduct. In law profession misconduct means an act done willfully with a wrong intention by the people engaged in the profession. It means any activity or behaviour of an advocate in violation of professional ethics for his selfish ends.

Is failure to comply with an undertaking misconduct?

An undertaking is a commitment by a solicitor to do something. It can be enforced against the solicitor by the courts. Failure to comply with an undertaking can also be professional misconduct leading to disciplinary action by the SRA or SDT.

How many solicitors are struck off each year?

According to the annual report, 76 solicitors were struck off in 2016, compared to 56 in 2015. The number of fines rose by 65%, from 33 to 51, while reprimands doubled from four to eight. Fixed period suspensions increased from 12 to 19, but there was only one indefinite suspension, compared to three the previous year.

What is the role of the SRA?

Our aim is serve the public interest and protect consumers of legal services. We monitor solicitors and their firms to make sure they are complying with the rules. We exchange information with other regulators and law enforcement agencies in order to protect the public.

Why do solicitors get struck off?

The reasons for striking a solicitor off the Roll for dishonesty are set out in the Court of Appeal decision of Bolton v The Law Society [1994] 1 WLR 512. Sir Thomas Bingham MR said: 'The most serious [cases] involve proven dishonesty, whether or not leading to criminal proceedings or penalties.

Does a lawyer have a duty to report a crime UK?

The general rule is that a solicitor must keep the affairs of their client confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents. ... You will not be under a duty of confidentiality if the client is trying to use you or the firm to perpetrate a fraud or other crime.

Do lawyers have to report crimes UK?

Solicitors and other professionals working in particular sectors have a legal duty to file what is known as a suspicious activity report (SAR) when they have grounds to suspect they are being asked to handle the proceeds of crime or transactions connected to terrorist finance.

What is the role of a Colp?

In summary the COLP is responsible to ensure that systems and controls are in place to enable the firm, as well as its managers and employees and anyone who owns any interest in the firm to comply with their obligations.

What are RELs and RFLs?

All individual solicitors, registered European lawyers (RELs) and registered foreign lawyers (RFLs) authorised by the SRA must comply with the Code for Solicitors, irrespective of where and how they work. ... References in this Practice Note to 'in-house solicitors' includes RELs and RFLs.