Providing information and intelligence to the SRA

Background

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) protects the public by regulating law firms and individuals who provide legal services. We set standards necessary to ensure that clients receive a good service and that the rule of law is upheld. Our work focuses on firms and behaviour that causes risk to the public, and through this work we receive information from many different sources.

Our role is separate from the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). The LeO also receives information from a range of sources, but it is an independent service for consumers looking to resolve complaints about service provided by their lawyer or firm, or seeking financial compensation.

We can receive reports from anyone who has concerns about a law firm or an individual that we regulate. This can include

  • members of the public, or people representing them such as relatives or Members of Parliament
  • lawyers and employees of law firms, or
  • other regulators and professional bodies.

However, we do not take forward personal complaints made against firms. We are a risk-based regulator with limited resources that we use to tackle risks to the public interest.

This note explains

  • our interest in receiving information
  • how we deal with reports that are made to us, and
  • how we decide whether to keep in contact with someone reporting information to us.

Giving information to the SRA

People who are concerned about the service provided by their lawyer or law firm should contact the LeO. If the LeO identifies issues that need our attention they can refer information to us, and we can also refer information to them. We have an agreement in place to support this arrangement which we call our Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 5 pages, 143KB). You can also download our Legal Ombudsman Protocol (PDF, 6 pages, 114KB).

We are concerned by behaviour by law firms that indicates serious risk to the public such as financial wrongdoing or dishonesty. We welcome reports about these matters.

Information we receive may be used in our investigations. That might include it being disclosed to the law firm it relates to. If information is provided to us on a confidential basis, we will take appropriate steps to protect your identity.

People sending very sensitive information, or who are concerned about the firm in question knowing it has been given to us, may wish to talk to our Intelligence Unit

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How we apply our approach

Our approach applies to

  • all information received by the SRA, and
  • all new, ongoing and closed SRA investigations.

This procedure does not apply to

More information

The SRA's contact centre

The SRA's Fraud Intelligence Unit