SRA Cost of Investigations Regulations 2011

Version 10 of the Handbook was published on 1 July 2014. For more information, please click "History" above.

SRA (Cost of Investigations) Regulations 2011

Rules and regulations about charging for the costs of investigations carried out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority dated 17 June 2011 commencing 6 October 2011 made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board, subject to the coming into force of relevant provisions of an Order made under section 69 of the Legal Services Act 2007, S.I. 2011 No. 1716, under sections 31, 43, 44C, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974, the aforementioned Order, section 9 of and paragraph 14A of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and section 83 of the Legal Services Act 2007 with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.

Part 1: General

Regulation 1: Interpretation
1.1

The SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 shall apply to these rules and, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a)

all italicised terms within these rules shall be defined; and

(b)

terms within these rules shall be interpreted,

in accordance with the Glossary.

Regulation 2: Scope
2.1

These regulations prescribe the charges to be paid to the SRA by:

(a)

regulated persons who are the subject of a discipline investigation;

(b)

persons who are the subject of a section 43 investigation.

2.2

These regulations shall not prevent, prohibit or restrict the exercise of any other powers or other action by the SRA.

Part 2: Substantive provisions

Regulation 3: Discipline investigations
3.1

A regulated person who is the subject of a discipline investigation may be required by the SRA to pay a charge in accordance with these regulations provided that there has been an SRA finding against the regulated person.

3.2

An SRA finding may be made by:

(a)

agreement between the regulated person and the SRA;

(b)

a person duly authorised by the SRA;

(c)

a single adjudicator; or

(d)

an adjudication panel.

Regulation 4: Section 43 investigations
4.1

A person who is the subject of a section 43 investigation may be required by the SRA to pay a charge in accordance with these regulations provided that the SRA has made an order under section 43(2) of the SA.

4.2

An order under section 43(2) of the SA may be made by:

(a)

agreement between the person and the SRA;

(b)

a single adjudicator; or

(c)

an adjudication panel.

Regulation 5: Decision to require payment of charges
5.1

The amount of charges payable by any person in the circumstances falling within regulation 3.1 or 4.1 above will be determined by the person, adjudicator or adjudication panel making the relevant SRA finding or decision to make an order under section 43(2) of the SA, or where such a finding or order is made by agreement, the person duly authorised by the SRA to enter into such an agreement.

5.2

Where a person is required to pay any charges under these regulations, such charges shall be paid within a time and in the manner specified by the SRA.

Regulation 6: Basis of charges
6.1

Subject to regulation 6.2 below, the amount payable under regulation 5 will be determined in accordance with the schedule of charges in appendix 1 to these regulations.

6.2

In exceptional circumstances, the SRA may charge less than the amount that would be payable in accordance with the schedule of charges in appendix 1 to these regulations provided that it is considered by the SRA to be fair and reasonable to do so.

6.3

The SRA may require any person in the circumstances falling within regulation 3.1 or 4.1 above to pay an additional charge where such person has made an unsuccessful appeal to the SRA against the SRA finding or the order made under section 43(2) of the SA.

6.4

The additional amount payable under regulation 6.3 shall be in accordance with the schedule of charges in appendix 1 to these regulations.

6.5

For the purposes of this regulation an appeal will be unsuccessful if, after the appeal has been heard, any SRA finding remains or the order made under section 43(2) of the SA has not been quashed.

Regulation 7: Recovery of charges
7.1

Any charge which a person is required to pay under these regulations is recoverable by the SRA as a debt due to the SRA from that person.

Part 3: Repeals and transitional provisions

Regulation 8: Repeals
8.1

These regulations repeal the SRA (Cost of Investigations Regulations) 2009 (the 2009 regulations), save that the 2009 regulations shall continue to apply to any decisions that were made before that date.

8.2

From 31 March 2012 or the date on which an order made pursuant to section 69 of the LSA relating to the status of sole practitioners comes into force, whichever is the later, the definition of 'recognised body' in regulation 1.1 shall have effect as if the words "sole practitioner or" were inserted after "means".

Regulation 9: Transitional Provisions
9.1

These regulations shall not apply to licensed bodies until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA and all definitions shall be construed accordingly.

9.2

In these regulations references in the preamble to the Rules being made:

(a)

subject to the coming into force of relevant provisions of an Order made under section 69 of the Legal Services Act 2007, S.I. 2011 No. 1716; and

(b)

under section 83 of the Legal Services Act 2007

shall have no effect until the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA.

Appendix 1

Schedule of Charges
1

This Schedule of charges sets out the basis of calculating the amount of charges payable under regulations 5 and 6.

2

The SRA will record the amount of time spent investigating and considering each case and the amount payable under the regulations will vary depending on the amount of time spent on that matter.

3

The standard levels of charges are as follows:

Number of hours spent on matter  

Standard Charge

Under 2 hours  

£300.00

2 hours or more but under 8 hours  

£600.00

8-16  

£1350

4

In addition to the fixed charge of £1350, where investigations take more than 16 hours, an extra charge of £75 for every hour (£37.50 for every half hour) will be applied (rounded up or down to the nearest half hour).

5

For the purposes of regulations 6.3 and 6.4, the additional fixed charge for an appeal shall be £250.