Press release archive for 2014

December

Information on law firms to become available to comparison websites

22 December 2014

As part of our commitment to transparency and openness, we are making a suite of core data about law firms available for use by comparison websites.

SRA launches new ways to engage

19 December 2014

We have launched new ways to engage with members of the public and the profession, making information about our work as accessible as possible.

New research into innovation

17 December 2014

We are launching a new research project into innovation in the legal services market, in partnership with the Legal Services Board.

Festive season opening hours for calls

17 December 2014

Both our Contact Centre and our Ethics Guidance teams will be answering calls between 29 December and 2 January. They are both closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day as these are Bank Holidays.

SRA begins revocation of practising certificates

12 December 2014

We have written today to those solicitors who have failed to complete the process for renewal of their practising certificates, or registration.

Review highlights SRA progress 2013/14

11 December 2014

Our Annual Review for 2013/14, which is published today, sets out our progress against our strategic objectives for the past 12 months.

SRA Chair wins lifetime achievement award

2 December 2014

The Chair of the SRA Board, Charles Plant, has been honoured by the City of London Law Society at the British Legal Awards.

November

Legal Aid bidders advised to contact SRA

27 November 2014

Firms bidding for Criminal Legal Aid contracts as new entities should contact us about authorisation as soon as possible.

Beware of bank details scam

27 November 2014

 We are warning firms to be wary of scammers tricking them into disclosing bank security information over the telephone.

SRA launches support for small firms

26 November 2014

We have set out plans to support small firms in a paper released at today's SRA national conference for compliance officers in Birmingham.

Impact of regulation survey under way

25 November 2014

We are carrying out a survey to get your feedback on the impact of regulation on your firm. Some of you may have been contacted to take part in this important research.

SRA reviews Separate Business Rule

21 November 2014

We are reviewing the Separate Business Rule (SBR) to make it easier for solicitors to own businesses providing other professional services to clients.

SRA launches new Corporate Strategy, EDI Strategy and Business Plan

20 November 2014

Launched today, Thursday 20 November, the new Corporate Strategy sets out the direction we will take over the next three years.

SRA consultation on regulation of solicitor insolvency practitioners

18 November 2014

We have launched a consultation on a proposal to stop regulating solicitors who act as insolvency practitioners under the Insolvency Act 1986.

SRA launches further consultation on accountants' reports

18 November 2014

We have launched a second consultation on accountants' reports today, Tuesday 18 November.

SRA statement - Handling concerns about solicitors

17 November 2014

Today we are releasing for the first time figures on how long it takes us to deal with concerns about solicitors.

Second Risk Outlook gets autumn update

5 November 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published an update to the Risk Outlook 2015.

Rigorous standards and flexible pathways

4 November 2014

The Director of Education and Training at the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Julie Brannan, has said that "flexible pathways and rigorous standards" lay at the heart of the Authority's educational reform programme.

October

Handbook changes support reform programme

31 October 2014

The updated SRA Handbook is now live. 

Second AKZ solicitor struck off

31 October 2014

A second Birmingham solicitor has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

Final Wolstenholmes partner struck off by SDT

27 October 2014

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has struck off Nasir Ilyas, the last partner of North West firm Wolstenholmes LLP to be dealt with for professional misconduct.

Consumer based evidence supports SRA's draft Competence Statement

24 October 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is today (24 October) publishing the findings from the extensive engagement work undertaken to support the development of the Competence Statement.

ABS licensing changes approved by the LSB

23 October 2014

Measures to make it simpler for multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs) to be licensed as alternative business structures (ABS) by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have been approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB).

Events to support Competence Statement Consultation

23 October 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is running two events to raise awareness and understanding of the SRA's draft Competence Statement and supporting documents.

Competence Statement consultation launched today

20 October 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (20 October) launched a three-month consultation setting out the standards for practice as a solicitor. The consultation runs until 12 January 2015.

Ensuring the continuing competence of solicitors

15 October 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today [15 October] released a position statement on the implementation of its new approach to ensure the continuing competence of solicitors. The statement explains the impact of reforms to the current Continuing Professional Development r...

SRA proposes consumer credit firms seek FCA authorisation

14 October 2014

Firms that carry out consumer credit work might have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under proposals by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Webinar to explain the new approach to continuing competence

13 October 2014

Legal professionals are invited to join a continuing competence webinar and to put questions to its SRA hosts: Richard Williams, Senior Policy Executive in Education and Training and Education Researcher, Mary Costello.

Profession encouraged to complete LSB survey

13 October 2014

The Legal Services Board (LSB) is currently undertaking a major review of the cost of regulation.

SRA invites compliance officers to attend key conference

8 October 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is inviting compliance officers to register for its free annual conference, designed to support delegates in their roles by providing an update on changes to how the SRA regulates.

Keynote address reinforces SRA’s commitment to reform

7 October 2014

Jane Furniss, Board member and Chair of the SRA's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was the keynote speaker at a LexisNexis and Black Solicitors Network (BSN) event in London last week [2 October].

SDT fines Abode Solicitors partners

3 October 2014

Two partners of former Harrogate firm Abode Solicitors have been fined by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

SRA launches 2014 PC renewals

3 October 2014

The SRA launched the 2014 round of Practising Certificate renewals on Wednesday, 1 October.

September

Solicitor jailed for practising when struck off

24 September 2014

A solicitor has been jailed for practising despite being struck off nearly two years ago.

Solicitor struck off for mishandling estates

24 September 2014

A solicitor has been struck off for mishandling the estates of deceased clients.

Consultation on further review of training regulations

22 September 2014

A consultation proposing further changes to the SRA's education and training regulations has been published today. The consultation proposes:

SRA Board takes further steps to deliver Regulatory Reform

17 September 2014

The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (Wednesday 17 September) taken further steps to deliver its programme of Regulatory Reform.

SRA research looks into legal firms' training systems

17 September 2014

A new research report, to be published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on 17 September, reveals the wide range of education and training processes used across the legal profession.

Solicitor struck off for 'misusing clients' cash

12 September 2014

An Ashton-Under-Lyne solicitor has been struck off after using client funds to prop up his ailing firm.

Jailed solicitor struck off

9 September 2014

A Birmingham solicitor currently serving five years in prison for property fraud offences has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

SRA steps up anti money laundering work

8 September 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is stepping up its efforts to ensure solicitors firms do not become embroiled in money laundering activity and are compliant with the various regulations and legislation associated with anti money laundering compliance.

SRA sets out case for PII proposals

8 September 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reinforced its case for changes in its requirements for professional indemnity insurance in a letter to the LSB dated Friday, 5 September. 

SRA reforms will benefit all sectors of the profession

4 September 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has emphasised its commitment to delivering its programme of regulatory reform to support innovation and reduce regulatory burdens.

August

Fee levels approved for 2014/15

22 August 2014

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved the regulatory funding requirements for 2014/15, including practising fee levels.

Managing risk - it's good for business

20 August 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is inviting people to register for a webinar, Managing risk - it's good for business, on 10 September 2014, 12.30—13.30.

SRA endorses Trailblazers approach to qualification

20 August 2014

The SRA has welcomed today’s joint announcement by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education that the apprenticeship standards for the Trailblazers in Law initiative have been approved.

SRA statement: LSB notice

19 August 2014

The SRA has responded to the LSB decision to publish a notice issued pursuant to paragraph 21(1)(b) of Part 3 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007. The notice relates to the SRA’s application submitted on 15 July 2014 seeking approval for changes to the Indemnity Insurance Rul...

SRA statement: Lawrence Abramson and Jonathan Chapman

11 August 2014

A case brought by the SRA against Lawrence Abramson and Jonathan Chapman was listed before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on 28 July and was adjourned until October.

SRA statement: LSB extends assessment period

7 August 2014

This statement relates to the decision of the Legal Services Boards (LSB) to issue an extension to the initial period for considering the application by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to alter the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules.

SRA warning about scam emails offering LPC funding

1 August 2014

The SRA is warning students who have completed their law degree not to be taken in by a new scam email falsely stating they can get their Legal Practice Course (LPC) partially funded by a Government body named True Personal Injury Solicitors.

SRA calls for evidence on client protection issues

1 August 2014

Following publication of a major programme of regulatory reform (www.sra.org.uk/reform) on 7 May, the SRA launched a number of supporting consultations.

July

Dishonest solicitor struck off for rules breaches

30 July 2014

A solicitor has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after a number of serious allegations were found proved against him, including that he failed to set up and keep proper accounting systems or records and had a cash shortfall in the client account.

PC renewals 2014

23 July 2014

This year's practising certificate renewal exercise will take place between 1 and 31 October.

Solicitor suspended for boiler-room scam involvement

17 July 2014

A solicitor involved in boiler-room scams has been suspended from practising for 18 months by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

Overseas insurers, update on Balva Insurance Company AAS

11 July 2014

The SRA has received an update on problems involving Balva Insurance Company AAS (Balva).

SRA reiterates Code for publicity to in-house teams

8 July 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has moved quickly to remind in-house solicitor teams of their responsibilities when it comes to publicity.

Solicitor struck off for failing to act with integrity

4 July 2014

A solicitor has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after a number of serious allegations were found proved against him, including failing to act with integrity.

SRA Board makes changes to ease the burden

2 July 2014

The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has approved a series of changes to its regulatory requirements to make them more proportionate and targeted and so reduce the cost and burden of regulation.

SRA publishes second Risk Outlook

1 July 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published its second Risk Outlook to show the profession what it believes are the key factors that are affecting or could affect the delivery of competent and ethical legal services. The Authority says the Outlook is playing an ever-increa...

SRA's new training regulations kick in

1 July 2014

Today, Tuesday 1 July sees the introduction of the SRA's new training regulations which take away unnecessary and bureaucratic procedures that added no regulatory benefit.

June

SRA fees calculator goes online

27 June 2014

Solicitors and firms can get help with their budget planning for next year by using the fees calculator on the SRA website.

Solicitor struck off for smuggling drugs for inmates

26 June 2014

A solicitor jailed for smuggling drugs and mobile phones into prisons for inmates has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

SRA announces appointment of new Chair

24 June 2014

SRA Board Chair, Charles Plant, has announced that Enid Rowlands has been appointed to succeed him as Chair of the SRA Board from 1 January 2015.

Extension to consumer credit transitional provisions agreed

9 June 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has secured agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to extend the transitional arrangements for consumer credit work.

LSB approves changes to the education and training regulations

9 June 2014

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has today, Monday 9 June, approved the changes to the training regulations proposed last month by the SRA Board. The changes form part of the SRA's ongoing Training for Tomorrow programme of reform and Red Tape Initiative.

SRA research looks into legal firms' training systems

5 June 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) Education and Training Committee will be considering initial headline findings of research commissioned into learning and development approaches used by firms to ensure the competence of their paralegal and qualified staff, at its meeting on...

SRA publishes response to Independent Comparative Case Review

3 June 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (Tuesday, 3 June) issued its response to Professor Gus John's Independent Comparative Case Review (ICCR) report, which was published in March this year.

May

Solicitors reminded of responsibilities in disrupted criminal cases

22 May 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reminded solicitors in very high cost criminal cases (VHCCs) of their responsibilities following a number of calls to the Professional Ethics helpline.

SRA issues guidance on will writing

22 May 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has issued guidance for solicitors preparing wills. The guidance, published last week, has been drawn up to remind solicitors of their responsibilities and the Outcomes that should be achieved.

SRA Board approves changes to the education and training regulations

21 May 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board has today (Wednesday 21 May) approved changes to the SRA training regulations. The changes form part of the SRA's ongoing Training for Tomorrow programme of reform and Red Tape Initiative.

SRA Board announces new approach to ensure solicitors remain competent

21 May 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board has today (Wednesday 21 May) announced a new approach to ensure solicitors remain competent throughout their working lives while removing the necessity for them to complete a compulsory 16 hours' training per year.

Solicitor struck off after bribery conviction

20 May 2014

A solicitor has been struck off following his conviction for bribery charges in the US.

SRA publishes guidance for criminal legal aid contract applicants

19 May 2014

The SRA has published guidance to support applicants tendering for criminal legal aid services contracts.

SRA announces major programme of regulatory reform

7 May 2014

The SRA has set out its plans for a wide-ranging programme of work to improve the regulation of solicitors and firms.

Overseas insurers, further clarification

1 May 2014

The SRA has been updated on the situation involving overseas insurer ERIC.

April

SRA announces start of keeping of the roll

25 April 2014

This year's keeping of the roll exercise will begin on Wednesday 7 May, the SRA has announced.

SRA publishes responses to changes to education and training regulations

25 April 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published its response to the 12-week consultation on changes to the education and training regulations.

Burnley solicitor struck off for misusing clients' cash

17 April 2014

A Burnley solicitor has been struck off after misusing more than £400,000 of client monies to prop up her ailing firm.

SRA updates consumer credit work guidance

14 April 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has updated its guidance for firms involved in consumer credit work.

Solicitor struck off for dishonestly misusing client money

14 April 2014

A solicitor has been struck off for failing to handle properly funds that clients had entrusted to him.

SRA prepares for keeping of the roll exercise

10 April 2014

The SRA has announced that the keeping of the roll exercise is expected to commence in the first part of May.

Latest version of the Handbook includes consumer credit changes

4 April 2014

Version 9 of the SRA Handbook which came into effect on 1 April is available on the SRA website.

Solicitor struck off for failing to pay counsel fees

4 April 2014

A London solicitor has been struck off after using client money that should have been paid to other lawyers to settle their fees.

Overseas insurer positions clarified soon

3 April 2014

The solvency positions of two overseas insurers should be clarified in the coming weeks, the SRA believes.

SRA takes new look at MDPs

2 April 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to review its approach to authorising multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs), it was revealed today.

SRA seeks views on two consultations

1 April 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for views on two proposals that should further reduce the regulatory burden by ensuring that its activities are proportionate to address regulatory risks.

March

Lifetime licences for sole practitioners

28 March 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is moving to treating sole practitioner firms like all other practices, reducing the regulatory burden on them.

SRA updates Risk Index

21 March 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has updated its Risk Index to provide a further improved view of all the regulatory risks it manages.

Independent Comparative Case Review published

13 March 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published the report of the Independent Comparative Case Review (ICCR), conducted by Professor Gus John.

Former Gloucestershire coroner struck off

12 March 2014

Gloucestershire solicitor Alan Crickmore, who also served the county as its coroner, has been struck off after taking money from clients of nearly £2 million.

Solicitor struck off for catalogue of offences

10 March 2014

A South East London solicitor has been struck off for a catalogue of offences, including two counts of dishonesty.

Chesterfield solicitor struck-off for falsifying documents

10 March 2014

A solicitor from Chesterfield has been struck off for falsifying correspondence she then presented to solicitors opposing her case, as well as the court that would be hearing the matter.

Solicitor struck-off for using clients' cash

10 March 2014

A solicitor has been struck off for using nearly £100,000 of his clients' money for his own purposes.

Solicitor struck off for unauthorised signatures

10 March 2014

A solicitor from Shrewsbury has been struck off for signing important legal documents on behalf of colleagues.

Guidance aims to keep clients informed

5 March 2014

New guidance produced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) should help keep clients more informed about how to complain if unhappy with their legal representation.

Operational note - further email scam claiming to be from SRA

4 March 2014

A further email scam has been discovered claiming to be from the SRA and targeting law firms.

SRA signs up for Trailblazers apprenticeship scheme

4 March 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has signed up to play its part in the second phase of a Government scheme that should see a legal apprenticeships programme developed by law firms which can for the first time lead to qualification as a solicitor.

SRA risk work recognised at top awards ceremony

3 March 2014

Success in an international awards scheme has recognised the work of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in bringing risk awareness and management into the legal services market.

February

Outlook Update advice shown to be timely and relevant

27 February 2014

One of the latest editions to the Risk guidance documents produced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been given more relevance by con artists attempting to use the regulator's name.

SRA consults on European authorisation approach

21 February 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is asking for views on its proposed approach for authorising law firms from European Establishment Directive States.

Solicitor struck off for child pornography offences

18 February 2014

A solicitor convicted of child pornography offences has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in a case brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Training for Tomorrow events: A new approach to continuing competency

17 February 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched its second round of Training for Tomorrow 2014 stakeholder engagement roadshows.

Financial difficulty leads to increased risks for clients

13 February 2014

A definite link between clients' interests being put at risk and law firms struggling with their finances has been found in Steering the course, new research by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Immigration gang solicitor is struck off

11 February 2014

 A solicitor jailed for his part in a gang that broke immigration law has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

Solicitor struck off for practising when suspended

7 February 2014

A Birmingham solicitor has been struck off for practising while suspended in a prosecution brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

High Court upholds tribunal fine

7 February 2014

The High Court has upheld the largest fine ever imposed on solicitors by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

SRA launches consultation on continuing competence

5 February 2014

A radical shift in the way in which the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ensures the continuing competence of the entities and individuals it regulates is proposed in a consultation published today.

SRA responds to QASA decision by the High Court

5 February 2014

Julie Brannan, the SRA's Director of Education and Training said: "We are pleased that the High Court has refused permission for the claimants to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In-house survey reveals diverse and expanding sector

4 February 2014

The in-house solicitors sector is expanding and becoming more diverse than ever, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) research has shown.

New man to take the reins at the SRA

3 February 2014

Paul Philip, the new Chief Executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has taken up the reins at the Authority.

79% of firms complete diversity data collection exercise on time

3 February 2014

79% (8,396) firms have successfully submitted their diversity data reports to the SRA by the 31 January deadline - with many more in progress.

January

SRA to consult on unrated insurers

28 January 2014

 The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is consulting on only allowing rated insurers to provide professional indemnity (PII) cover to SRA-regulated law firms following problems caused by the insolvency of a number of insurers.

Review suggests gap in protection for clients

20 January 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) may consult on only allowing rated insurers to provide professional indemnity cover after it discovered clients of law firms whose policy was provided by an unrated company did not receive the necessary protection.

SRA publishes firms that had no insurance

17 January 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published the list of 136 firms that did not have indemnity insurance in place by 1 October deadline and did not obtain new cover during the Extended Policy Period (EPP).

SRA sends final reminder that the deadline for submitting workforce diversity data is fast approaching

13 January 2014

The SRA is contacting firms this week who have not submitted their workforce diversity data on line, to do so as soon as possible to comply with the deadline of 31 January. 

Training for Tomorrow event - Training Regulations Review

8 January 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is launching its Training for Tomorrow 2014 stakeholder engagement programme with four roadshows in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Manchester starting at the end of January.

SRA warns firms to engage over insurance position

7 January 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is warning firms to come clean about their insurance position.

ABS - two years of applications

3 January 2014

Today (3 January) marks the two-year anniversary of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) accepting applications from firms that want to offer legal services as alternative business structures (ABSs).