News release

SRA and the Voluntary Code

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today confirmed that it will withdraw from the Voluntary Code to good practice in the recruitment of trainee solicitors from the end of March 2015.

The SRA is withdrawing from the code as it is not its regulatory role to be involved in deciding the dates and processes by which individual employers and employees make recruitment choices. The decision to withdraw was taken after careful review and discussion with other signatories to the code.

Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director for Policy, said: "We had planned to let people formally know of our withdrawal from the Voluntary Code later in the year in order to give proper time for notification to the sector. As detail is now in the public domain, we have reviewed our original position.

"We believe that a prolonged period of notification of withdrawal would serve nobody’s interests. In order to remove any uncertainty about the code, or confusion about our role as a signatory, we have simply brought the date of our withdrawal forward.

"It is beyond our regulatory remit to uphold the code, as it is essentially a commitment to good recruitment practice. Our withdrawal does not reflect any view of the code’s benefits for firms or potential trainees."

Even with SRA involvement, the code has always been voluntary, and universities and employers may continue to comply with the code in future if they wish.


Note to editors

Other signatories to the Voluntary Code to good practice in the recruitment of trainee solicitors are The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS); the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) and the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD).
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