News release

SRA publishes second Risk Outlook

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-increasing role in firms' planning and strategic thinking.

The Outlook, launched last year, provides firms and consumers with a clear view of the SRA's assessment of the drivers in the legal services market and the key risks to the provision of competent ethical legal services. It profiles key risks and explains what is meant by each of them, why they are significant and the regulatory approaches to managing them.

The Outlook is updated twice a year, and these updates are accompanied by supporting papers that outline specific issues in detail. The SRA believes that more and more firms are using these tools to mitigate the risks the face.

Andrew Garbutt, SRA Director of Risk, said: "We cannot totally eliminate risk, and in fact the market will only innovate and grow if firms take risks. The purpose of the Outlook is to ensure firms are aware of the risks they may face and help them to plan ahead.

"We are invited to more and more events focused on risk management to talk about how firms can use the Risk Outlook as part of their strategic thinking. We are hearing about firms taking the information on board and making alterations to their business plans as appropriate.

"It shows that the work we've done around Risk in the last 18 months is needed, and it is satisfying to hear that firms are putting the Outlook to good use. We are always open to hearing how our risk papers, including the Outlook, can be improved and made even more useful for the firms we regulate.”

The Risk Outlook is produced by reviewing the current legal services market to understand better the drivers of risk to the regulatory objectives. Risks are prioritised and placed into two categories – current and priority. The Outlook can be accessed here:

Go to the Risk Outlook

The Outlook forms part of the overall approach to risk management. In December 2012, the SRA published the Regulatory Risk Framework to explain how it identifies, assesses and controls risks to the delivery of the right regulatory outcomes for consumers of legal services.

The SRA has also published the Regulatory Risk Index within the Framework, which provides an overview of all the regulatory risks it manages. The Risk Index can be found here:

The SRA's approach to risk received one of the highest accolades in February when it was Highly Commended by the Institute of Risk Management at the Global Risk Awards 2014. Further information on the awards is available here:

Go to the Institute of Risk Management Awards