Being investigated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) is not something any lawyer or law firm can afford to take lightly. It is essential to seek objective advice from specialists in dealing with Solicitors Regulation Authority investigations to protect your career and business.
At Saunders Law, we are experts in advising and defending lawyers facing investigation by the SRA. We are particularly well-known and respected for our work helping solicitors defend against allegations of professional misconduct, as well as for advising other legal professionals where they have been accused of misrepresenting themselves as solicitors.
Our team can assist with:
- Independent, objective advice on your position and the SRA investigation process
- Preparing your response to an SRA investigation letter
- Dealing with an SRA Forensic Investigation of your firm
- Representation for SRA interviews
- Responding to the findings of an SRA investigation
- Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal representation
Notable successes achieved by our SRA investigations experts include:
- Having an allegation of dishonesty against a solicitor withdrawn by the SRA
- Convincing the SRA to discontinue an investigation into a student member of CILEx accused of misrepresenting themselves as a solicitor
- Securing the discontinuation of an SRA investigation against a member of CILEx alleged to have mislead clients into believing she was a qualified solicitor and to have destroyed documents related to a major immigration appeal
At Saunders Law, our professional discipline and regulatory solicitors are highly respected experts in the legal sector. We have decades of experience across our team, having earned recognition from leading industry guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.
Operating from offices in central London, we’re also ideally located to help clients navigate through the professional regulatory and disciplinary process.
Consult our SRA investigation lawyers
For a free, no-obligation discussion of how we may be able to help, please get in touch with our SRA investigation solicitors.
Why Saunders Law are acknowledged leaders in dealing with SRA investigations
Extensive specialist experience with SRA investigations
Partner James Saunders (a member of the Solicitors Assistance Scheme) and Matthew Purcell are regarded as experts in this field. Our team have achieved numerous successes for our clients, including having SRA investigations dropped and seeing clients exonerated of wrongdoing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal following an SRA investigation.
Independently recognised expertise
Exceptional personal service & client satisfaction
Our SRA investigation lawyers take pride in the high level of personal service we provide. Clients will always receive a call back the same day following an enquiry and can always speak to one of our partners when required. As a result, we consistently achieve excellent feedback from clients.
Transparent and flexible pricing
We provide clear and open advice regarding the costs involved in facing an SRA investigation. Various funding options are available to suit different circumstances and we have excellent relationships with litigation funding providers.
How we can help you with an SRA investigation
Objective advice & strategic insight on your situation
No matter your level of legal expertise, it can be very difficult to view your own situation objectively. Our SRA investigations experts can provide an independent perspective that gives you a truly impartial assessment of your legal position.
You can then make a considered judgement about how you wish to respond to an SRA investigation with all the information you need to pick the course of action that is likely to result in the best possible outcome for you.
Preparing your response to an SRA investigation letter
As per the SRA investigation process, you have a duty to respond to an SRA investigation letter promptly and appropriately. Failure to do so can result in a solicitor and/or their firm committing a separate regulatory offence.
Our team regularly advises clients on responding to SRA investigation letters, so we can ensure you provide a response that will satisfy your regulatory duty while protecting your position and not doing anything that could undermine your defence.
Dealing with an SRA Forensic Investigation of your firm
Should the SRA decide to carry out a ‘live’ investigation of your firm, you may be notified in advance or they may attend unannounced. In either case, it is important to get expert advice as soon as possible to ensure you comply with the investigation in line with your regulatory duties while protecting yourself and your firm.
Our SRA investigations defence team can provide instant advice on what you need to do and anything you shouldn’t do, so you can be confident you are acting in the right way at every stage of an SRA Forensic Investigation.
Representation for SRA interviews
If you are required to attend an interview with an SRA investigating officer, you must have specialist representation to advise and protect you. Anything said by you in an SRA interview can be used as evidence against you, so it is crucial that you do not make any mistakes at this stage as they can be very hard to recover from.
Our SRA defence solicitors can attend an SRA interview with you, advising and representing you so you have the best chance of securing a favourable outcome.
What are the potential outcomes of an SRA investigation?
There are various potential outcomes to an SRA investigation. The SRA investigation process outlines that the SRA could:
- Find there was no case to answer and take no further action.
- Find that there was no misconduct but offer guidance on actions a solicitor and/or firm should take in future to avoid any similar issues.
- Issue a warning, rebuke or reprimand which will stay on a solicitor’s and/or a firm’s record and can have serious professional consequences.
- Issue a fine of up to £2,000.
- Refer the matter to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Whatever the SRA investigation outcome is, our team can advise you on any next steps you need to take, including your right to appeal the decision if you wish to do so.
Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Representation
In the event that you are referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, you will need expert representation for every stage of proceedings to help you secure the best available outcome.
Our Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal defence team have a strong track record of success, with strategies based on sound, convincing evidence and arguments. We offer advocacy skills honed by years of experience that we can bring to bear on your case, making sure you have the best possible representation to protect your career and reputation.
Frequently asked questions about SRA investigations
What is an SRA investigation?
The SRA, the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales, has the power to conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct by both law firms and individual solicitors. The SRA investigation process will start after the authority receives a complaint from a client, third party, opponent or via a self-report.
SRA investigations can also come about following reports from the Legal Ombudsman or other regulators such as the FCA, ICO, or the police.
What does an SRA investigations officer do?
An SRA investigation officer will be appointed by the SRA to oversee the process. The SRA investigation officer will have the power to require attendance at interviews, the provision of information and documents, as well as permission to conduct on-site inspections.
An SRA investigation officer will request for the subject of an investigation to be closely involved in the process, providing information and documents when required or to comment on evidence.
What happens when the SRA intervene?
SRA intervention will normally not take place without you and your form being properly notified via telephone or email. Only in situations where it is not considered in the public interest will you not be notified during SRA intervention.
The investigation will then, for the most part, be desk-based, aside from any on-site investigations that take place.
Can the SRA strike off a solicitor?
The SRA can issue a range of sanctions following an investigation. This includes the ability to strike respondent solicitors off the professional roll, suspend them from practice, pay an unlimited fine, and pay the costs of the SRA investigation.
Arrange an initial, no obligation consultation with our SRA investigations experts in London
For a free, no-obligation discussion of how we may be able to help with an SRA investigation, please contact our SRA investigation solicitors today.