SRA enforcement strategy

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • SRA enforcement strategy
  • The SRA’s approach to enforcement
  • Purpose of enforcement
  • Focus on serious issues
  • Aggravating/mitigating factors
  • Engagement
  • Who action is taken against
  • Seriousness
  • Serious breach factors
  • Nature of the allegation
  • More...

SRA enforcement strategy

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has a published enforcement strategy setting out its approach to enforcement, assessing the seriousness of an enforcement issue and the sanctions and controls at its disposal. It has also published accompanying guidance on its approach to enforcement in the following specific areas:

  1. anti-money laundering

  2. competence and standard of service

  3. conveyancing

  4. criminal offences outside of practice

  5. driving with excess alcohol convictions

  6. social media use and offensive communications

  7. price and service transparency

  8. application of SRA Principle 1

This Practice Note explains the SRA’s enforcement strategy, including its approach to enforcement, assessing seriousness, the sanctions and controls at its disposal and its guidance on enforcement in the specific areas listed above.

The SRA’s approach to enforcement

The SRA’s purpose is to protect the public:

  1. by ensuring that solicitors meet high standards, and

  2. by acting when risks are identified

The SRA’s approach to enforcement is guided by this public interest purpose.

The SRA seeks to be fair and proportionate in its approach to enforcement and its response will reflect the seriousness of the breach.

Purpose of enforcement

As a public interest regulator, the SRA focuses on issues that present an underlying risk to the public. It does not view enforcement as a tool to punish wrongdoers, but rather its purpose is to:

  1. protect clients and the public—either controlling or limiting the risk of harm and preventing repeat offences,

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