SRA's supervision function

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

  • SRA's supervision function
  • Who the SRA supervises
  • What does the SRA seek to achieve when supervising?
  • Risk-based supervision
  • Supervision in practice
  • Dealing with reports
  • Supervisory tools
  • Level of supervision
  • Risk profile
  • Visits
  • More...

SRA's supervision function

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has three core operational functions:

  1. authorisation (see Practice Note: SRA's authorisation function)

  2. supervision (which this Practice Note covers)

  3. enforcement (see Practice Note: SRA's enforcement function)

The SRA's supervision function is responsible for the risk-based oversight of the entire regulated community. It receives reports and investigates concerns raised about firms and individuals regulated by the SRA.

Supervision teams also encourage and support firms to:

  1. deal with their own risks

  2. improve standards

  3. provide the required outcomes for clients

This Practice Note describes the SRA's supervision function and the its general approach to supervision under the SRA Standards and Regulations.

Who the SRA supervises

Generally, the SRA will focus on supervising each firm as an entity, but it has powers over:

  1. solicitors and other legal professionals who are registered with the SRA, eg registered foreign lawyers

  2. other employees who do not provide reserved legal services

  3. compliance officers (COLPs and COFAs) who are not solicitors

  4. managers, whom the SRA defines as the:

    1. members of an LLP

    2. directors of a company

    3. partners in a partnership

    4. in relation to any other body, members of its governing body

  5. the firm as an entity

The SRA has dedicated Authorisation Rules and Disciplinary Procedure Rules. It does not have dedicated supervision rules. The SRA's supervisory powers are linked to its disciplinary and authorisation powers. It has disciplinary powers over each of

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