The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published a number of reports on its operational work during 2020/21. The reports, which cover areas including education and training, enforcement, approval of new firms and solicitors, and the activity of the Compensation Fund, show what the SRA has been doing in these areas and its level of success in addressing the issues.
Key facts highlighted within these reports include:
- Alternative business structures now make up more than ten percent of firms.
- More than 1000 candidates across 26 countries signed up for the first SQE assessment.
- Overall reports of concerns about solicitors rose to 10,400, after a fall in 2019/20 during the pandemic.
- 273 reports of potential anti-money laundering breaches came in, significantly up from 196 the previous year.
- The continued growth of the legal sector in Wales, with Welsh firms now accounting for a combined turnover of over £442 million, up ten per cent in five years.
- £26.9 million was paid out from the Compensation Fund, against an average of £14.8 million across the last seven years
Anna Bradley, Chair of the SRA Board ,said:
‘These reports provide an overview of our work last year. Together they show that we are, overall, doing a good job of maintaining standards and protecting legal service users where necessary. But there is also room for improvement, for instance, in concluding cases in a timely way. This is in everyone’s interest – the public and the profession – which is why the Board takes a strong interest in our improvement programme.
‘We also take a special interest in our work to address the long-standing pattern of over representation of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic solicitors reported to us and in our processes. We know the reasons for this will be complex, which is why we have commissioned in-depth research. We are looking forward to the findings, so we can take whatever steps we can to change the picture for the future.’
The annual reports can be accessed with the following links: