What is the Solicitors Regulation Authority?
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is a regulatory body that oversees solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. If you’re looking to hire a conveyancing solicitor, then they should be regulated by the SRA as they’ll be appropriately qualified.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority isn’t the only regulatory body in the UK. There’s also the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) and the Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI).
What Do The Solicitors Regulation Authority Do?
The SRA regulates solicitors, conveyancing solicitors and law firms throughout England and Wales. They also regulate non-lawyers such as the managers or employees within law firms.
The SRA also has a duty to regulate registered foreign lawyers and registered European lawyers. They ensure those who are regulated are qualified and insured.
They create and set the Principles and Code of Conduct that legal professionals must abide by. The approach to regulation is outcome-focused and risk-based. This ensures that the individuals and law firms operate independently and with integrity.
The SRA’s Code of Conduct
In 2019, the SRA’s handbook was altered. The new regulations allow solicitors to have more flexibility in how they work, making it easier for people to seek help. The handbook is now shorter and more targeted, focusing on protecting the public and their money.
The handbook and Code of Conduct are based around 7 mandatory Principles. These apply to all solicitors and law firms regulated by the SRA and everyone who works within them. They dictate that those regulated must act:
- in a way that upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law, and the proper administration of justice.
- in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors' profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
- with independence.
- with honesty.
- with integrity.
- in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.
- in the best interests of each client.
These Principles encourage a professional and transparent service where solicitors must be completely honest. It also ensures they’re qualified, insured and capable of providing the best possible service.
What if a Conveyancer Breaches the Code of Conduct?
Enforcement action can be taken against those who breach the Code of Conduct. They have a range of legal powers enabling them to take action depending on the severity of the breach and the risk posed to the public and profession.
From warnings about future conduct to closing a firm with immediate effect, there are a variety of outcomes that could result from breaching the SRA’s Principles. If a firm is forced to close, then the clients will be able to apply for their money and documents to be returned.
How You Benefit From the SRA
Your conveyancing costs may be reduced as you should be provided with a reliable service by a trustworthy professional. You won’t lose money by switching between unqualified solicitors or wasting it on irrelevant services.
Complete transparency and honesty are required, meaning your hard-earned money won’t go to waste.
Many of the Principles ensure every solicitor and law firm provides clients with the most reliable services, acting in their best interest. They want to provide you with the best service possible, conducting accurate and relevant conveyancing searches.
A clear and helpful complaints service is also available. If the conveyancing solicitor or legal firm is unprofessional, the SRA can complete a full investigation. In a worst-case scenario, if the firm is then shut down, you can apply to receive your money back.
How Compare My Move Verifies Conveyancers
Compare My Move only works with the most professional and dependable conveyancers in the UK. Our network of conveyancing partners go through a stringent verification process and are continually monitored through user feedback and ratings.
Our partners must also follow our Code of Conduct. They will need to provide quality customer service as well as offer a quality after-sales service when required. We regularly monitor our conveyancers throughout their partnership. Although extremely rare, we’ll remove them as verified partners if deemed necessary.