How easily is that trust in a solicitor lost? And what should happen when professionals fall short of the standards set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)? The regulator wants to find out and has launched ‘A question of trust’ campaign. The campaign will give people the opportunity to say what action should be taken against solicitors who fall short of the standards expected.
The campaign includes a series of public events across England and Wales using interactive voting to find out how seriously people view different professional failings. A formal consultation on trust in the profession is also running until 31 January 2016. The results will help the SRA to build a reference framework to support its decisions.
“We regulate in the public interest, so it’s important that we ask the public what really matters to them when using a solicitor and what should happen when things go wrong,” said Paul Philip Chief Executive, SRA. “Their views will feed into our regulatory model and help us to deliver consistent decisions that meet the expectations of both the public and the profession.”
The focus on professional conduct is good for the legal profession believes James Page, Director – Head of Client Servicing, Brunel Professional Risks. “Negligence claims against solicitors are often the result of a mistake or oversight, rather than deliberate misconduct. That is why we support our clients in establishing effective risk management procedures in their practices. The SRA’s question of trust campaign will keep the profession focused on achieving the highest possible standards. This should contribute to reducing errors, which in turn will help to reduce claims for negligence.”
More information on ‘A question of trust’ has been published on the SRA’s website. An online public survey has also been launched by the regulator. Further information on the campaign has been published by the Law Society Gazette and Solicitors Journal.