Performance of the SRA 2010 to 2012

The request was successful.

Dear Solicitors Regulation Authority,

I would be very grateful if you would kindly respond to the questions below as a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

1. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many complaints did the SRA receive about solicitors?

2. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints were upheld by the SRA?

3. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints resulted in a solicitor being required to pay a penalty (i.e. a fine)?

4. Regarding question (3), for each year what was the average amount of the fine?

5. Regarding question (3), for each year how many of those fines were overturned after appeal and how many are still subject to a pending appeal?

6. Regarding question (3), for each year how many individual fines remain unpaid and what is the total amount of fines that remain unpaid?

7. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints resulted in a solicitor being disqualified?

8. Regarding question (7), for each year, how many of those disqualifications were overturned after an appeal and how many are still subject to a pending appeal?

Yours faithfully,

D G Cox

Joao Curro, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/993

 

Thank you for your email today to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
("the SRA") requesting information. I am treating this as an information
request under the Law Society's Freedom of Information Code of Practice
("the Code"). 

 

You have requested access to the following information:

 

 

     “1. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many complaints did the

     SRA receive about solicitors?

    

     2. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     were upheld by the SRA?

    

     3. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     resulted in a solicitor being required to pay a penalty (i.e. a

     fine)?

    

     4. Regarding question (3), for each year what was the average

     amount of the fine?

    

     5. Regarding question (3), for each year how many of those fines

     were overturned after appeal and how many are still subject to a

     pending appeal?

    

     6. Regarding question (3), for each year how many individual fines

     remain unpaid and what is the total amount of fines that remain

     unpaid?

    

     7. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     resulted in a solicitor being disqualified?

    

     8. Regarding question (7), for each year, how many of those

     disqualifications were overturned after an appeal and how many are

     still subject to a pending appeal?”

 

 

The SRA is a part of the Law Society but acts independently in carrying
out its regulatory functions.  The Law Society is not covered by the
Freedom of Information Act (the FOIA) as it is not a designated authority,
but has adopted its own voluntary Code of Practice which closely reflects
the FOIA (link below). 

 

[1]http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/documents/d...

 

I am currently dealing with your request. Bob Stanley, Information
Compliance Manager will aim to respond formally by 29 April 2013 which is
20 working days from the receipt of your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Joao Curro

Information Compliance Officer - Legal Services

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

t: 020 7242 1222 (Ext 4539)

f: 020 7320 5685

[2]www.lawsociety.org.uk
P Go green – keep it on screen

 

This e-mail is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient then
you must not copy it, forward it, use it for any purpose, or disclose it
to another person. Instead please return it to the sender immediately and
copy your communication to [email address]. Please then
delete your copy from your system. Please also note that the author of
this e-mail is not authorised to conclude any contract on behalf of the
Law Society by e-mail.

Stay up to date by registering for the Society’s e-newsletters at
[3]www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletters.law

To help us improve our service, calls may be monitored or recorded for
quality and training purposes.
Thank you.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/documents/d...
2. http://www.emailhosts.com/ct/ctcount.php...
3. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandeven...

Joao Curro, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/993

 

Further to my colleague Joao Curro’s email of 28 March 2013, please find
below the response to your information request under the Law Society
Freedom of Information Code of Practice ("the Code").

 

You have requested access to the following information:

 

    “1. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many complaints did the

     SRA receive about solicitors?

 

2010 8514
2011 9417
2012 10551

 

 

     2. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     were upheld by the SRA?

 

As many allegations made during this period will not be closed yet, the
SRA cannot fully answer this question. However, please find below a table
containing the outcomes of closed matters in the requested period:

 

Outcome 2010 2011 2012 2013
Allegation Upheld / Action taken 1256 1077 489 71
Referrals to the SDT 267 246 119 4
Added-in to existing DPs 95 91 32 1
Ongoing other action 858 924 1254 476
Not Upheld 4207 5933 4395 643
Total 6683 8271 6289 1195

 

    

     3. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     resulted in a solicitor being required to pay a penalty (i.e. a

     fine)?

 

In 2011 there were 5 fines and in 2012 there were 3. However, it should be
noted that this does not include decisions to fine that were made at the
Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (“SDT”). Information about fines from the
SDT can be found either on the SRA website, within the [1]Quarterly
regulatory outcomes reports or on the [2]SDT’s website. Fines do not
include where the SRA is recovering the costs of an investigation.

    

     4. Regarding question (3), for each year what was the average

     amount of the fine?

 

2011 - £1,400

2012 - £1,000

    

     5. Regarding question (3), for each year how many of those fines

     were overturned after appeal and how many are still subject to a

     pending appeal?

 

One of the 2011 decisions was appealed but after reconsideration the
original decision was upheld.

    

     6. Regarding question (3), for each year how many individual fines

     remain unpaid and what is the total amount of fines that remain

     unpaid?

 

There is one fine from 2011 that is unpaid and one from 2012. The total of
unpaid fines is £3,000.

    

     7. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints

     resulted in a solicitor being disqualified?

 

Decisions to strike a solicitor from the roll are made by the Solicitor’s
Disciplinary Tribunal. These can be found in our [3]Quarterly regulatory
outcomes reports or on the [4]SDT’s website.

    

     8. Regarding question (7), for each year, how many of those

     disqualifications were overturned after an appeal and how many are

     still subject to a pending appeal?”

 

There have been 6 appeals on strike off decisions made in 2010. 3 were
dismissed, 2 were withdrawn and 1 is awaiting a hearing date.

There has been one appeal on decisions made in 2011 and this was
dismissed.

There are no appeals of 2012 strike off decisions.

 

 

 

I hope this information is of use.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[5]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

 

 

This e-mail is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient then
you must not copy it, forward it, use it for any purpose, or disclose it
to another person. Instead please return it to the sender immediately and
copy your communication to [email address]. Please then
delete your copy from your system. Please also note that the author of
this e-mail is not authorised to conclude any contract on behalf of the
Law Society by e-mail.

Stay up to date by registering for the Society’s e-newsletters at
[6]www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletters.law

To help us improve our service, calls may be monitored or recorded for
quality and training purposes.
Thank you.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/re...
2. http://www.solicitorstribunal.org.uk/
3. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/re...
4. http://www.solicitorstribunal.org.uk/
5. http://www.emailhosts.com/ct/ctcount.php...
6. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandeven...

Dear Joao Curro,

Thank you very much for your informative response. There were some questions that you could not fully answer due to understandable constraints. I would be grateful if you could respond to the related questions below, which are designed to access the data I am looking for but taking into account the issues you mentioned in your first response.

Regarding your answer to my question 2, which asked how many complaints were upheld by the SRA, you explained that you could not give a full answer to this as many complaints are still under investigation. Can you confirm that the totals shown for each year in answer to question 2 show the total number of completed investigations? For example, in 2010 there were 8514 complaints to the SRA of which 6683 have been completed - is this the correct interpretation of your data?

Regarding question 3, you responded that the SRA fined 5 solicitors but that this does not include fines imposed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. You mentioned that the outcome of the cases referred to the SDT are published in quarterly reports on the SRA website, which presumably means that the SRA holds data about the outcomes of cases it referred to the SDT. My question was “...how many of those complaints resulted in a fine..” so I would be grateful if you could include the number of fines imposed by the SDT as a result of a case referred to them by the SRA. Essentially, I am looking to find out what percentage of complaints to the SRA result in a fine for the solicitor, whether directly from the SRA or not.

If you are able to answer the question above, it may also impact your answers to questions 4, 5 and 6 which relate to the average amount of the fine, the number and amount of unpaid fines and the outcome of any appeals against the fines.

Regarding question 7, similar to above I would be grateful if you could supply the data as to how many solicitors were disqualified as a result of a complaint to the SRA, even though the disqualification is technically done by the SDT. A revised answer might also impact your answer to question 8 which related to how many of those disqualifications were overturned on appeal or subject to an ongoing appeal.

I am sincerely grateful for your time and kind response so far.

DG Cox

Joao Curro, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox
 
Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/993
 
Thank you for your email.
 
Please find below the responses to your questions (in blue).
 
 
Regarding your answer to my question 2, which asked how many complaints
were upheld by the SRA, you explained that you could not give a full
answer to this as many complaints are still under investigation. Can you
confirm that the totals shown for each year in answer to question 2 show
the total number of completed investigations? For example, in 2010 there
were 8514 complaints to the SRA of which 6683 have been completed - is
this the correct interpretation of your data?
 
The 6683 do not necessarily relate to the 8514 as 6683 is the total number
of closures in the period and 8514 is the total number of matters created.
Some matters are not closed in the same year as they were created.
However, although these do not relate to the same matters it will give an
indication of the proportions closed with each outcome.
 
Regarding question 3, you responded that the SRA fined 5 solicitors but
that this does not include fines imposed by the Solicitors Disciplinary
Tribunal. You mentioned that the outcome of the cases referred to the SDT
are published in quarterly reports on the SRA website, which presumably
means that the SRA holds data about the outcomes of cases it referred to
the SDT. My question was “...how many of those complaints resulted in a
fine..” so I would be grateful if you could include the number of fines
imposed by the SDT as a result of a case referred to them by the SRA.
Essentially, I am looking to find out what percentage of complaints to the
SRA result in a fine for the solicitor, whether directly from the SRA or
not.
 
With this question we face a similar problem to the first question. This
being as when a matter is referred the SDT the conduct investigation is
closed with the outcome “Referred to SDT” and a new file is set up for the
Tribunal case. Given that tribunal proceedings can take some time to be
heard, referrals made more recently will not have had a chance to be heard
by the SDT and result in a fine. This could skew the figures and this is
why we directed you to the statistics relating to decisions made at the
SDT although they will not relate to the same files referred that year.
 
If you are able to answer the question above, it may also impact your
answers to questions 4, 5 and 6 which relate to the average amount of the
fine, the number and amount of unpaid fines and the outcome of any appeals
against the fines.
 
We have not made amendments to questions 4, 5 and 6 based on the reason
outlined above.
 
Regarding question 7, similar to above I would be grateful if you could
supply the data as to how many solicitors were disqualified as a result of
a complaint to the SRA, even though the disqualification is technically
done by the SDT. A revised answer might also impact your answer to
question 8 which related to how many of those disqualifications were
overturned on appeal or subject to an ongoing appeal.
 
All of the cases found in the [1]Quarterly regulatory outcomes reports
are the result of an investigation at the SRA.
 
 
 
I hope this information is of use.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[2]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Stanley,

Thank you very much for your on-going assistance. I understand the issue that in a given year, new cases are opened but different cases are closed. I think there is a misinterpretation of some of the questions, perhaps caused by the formation of the question itself which perhaps I can clarify here.

My first original question was “For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many complaints did the
SRA receive about solicitors?” and you kindly responded with 8514, 9417 and 10551 respectively.

The answers to my following questions then got confused by the annual boundaries I think. You generally were kind enough to answer about cases that were closed in each of those years. Actually what I am after is, of each of the cases that were opened in a given year, what was their eventual outcome no matter what year that outcome arrived in.

So for example, for the 8514 new complaints received in 2010, how many are still under investigation, how many were not upheld and how many were referred to the SDT etc? It doesn't matter if those outcomes happened in 2010 or later.

If the SRA doesn't hold specific data of what judgement was made by the SDT for a case referred to them by the SRA, then I can apply the SDT's reported percentages to the annual number of cases referred to them by the SRA. Of course this wouldn't be quite as accurate.

Continuing thanks.

DG Cox

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox

Freedom of Information Request - Our Ref: FOI/BS/993

Thank you for your email.

You have asked for the proportion of files created that result with the
specified outcomes. However, as the information covers files created up
until the end of 2012, some of the investigations will not have been
completed, meaning we cannot provide a full picture of outcomes from these
files created. If we were to produce this report it is most likely to
appear that as time goes on there are less files with these outcomes based
on the fact that fewer have reached completion.

This issue is even more relevant where there has been a referral to the
SDT as these will have involved complex casework investigations
potentially taking a number of months followed by proceedings being lodged
with the SDT (which has a target of 6 months) and then for the case to be
heard (for which there is a further 6 month target).

Although I appreciate that you would like to see outcomes relating to
these matters, I believe the information already provided gives a better
indication of trends in the number of matters with these outcomes as it
gives a more complete picture.

I am sorry that I am unable to assist further with this matter.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

show quoted sections

Dear Bob Stanley,

Thank you for your support. But surely if you just provided the numbers of complaints still unresolved (i.e. still under investigation) this would provide the accurate data I am asking for?

Yours sincerely,

DG Cox

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Thank you for your email.

I am out of the office until Wednesday 8 May.

I will reply to your email on my return but if you require a response before then or are making a Freedom of Information or Subject Access Request please forward your email to [SRA request email]

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager
The Law Society
113 Chancery Lane
London
WC2A 1PL
020 73205662
ext 4117

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox

Freedom of Information Request - Our Ref: FOI/BS/993

Although it is possible to say how many matters were created each year
that remain unresolved, this isn't going to answer your original query
because the matters closed which we refer to in the closure figures were
not necessarily created in the same year as the one in which they were
closed. In short, it wouldn't provide the accurate data you have
requested.

Furthermore, an investigation file that has been closed by the SRA may
still be ongoing with a referral to the SDT so these would not have
reached their resolution.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

show quoted sections

Dear Bob Stanley,

So just to confirm, of the (for example) 8514 complaints received by the SRA in 2010, you cannot tell me the status of those complaints - i.e. upheld, not upheld, fined, referred to SDT or ongoing?

DG Cox

Yours sincerely,

fitForPurpose

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear D G Cox

It is not correct to say that the SRA cannot report on the status of
matters created in 2010. We know how many are still open, how many are
closed and how many of the ones closed had the outcome of 'refer to the
SDT'. The issue is that the SRA cannot give a full picture of the outcomes
of these matters to the level of detail requested because in some cases
the original investigation is not complete and some will be awaiting
hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

The issue is with any matters that are still open about which the outcome
is not yet known. This is not as much of an issue for 2010 as there are
only 11 still open. However, in 2012 we have over 2,200 matters still
open. So this means we cannot compare the numbers of particular outcomes
from matters created in 2010 to those in 2012 because we do not yet know
what the outcomes will be. As explained previously this is even more
applicable to SDT matters as they take longer to be heard and to reach an
outcome. In short, if you wish to compare numbers of outcomes in each year
it would be more informative to consider the number of files closed each
year as originally provided.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Stanley,

You seem to be trying to interpret the data on my behalf when all I need is the raw data for me to make my own analysis. For example, you stated that “we cannot compare the numbers of particular outcomes from matters created in 2010 to those in 2012 because we do not yet know what the outcomes will be.” I am not asking you to make any comparisons, I am just asking about quantities. Referring back to the original question, I asked how many complaints were received in a given year and *of those* what was the outcome. You have correctly noted that for the results to be seen in context, you should also supply the number of those complaints that are still under investigation and so the outcome is not yet known. Including this number will give a complete picture.

I disagree that it would be informative to compare the number of cases opened in a year to the number of unrelated cases closed in that year. Those two numbers have no relation to each other and are skewed by the different number of cases that are opened each year.

I also disagree that the length of time that the SDT takes to come to a decision has any bearing on the data. The only data you said you could provide was the number of cases referred to the SDT, not a breakdown of their decisions. Therefore it seems irrelevant how long the SDT takes to come to a decision because you were not going to provide information about those decisions anyway.

I would therefore gratefully receive the data to answer the original questions in due course.

DG Cox

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

1 Attachment

 
Dear D G Cox
 
Please see my response below to your email of 15 May 2013 (attached).
 
 
As mentioned in previous responses, you will see year on year decreases in
many of these figures due to the time taken to close the files. This is
especially true of the SDT matters as the initial referral is likely to be
as a result of a long initial investigation and on top of this there will
have been the time taken to lodge proceedings and for the matter to be
heard at the SDT. This explains why there are no fines at the SDT for SRA
investigations created in 2012 and only 5 strike offs.
 
     2. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints
     were upheld by the SRA?
 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Outcome* | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|---------------------------------------+----------+----------+----------|
| Allegation Upheld / Action taken | 1347 | 966 | 490 |
|---------------------------------------+----------+----------+----------|
| Ongoing other action | 1079 | 950 | 1658 |
|---------------------------------------+----------+----------+----------|
| Added-in to existing DPs | 113 | 70 | 16 |
|---------------------------------------+----------+----------+----------|
| Referrals to the SDT | 275 | 186 | 52 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

       
*The above outcomes are restricted to those where the allegations were
upheld, referred to the SDT or are ongoing other action.
 
     3. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints
     resulted in a solicitor being required to pay a penalty (i.e. a
     fine)?
 
Number of matters that resulted in a fine from the SRA

+-----------------------------------------------+
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|---------------+---------------+---------------|
| 4 | 6 | 3 |
+-----------------------------------------------+

 
Numbers of matters that resulted in a hearing at the SDT where a decision
was made to fine.
(It must be noted that a hearing at the SDT can be the result of many
investigations, this means SDT fines will be duplicated where there was
more than one initial investigation).

+-----------------------------------------------+
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|---------------+---------------+---------------|
| 94 | 42 | 0 |
+-----------------------------------------------+

 
     4. Regarding question (3), for each year what was the average
     amount of the fine?
 
Average amounts of fines by the SRA
 

+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|----------------------+----------------------+------------------|
| £           1,250.00 | £           1,216.67 | £      1,416.67 |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+

 
Average amounts of fines per matter by the SDT. Where there was more than
one fine on the tribunal matter, these were summed. The average could be
skewed by the fact that tribunal matters are duplicated when more than one
initial investigation led to the hearing. This is due to the fact we are
looking at the outcomes of each SRA investigation created in the year
rather than the outcomes of SDT matters heard in the year.
 

+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|----------------------+----------------------+------------------|
| £           7,907.46 | £           6,273.81 | N/A |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+

 
     5. Regarding question (3), for each year how many of those fines
     were overturned after appeal and how many are still subject to a
     pending appeal?
 
        One of the SRA fines for £1,000 relating to a matter received in
2010 was unsuccessfully appealed.
One of the SRA fines for £250 relating to a matter received in 2012 was
unsuccessfully appealed.
 
Appeals are recorded on our system at the point of the appeal decision
being made. Currently none of the SDT matters relating to SRA
investigations created between 2010 and 2012 have an appeal decision
recorded against them.
 
     6. Regarding question (3), for each year how many individual fines
     remain unpaid and what is the total amount of fines that remain
     unpaid?
 
        The SRA only collects the fines that are made by the SRA and not
those by the SDT. Of the fines made by the SRA, 6 are unpaid. This totals
£7,550
 
     7. For the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, how many of those complaints
     resulted in a solicitor being disqualified?
 
The table below shows the number of investigations by the SRA created each
year which in turn were linked to an SDT hearing where one or more
solicitors were struck off from the roll. It should be noted that
individual solicitors will be duplicated here as there are often multiple
SRA investigations that are combined into an SDT hearing. This also means
that whilst these files are linked to the SDT hearing, they may not have
been the reason for the solicitor being struck off, as this could have
been the result of the findings of one of the other investigations. With
this in mind the below stats relate to 102 solicitors that were struck
off.
 

+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |
|-----------------------+----------------------+----------------------|
| 94 | 53 | 5 |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
     8. Regarding question (7), for each year, how many of those
     disqualifications were overturned after an appeal and how many are
     still subject to a pending appeal?
 
Appeals are recorded on our system at the point of the appeal decision
being made. We do not currently have any appeal decisions recorded against
these decisions.
 
 
I hope this information is of use.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen
 
 
 

This e-mail is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient then
you must not copy it, forward it, use it for any purpose, or disclose it
to another person. Instead please return it to the sender immediately and
copy your communication to [email address]. Please then
delete your copy from your system. Please also note that the author of
this e-mail is not authorised to conclude any contract on behalf of the
Law Society by e-mail.

Stay up to date by registering for the Society’s e-newsletters at
[2]www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletters.law

To help us improve our service, calls may be monitored or recorded for
quality and training purposes.
Thank you.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.emailhosts.com/ct/ctcount.php...
2. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandeven...

Dear Mr Stanley,

Thank you for the time you have spent providing this information.

I asked for this information as I have recently filed a complaint against a firm of solicitors and wanted to find out the performance of the Solicitors Regulation Authority when it comes to dealing with such complaints. I am blogging about my experiences at http://thomasEggarSraComplaint.blogspot....

The figures you provided tell a pretty bleak story. In 2010, 84.2% of complaints that were fully investigated were not upheld and in fact 96.8% of complaints did not result in a referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), where punitive action could see a solicitor being fined or struck off. I therefore assume that the complaints that were upheld but not referred to the SDT resulted in the solicitor receiving nothing more than a letter of disapproval.

For 2011, you did not provide the number of investigations that are yet to be completed and so I have estimated this at 1105, being the average of the numbers provided for 2010 and 2012. This reveals that 97.8% of investigated complaints did not result in a solicitor being referred to the SDT for possible disciplinary action.

In 2012, of the 8351 completed investigations, a staggering 99.4% of complaints did not end with a referral to the SDT and in fact 94.1% of complaints weren't upheld at all.

It is notable that complaints to the SRA about solicitors is on the increase; rising from 8,514 in 2010, to 9,417 in 2011 and to 10,551 in 2012. Yet the rate of referrals for disciplinary action is on the decrease – 3.3% of investigated complaints raised in 2010, 2.3% of investigated complaints raised in 2011 and just 0.6% of investigated complaints raised in 2012.

From these figures, it is difficult to conclude that the SRA is fit for purpose as a regulator who’s stated aim is to protect the public.

Thank you once again for your assistance in providing these figures.

DG Cox

Bob Stanley, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Thank you for your email.

I am out of the office until Tuesday 18 June.

I will reply to your email on my return.

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager
The Law Society
113 Chancery Lane
London
WC2A 1PL
020 73205662
ext 4117

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org