The number of complaints about the SRA's failure to act on violations of its Code of Conduct

The request was successful.

Dear Solicitors Regulation Authority

How many complaints have there been in the last 5 years about the failure of the SRA to take any action (including a reprimand) against solicitors who have violated their Principles and Code of Conduct? If the number is so great as to exceed the financial limit on providing this information, please reduce the time frame to 4 years. If there were still so many complaints as to make it financially unviable, reduce the time frame to the last 3 years. If there were still too many complaints, reduce to 2 years. Still too many one year. Still too many? Reduce to 6 months.

Background

[extraneous material removed]

Yours faithfully,

Dudley Jones

SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

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SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

This message has been hidden. Response hidden from public view as it quoted problematic material from the request. Substantive element stated: "We are not able to provide data in response to your request. This is because you have requested: "How many complaints have there been in the last 5 years about the failure of the SRA to take any action (including a reprimand) against solicitors who have violated their Principles and Code of Conduct?" This is not a complaint category that we recognise. However we are able to extract data on complaints with the reason "dissatisfied with outcome", please let me know if you would like this information. Please contact us if you have any questions. If you are the requester, then you may sign in to view the message.

Dear SRA Information Compliance,
Dear Jack,

You stated that you were not able to provide data to my query:
"How many complaints have there been in the last 5 years about the failure of the SRA to take any action (including a reprimand) against solicitors who have violated their Principles and Code of Conduct?"

because it was not 'a complaint category that we recognise' and went on to say: 'However we are able to extract data on complaints with the reason "dissatisfied with outcome", please let me know if you would like this information.'

I think you are being a tad disingenuous here - or should that be 'ingenious'? Most people would regard this as hair-splitting. Never mind, I would be greatly obliged to you if you could provide me with the number of people who were 'dissatisfied with the outcome' of investigations of solicitors who have violated your Code of Conduct. I presume you aren't saying there's not been a single solicitor in the last 5 years who has violated your Code of Conduct - I can immediately think of one: Christopher Brooks, Head of Legal Services at Reading Borough Council. Of course you'll recall I complained about Brooks' frequent violations of the SRA Code of Conduct and the SRA said they weren't bothered by those multiple violations because Brooks 'no longer represented a threat to the public'.

I'm sure people will be astonished by this message: 'The SRA doesn't care how often you violate our Code of Conduct as long as we are satisfied you 'no longer represent a threat to the public.'

Such a message carries the clear implication that you regard your Code of Conduct and violations of it, as a matter of little importance: it's basically window dressing. I'm sure Christopher Brooks found your response as reassuring as other solicitors who - unlike Brooks - are in private practice. I'm also sure your indifference has nothing to do with the fact that - like many so-called regulators - you are funded by the subscriptions of... those solicitors you investigate! I'm relieved this raises no issues of a conflict of interests.

Yours sincerely,

Dudley Jones

SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

This is an automated response
Thank you for contacting the Information Governance and Compliance Team at
the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

We aim to respond to request for information under our Transparency Code
requests within 20 working days. Information on how we handle these
requests, including a copy of our Transparency Code, can be found on our
website here<http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/tr...>.

We will process and respond to requests under the Data Protection
Legislation ( including Subject Access Requests) within the statutory
timeframes.

This mailbox does not deal with reports about solicitors. For information
about how to report an individual or firm please see our website
here<http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems...>.

 

For information on how we handle your personal data, see our [1]privacy
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This email is intended for the addressee only. This includes any
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SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for your email.

You have requested:

"if you could provide me with the number of people who were 'dissatisfied with the outcome' of investigations of solicitors who have violated your Code of Conduct"

I am able to provide you data for complaints with the category "dissatisfied with outcome".

I cannot provide you with data on the number of people who were "dissatisfied with the outcome of investigations of solicitors who have violated your Code of Conduct". This is not a complaint category which we record so to extract the information you have requested would take longer than the 18 hours we are limited to in our Transparency Code.

For a copy of our code, please see our website:

https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/t...

Yours sincerely,

Jack Baraczewski
Information Governance Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Cube, Birmingham
www.sra.org.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Jack Baraczewski, Government Information Officer,
In your previous Response to my FOI Request you stated that you were not able to provide data to my query:

"How many complaints have there been in the last 5 years about the failure of the SRA to take any action (including a reprimand) against solicitors who have violated their Principles and Code of Conduct?"

because it was not 'a complaint category that we recognise' and went on to say: 'However we are able to extract data on complaints with the reason "dissatisfied with outcome", please let me know if you would like this information.'

I then replied (10/02/2021): 'I would be greatly obliged to you if you could provide me with the number of people who were 'dissatisfied with the outcome' of investigations of solicitors who have violated your Code of Conduct'.

Your reply today is: You stated that you were not able to provide data to my query:
"How many complaints have there been in the last 5 years about the failure of the SRA to take any action (including a reprimand) against solicitors who have violated their Principles and Code of Conduct?"

because it was not 'a complaint category that we recognise' and went on to say: 'However we are able to extract data on complaints with the reason "dissatisfied with outcome", please let me know if you would like this information.'

I' m sure no-one reading this, Jack, would suspect you of being wilfully DECEPTIVE or DEVIOUS so can I submit my Request FOR A THIRD TIME. Could you please tell me how many complainants were "dissatisfied with outcome". If it would take too long to compile this data i.e. there were so many dissatisfied with the outcome' to complete for the last THREE YEARS, reduce it to TWO years, still take too much time, reduce it to ONE year, still too much time to produce data, reduce it to ONE YEAR, still too much, reduce it to 6 MONTHS, still too much? Reduce it to 6 WEEKS.

let's see this time if we can get a helpful reply from you, Jack.

Yours sincerely,

Dudley Jones

SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

This is an automated response
Thank you for contacting the Information Governance and Compliance Team at
the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

We aim to respond to request for information under our Transparency Code
requests within 20 working days. Information on how we handle these
requests, including a copy of our Transparency Code, can be found on our
website here<http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/tr...>.

We will process and respond to requests under the Data Protection
Legislation ( including Subject Access Requests) within the statutory
timeframes.

This mailbox does not deal with reports about solicitors. For information
about how to report an individual or firm please see our website
here<http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems...>.

 

For information on how we handle your personal data, see our [1]privacy
notice.
This email is intended for the addressee only. This includes any
attachments. Its unauthorised use, further processing, storage or copying
is not allowed. If you are not the intended recipient, please let the
sender know and then destroy all copies.
Please note the sender is not authorised to conclude any contract on
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References

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SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for your email.

Please find our response attached.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Baraczewski
Information Governance Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Cube, Birmingham
www.sra.org.uk

show quoted sections

Dear SRA Information Compliance,

I grow weary of the dishonest approach adopted by people like the above SRA Respondent who frequently adopt the same technique in responding to FOI Requests about info they'd prefer remains hidden. They say we haven't got a category that fits the info you've requested. However if you ask for info about 'X' then we can provide that. You duly request info about 'X' whereupon they reply 'sorry, we don't have any records or info about 'X'. Some will give up, I tend to exert pressure and - as in ****'s case - get the info I've asked for. But this simply isn't good enough. It's dishonest.
The ironically named Disclosure Team at the MoJ who respond to requests for reviews of JCIO decisions often adopt this technique and - as with the SRA - it's usually to avoid disclosing info that's embarrassing and the JCIO would prefer remains hidden. The Disclosure Team have even responded to a review of a JCIO decision I have presented a very strong challenge to by upholding the decision based on an entirely different reason than that supplied by the JCIO Response.
The MoJ pledged to 'protect the principles of justice for everyone in society' seem more concerned with protecting the JCIO which is part of the overall MoJ department?

Yours sincerely,

Dudley Jones

SRA Information Compliance, Solicitors Regulation Authority

This is an automated response
Thank you for contacting the Information Governance and Compliance Team at
the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

We aim to respond to request for information under our Transparency Code
requests within 20 working days. Information on how we handle these
requests, including a copy of our Transparency Code, can be found on our
website here<http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/tr...>.

We will process and respond to requests under the Data Protection
Legislation ( including Subject Access Requests) within the statutory
timeframes.

This mailbox does not deal with reports about solicitors. For information
about how to report an individual or firm please see our website
here<http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems...>.

 

For information on how we handle your personal data, see our [1]privacy
notice.
This email is intended for the addressee only. This includes any
attachments. Its unauthorised use, further processing, storage or copying
is not allowed. If you are not the intended recipient, please let the
sender know and then destroy all copies.
Please note the sender is not authorised to conclude any contract on
behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority by email.

References

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