SRA means Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Solicitors Regulation Authority was founded on 29th january 2007 to regulate solicitors in England and wales. It’s main goal is “to set, promote and secure in the public interest standards of behaviour and professional performance necessary to ensure that clients receive a good service and that the rule of law is upheld”.
The SRA code of conduct had been created to dictate the way solicitors must act in order to protect their client’s interests and for moral and financial matters. So, certain standards can be maintained for the benefit of the clients and in the public interest. And so, the solicitors can easily provide a service that best suits their clients’ needs. The SRA code of conduct is a code of ethics.
A solicitor is a lawyer who deals with any legal matter.
Among other things, the SRA code of conduct includes:
- the 10 principles every solicitor must know and respect in his everyday duty;
- information about the solicitor’s relationship with his clients;
- information about the solicitor’s business;
- information about dealing with his regulator;
- everything regarding mandatory provisions and non-mandatory provisions.
The SRA code of conduct was created on 17 June 2011 commencing 6 October 2011; it is regularly revised not to become obsolete.
The SRA is a non-governmental organization financed by the lawyers themselves, so the SRA can enjoy its independence and act in order to protect the profession of solicitor, without being influenced by any exterior organization.
The SRA takes care of the solicitors in order to help them meeting their clients’ needs and protecting them. But it also manages students, helping them finding a job, an internship or even teaching courses. They also communicate with consumers.
To conclude, the SRA code of conduct is every solicitor’s handbook, like the bible for Christians.
Ever since gaining it independence from the Law Society in 2007, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been functioning as an independent body and it manages over 100,000 solicitors working within the UK, as well as a number of solicitors outside the UK, registered with sra as foreign lawyers.
By regulating such a high number of solicitors, the sra was bound to to be faced sooner or later with the task of disciplining those who have proven to have an unethical approach to their job. It was for this reason that the Solicitors Code of Conduct came to life as part of the Legal Complaints Service. The document, which is 200 pages long, instates a number of regulations and ethical standards that solicitors must follow in order to comply to their clients’ needs.
According to the Legal Services Act of 2007, the new Code of Conduct was designed to set the parameters within which solicitors are expected to do their job and it has proven to be a very effective tool ever since its inception. According to the sra code of conduct, any individual who claims they have been misrepresented can make a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service which will result in an investigation by the sra to determine the culpability of the respective solicitor.
If during the investigation, the solicitor is found to be responsible for breaching any rule or regulation, the Regulation Authority will take disciplinary measurements ranging from warnings to imposing control on the solicitor’s practice within the UK.
Although being rather generic, the code of conduct enforces a number of ten mandatory principles such as acting with integrity and upholding the rule of Law. Being a non-governmental organization, the sra cannot take legal actions against its solicitors, although it can forward the results of their investigation to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which might get the investigated solicitor suspended, fined, or released from duty.
It is a requirement that all authorized companies should have a compliance office for legal practice and another who is a compliance officer for finance and administration. These two individuals are useful in any company, since each of them carries out a different task.
For example, a COFA is charged with the duty of ensuring a company complies with all the set regulations in the SRA rules. This is the main body that is concerned with the authorization and testing to ensure candidates fulfill their practicing requirements.
It is important to nominate the right COFA, such that, in the event of failure to comply with the governing rules, SRA are quickly notified on the problem. A good COFA will act in good faith to ensure your business management and financial stability is maintained.
However, before settling for a particular person, people are always advised to ensure that the COFA they select is well trained and skilled in the profession. Companies are to be very careful when choosing the right person who will fulfill these roles in the businesses.
Nominating the right COFA is beneficial since these individuals are trained to handle important area of a business. Such areas can include; the size and nature of work, risks involved and the plan of the business. Following the set rules by the approving body which is the SRA, a good compliance offer will always ensure that your business observes exactly that.
This is why before hiring a compliance officer, always be quick to confirm if he or she has been approved to carry out his practice. Incase you confirm that he is not authorized to give out his service; you are warned against hiring such a person into their business. These are some of the few reasons why it pays to have the right professionals working for you.