SRA outlines strategic aims and professional standards for 2017–20
The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) has published its new three-year corporate strategy. Views are sought on its proposed five strategic aims, including on high professional standards, regulatory requirements, relevant and timely information, building any new relationship with the EU, and improving responsiveness. The deadline for comments is 21 September 2017.
High professional standards:The SRA will set 'high professional standards', ensuring they are consistent, appropriate and meet the needs of the public and businesses.
Proportionate regulatory requirements:In setting regulatory requirements, the SRA will ensure it is proportionate and provides solicitors and firms with flexibility to assist members of the public and that public protection is preserved.
Information and guidance:The SRA is working towards increasing the availability of relevant and timely information to help assist people make informed choices when purchasing a legal service.
Any new relationship with the EU:As the future relationship between the UK and the EU is established, the SRA says it will need to assess the impact on existing cross-border recognition arrangements for those it regulates and for European lawyers practising in the UK.
Accessible and responsive:The SRA will strive towards increasing transparent communication and engagement in delivering its regulatory functions.
More ‘detail and clarity’ needed on new super exam framework
Responding to the SRA’s recent consultation, which addresses the draft regulations relating to the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE), Law Society president Joe Egan says ‘we actually know very little about the rules governing this framework’.
Egan adds the SRA needs to provide more ‘detail and clarity’ as to what criteria the SRA would apply for recognition of other jurisdictions, qualifications and experience obtained outside of England and Wales.
The introduction of the SQE will also end the existing transfer scheme for foreign lawyers of other jurisdictions. In light of Brexit, Egan says it is crucial that the negotiations between the EU and the UK are taken into account.