Support and guidance with every stage

From our own personal dealings with the SRA we can clearly understand and empathise with you, supporting and guiding you through the entire process is our priority.


The SRA can intervene in your practice. The allegations have to be serious for this to happen but they do not have to be proven at that stage. There are two ways intervention can take place. The first is that the order is given without notice, which is usually for serious financial issues involving client money. The second is by putting you on notice that they intend to make an application to the court for the order. At that stage, you can defend yourself by making representations to the SRA directly as to why they should not intervene. You might need to attend court and defend the application should the SRA continue with their actions.

If the order to intervene is given then you will be stopped from practising with that firm. Another firm will be appointed to take control of the files and the bank accounts will be suspended; you will have no access to the firm nor its accounts. For all intense and purposes, this is the end of the firm as far as trading is concerned as even if the allegations are later reduced or defended, time will have passed and the firm will have ceased trading. You will usually be suspended from practising at this stage. There are conditions that could be placed on your continued practising which could include no public facing role, handling of client money or be involved in the running of a law firm.

How can we help?

We can advise you on the option to appeal against the SRA’s decision to intervene with the high court. This appeal must be put in place within eight days of the intervention. The sooner you have a team that will manage the conduct of the process, the less draconian the entire procedure is. Additionally, we can assist you in making representations to the SRA that an intervention is not the appropriate decision. Finally, we can help you to avoid an intervention by the SRA by negotiating a voluntary closure. This is a cheaper alternative which better protects the reputation of the solicitor.

After the investigation is complete

After the issues are investigated then the SRA will consider the outcomes; this is where your cooperation and honesty will assist you as the SRA can place sanctions and issue fines. Of course, there may be no allegations that make it through and the matter is concluded. The SRA is under no obligation to notify those involved that an investigation is over and so constantly monitoring the situation and progress is essential albeit in a professional way as clearly characters are at play in the investigation and one would not wish to provoke an adverse outcome.

The SRA can also refer you to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal; should they do this you will be notified that they seek to do so. You are not told at this stage what the charges will be. It is common for the SRA to use generic allegations such as conduct which covers an entire host of areas which range from low level to very serious and can result in striking off. When you receive the charges you will have time to respond with your Defence.

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Support and guidance with every stage

The SRA investigation

The investigation can be very time consuming and demanding on you and your practice and can take a considerable period of time to complete. The SRA can also send in a forensic investigations team to your practice. If this happens the matter is very serious indeed and it must be managed professionally.

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The Regulatory Settlement Agreement (RSA)
We can help you negotiate with the SRA for a Regulatory Settlement Agreement (RSA) which is an alternative to hearings. It’s a formal written agreement which settles complaints made by the SRA against the solicitor.


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The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
The Tribunal will set out directions. Applications can be made in the normal way and will be heard by a judge – sometimes on the papers or it could be at a hearing. The panel is made up of a layperson with no legal experience or qualification and two legally qualified personnel.


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The SRA can also intervene in your practice, the allegations have to be serious for this to happen but they do not have to be proven at that stage.


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Lexcel and File Management Compliance
The process itself is stringent and requires a great deal of diligence and care to complete. However, at Kidwells, due to experience in the area, we can help you attain your desired goal.


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The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Hearing
The forensic investigator may give live evidence and provide the SRA with the documentary evidence. The solicitor in question can present their defence and dispute allegations made against them through oral evidence.


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