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 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 a forensic investigations team to your practice. If this happens the matter is very serious indeed and you must manage it professionally.

After completion of the investigation, they will want to record interviews with solicitors who have a positive obligation to co-operate. This results in the preparation of a Forensic Investigation Report which details alleged breaches of the code and their findings. An SRA caseworker will write to the solicitor enclosing the report and set out questions they want answers to. This is known as an ‘Explanation with Warnings’ (EWW) letter.

The investigator can send the letter without attending the firm. However, this does not imply the SRA is dealing with the matter in a less serious manner. It’s still important to get advice promptly. As a crucial part of the disciplinary process, the solicitor usually has 14 days to prepare a clear and coherent response. This should have consistency with what a solicitor will say if the case reaches the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. It’s important not to disclose ignorance of any SRA regulation or belittle the seriousness of the alleged breach for fear of aggravating the situation. Your response forms the basis of any defence a solicitor has through the investigation.

The SRA caseworker refers the case to an SRA Adjudicator/Authorised Officer who will make a decision. It’s rare that no action is taken and sometimes they may provide a letter of advice. Additionally, they may find no case to answer or they can issue an expression of regret regarding the solicitor’s conduct. Furthermore, the caseworker may issue a warning, a rebuke or a serious reprimand, impose a fine of up to £2000 or they may refer the case to a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT.) We can provide advice and guidance through any of these stages.

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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 forensic investigations team to your practice…


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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 and sometime at a hearing. The panel is made up of a lay person with no legal experience or qualification and then two others who are legally qualified.


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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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