Exclusive: solicitors repay £1m to clients to end SRA investigations

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By Legal Futures

10 June 2010

Miners: solicitors repaying inappropriate deductions

Solicitors have agreed to pay back to clients over £1 million to end investi-gations being conducted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Legal Futures can reveal.

Figures obtained by this website show that the SRA has entered into 54 separate regulatory settlement agreements (RSAs) with 133 individuals since it was allowed to do so in 2008, although we understand that record-keeping in the early days of RSAs was not totally reliable. Of those, 51 have been or shortly will be published on the SRA’s website.

Sixteen of the RSAs to date have involved agreed offers to repay clients affected by, for example, inappropriate deductions of fees in miners’ compensation matters or overcharged  disbursements. The SRA estimates that pursuant to these agreements repayments of approximately  £1,003,600 have been made.

RSAs have also been used to deal by consent with appeals to the High Court in relation to practising certificate conditions and to remove solicitors immediately from the roll by consent, where, for example, they have retired or are suffering from ill health.

RSAs are not equivalent to commercial settlements; they are on the SRA’s terms, which are agreed to by the solicitor concerned.

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