SRA to focus on individual regulation and professionalism, Philip says

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

30 April 2015


Philip:

Philip: trust and confidence

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will focus more on individual regulation and less on firms in the year ahead, chief executive Paul Philip has said.

Mr Philip said that the “personality of regulation” was changing quite significantly, driven by a mixture of new ideas and “old ones, which have failed to find their place”.

Speaking at this week’s Legal Futures Regulation and Compliance Conference, he said: “You need to focus on two basic things – trust and confidence.

“What is the worth of a solicitor? What can the public expect and what are solicitors’ professional values?”

Mr Philip said the SRA would be consulting on the issue of professionalism towards the end of this year.

Speaking after the event, he added: “It’s really important that we speak to the profession about what can be expected in terms of integrity, confidence and independence.

“Top of the tree is the obligation to the rule of law and administration of justice.

“How does this manifest itself in the daily grind? Do you think it is something that demands regulatory action, and if so, what?”

Mr Philip told the conference the SRA would also be consulting on its revised indemnity proposals in the “next couple of months”, which would include looking at whether the rules were proportionate.

On licensing multi-disciplinary alternative business structures, he said: “I think, when judged by history, this will be the most fundamental thing we have done in the last two years, and we will see major change in the legal market because of that.”

At a later conference session, Andrew Caplen, president of the Law Society, welcomed the SRA’s consultation on professionalism, which he said would fit into work the society would be doing on the issue over the next few months.

“Compliance which compromises ethical standards is not helpful at all,” Mr Caplen said. “We need to properly define and protect the brand of solicitor. The maintenance of professional standards and ethical behaviour is essential.”

Earlier in the week Lord Justice Jackson predicted that professional negligence as a discrete body of law could disappear if restrictions on the liability of professionals continued to be swept aside.

Tags: , , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

The rise of the multi-disciplinary lawyer: A challenge for legal education

Catrina Denvir

The legal profession has been on the receiving end of much hype regarding the impact of technology. Recent commentators purport that the aspiring lawyer must be a triple threat, possessing knowledge of the law, coding expertise, and in-depth knowledge of legal technology. Yet, focusing on legal technology risks overlooking the need for skills that transcend latest fads. Legal technology is a means by which to handle data: to organise it, record it, extract it, analyse it, predict from it and leverage it. Quantitative and statistical literacy – the ability to understand, apply, visualise and infer from data – underpins technological literacy and yet receives very little attention from those who encourage innovation in the legal curriculum.

May 26th, 2017