Is the firm obliged to report?
Outcome 10.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 requires the firm and individuals to report material changes including serious financial difficulty and serious failure to comply with the SRA Handbook.
Outcome 10.4 requires the firm and individuals to report serious misconduct.
So it is material, it is serious? Get the answer to this question wrong and you’re looking at aggravated allegations, not only of failing to comply with these Outcomes, but if the SRA suspects that the decision not to report was deliberate, of a lack of integrity or dishonesty.
I need to report, how do I go about doing it?
In our experience, how you report is very likely to influence how the SRA deals with the issue. Demonstrate that you are able to self-regulate, and there’s a greater chance the SRA will determine that it’s unnecessary to make a formal disciplinary finding.
Even if the matter is so serious that a disciplinary outcome is required, how you approach the investigation is likely to go a long way to mitigating the sanction. Have you been able to demonstrate insight, were the firm’s systems at fault, has the firm or individual taken any action to reduce the risk of recurrence?
How can we assist?
Each report we file is tailored to the particular circumstances. We’ll be able to assess how much detail is required, what evidence is required, what action needs to be taken, and how to implement it. We’ll also have in mind other ramifications, such as the firm’s/your professional indemnity insurance cover.
Get the report wrong, and the consequences could be extreme. It almost invariably makes commercial sense to seek specialist advice when preparing a self-report.
Why choose us?
We file and advise on self-reports each year on behalf of wide variety of law firms, large through small. We understand what the SRA are looking for, and how best to avoid or minimise regulatory and disciplinary action.
This stage really is key to achieving the best outcome and handled well is likely to save you in the long run.