Our Guide to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
If you’re in the process of buying or selling a home, you’re likely in search of a cheap conveyancing solicitor. They can take care of legally transferring the property’s ownership from one person to the other. In that case, you’ll need to make sure they’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). It is a regulatory body that oversees law firms and solicitors in England and Wales. Checking that the SRA regulates the conveyancing solicitor you choose will certify they are adequately qualified.
It’s important to note that the SRA is not the only regulatory body in the UK. There is also the Council for Licensed Conveyancers or CLC, which regulates licenced conveyancers. Meanwhile, the Law Society of Scotland or LSS and the Law Society of Northern Ireland or LSNI oversee solicitors in their respective countries. Here’s what you need to know about the SRA and how they supervise the legal professionals under their domain:
What is the SRA?
The SRA govern solicitors, including conveyancing solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. They also manage non-lawyers in law firms, like employees or managers. The SRA is responsible for regulating registered foreign and European lawyers as well, certifying that they are fully qualified and insured to offer legal services to their clients.
It establishes the Principles and Code of Conduct legal professionals must follow to stay compliant. It can also take enforcement action against those who violate this Code of Conduct due to its various legal powers, allowing them to respond depending on the breach’s severity and the risk faced by the profession and the public.
Breaching the SRA’s Principles results in a wide range of outcomes, like warnings about future conduct and closing a firm, effective immediately. If a firm closed due to violating the Principles, clients who have paid the firm can ask for a refund and to have their documents returned.
What is the SRA’s Code of Conduct?
The handbook and Code of Conduct use the ten mandatory Principles as their basis. All solicitors and law firms regulated by the SRA, along with those who work within them, must follow these Principles:
- Uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice,
- Act with integrity,
- Not allow your independence to be compromised,
- Act in the best interests of each client,
- Provide a proper standard of service to your clients,
- Behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and the provision of legal services,
- Comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and cooperative manner,
- Run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles,
- Run your business or carry out your role in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity, and
- Protect client money and assets.
The SRA created these rules to protect the clients and those within its realm of regulation. The Principles promote a transparent, professional, and high-quality service where solicitors must always be honest with their clients.
How Does the SRA Benefit You?
Using a conveyancing solicitor regulated by the SRA may reduce the conveyancing costs. You’ll also be guaranteed a trustworthy professional who will deliver top-notch service with few delays. You won’t have to worry about wasting your money by jumping between solicitors or spending it on services you don’t need, as an SRA conveyancer is guaranteed to bring you total trust and transparency.
The SRA is also incredibly dedicated to client care. Most of the Principles are set to ensure that each solicitor and law firm offers their clients reliable service that prioritizes their best interests. They provide each of their clients with protection, which means that if the worst-case scenario occurs, you can bring your complaints to the SRA and have them carry out a full investigation. You can also get your money back if the firm gets shut down by applying through the regulatory body.
The SRA is established to oversee conveyancing solicitors and law firms, ensuring they always operate above-board. Getting an SRA conveyancing solicitor will equip you with the protection and service you need when you need conveyancing.
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