As a legal professional, reputation is everything and when your professional conduct is under review you need specialist advice. Our Regulatory team here at Lewis Nedas can provide you with the expert advice and experience you need at this difficult time.
Our specialists have represented a number of firms of solicitors, individual partners and other members of legal sector staff faced with investigations by the Solicitors Regulation Authority [SRA]. We have experience in advising both small practices and major firms on a wide range of issues. Whether you are under investigation for issues of integrity, not acting in the best interests of clients, fraud and financial services issues or any other issues of regulatory compliance, Lewis Nedas can help.
We can work with you and with the regulator carrying out the investigation to convince them not to prosecute or intervene. Where the investigatory body makes the decision to prosecute, we can offer expert legal advice and representation at every stage of the process. We can help our clients explain their actions, clearly and concisely so that the SRA gets a full and accurate picture of the reasons behind our client’s conduct – and don’t misunderstand the circumstances. Having a specialist Regulatory lawyer present assists the SRA with their investigation and makes the process go more smoothly. If you are concerned about a professional regulator investigation, don’t delay, contact Lewis Nedas as soon as possible to find out how we can help.
SRA Investigation Process
The SRA Investigation Process may follow a complaint by your employer, a client or a fellow legal professional or sometimes a qualified Accountant report sent to The Law Society. The SRA will assess the issue in line with the Code of Practice or Code of Conduct in order to assess whether to take the issue any further. Following initial assessment, some or all of the following stages may take place:
Investigation – During the investigation, you will be asked to justify or explain your conduct, or the circumstances leading up to the complaint. Normally you will make your reply in writing, however, you may also be asked to attend an interview. Our specialist solicitors can help make sure you explain yourself clearly and can provide assistance in composing your response.
Investigating Committee – An investigating committee may meet to decide whether there is a case to answer after you have provided a response to the allegations raised. Where they decide there is a case to answer, you will be invited to a hearing. You should seek legal advice as soon as there is a suggestion that you will be subject to investigation by the SRA. A well-drafted response during the investigation or proper briefing for an interview could make all the difference when a committee are deciding whether there is a case to answer. Contact Lewis Nedas today to find out how we can help.
Disciplinary Decision – The SRA will then make a disciplinary decision. If your case falls below the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) threshold, this will normally be a rebuke or fine or an agreed outcome known as a Regulatory Settlement Agreement. However, we understand that these disciplinary actions are not always the most damaging, and in fact, your reputation is far more important. That is why we recommend you contact a specialist solicitor for assistance, to give you the best chance of clearing your name.
Prosecution before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) may result in a far more serious sanction. This may include large fines, and striking off meaning you will no longer be able to practice as a solicitor. Such a hearing could have a serious impact on your life, and you must ensure you have the best chance of success by contacting a specialist lawyer, familiar with the procedure.
How can Lewis Nedas Help?
Here at Lewis Nedas, we can help you review your position, advise you on how to proceed and also provide you with the support and representation you need throughout the process. We understand that the consequences of an SRA investigation can be catastrophic both for individuals and for the firm that person works for. Whilst only the SDT has the power to strike off a solicitor, the reputational damage that can occur as the result of any sanction imposed by the SRA can have a great impact on the career of an individual involved, or on a firm’s ability to secure business and affordable indemnity insurance. Solicitors with a disciplinary record or a condition affecting their practicing certificate may find it difficult to find employment, but Lewis Nedas specialist SRA investigations solicitors can give you the best chance of avoiding this situation.
Many individuals, when faced with an SRA investigation, are keen to come to an agreement at an early stage in order to limit the reputational damage and cost they may face. Lewis Nedas solicitors can help you assess and review your circumstances to determine whether it is worth challenging the findings of the SRA investigation to ensure you are not unfairly left with a mark on your disciplinary record. We can also help you in the initial stages ensure that your explanation of events paints a clear picture of your actions and your reasoning during the circumstances leading to the complaint. We highly recommend that you get expert advice at an early stage, or at whatever stage you are at in the procedure. Only a lawyer with specialist experience of SRA and SDT proceedings can give you the best chance of success, Contact Lewis Nedas today to find out more about how we can help.
Contact Lewis Nedas Lawyers
We understand how stressful an investigation can be, but our specialist team can help you get the advice and support you need.
For legal advice that will be tailored to your needs, from lawyers that are tenacious and who will provide a practical solution to your concerns, contact our team now.