Solicitor Regulators Authority: Disciplinary Body of Lawyers in the United Kingdom
I would have never imagined in my professional career that I would have to start a procedure to ask for responsibility against a lawyer outside our borders, but the world has become global. On the other hand, and although it is not “an easy going situation” when it comes to defending justice and truth, it is easier to forget about it. With the Brexit, the growth of the United Kingdom and its relationship with other countries has meant that We, the professionals would have to learn some issues of this jurisdiction and search for support in law firms or external lawyers. After the Brexit everything will be different… 💡
The S.R.A (Solicitors Regulator Authority) is an organization that deals with regulatory and disciplinary matters, as well as establishing the rules that apply to solicitors from England and Wales, also supervising and guaranteeing their application. It was previously called the Law Society Regulation Board and acts solely at the service of the public interest.
To claim you must fill out a form that you will find in the S.R.A. web site. They will contact you quickly. We filed the claim on June 22, 2016, and 2 days later they acknowledged receipt with the lines and deadlines to follow up. They assigned someone responsible and began to request all kinds of information as a result of our claim. I recommend that you go to a professional because if you do not have a good development from the beginning, then contradictions will appear. I repeat, they are very strict and study the question very well. The reputation of the S.R.A is based on it.
Obviously, you must attach all kinds of documentation (mail, order notes, transfers, comments by skypes, calls, etc). In our case, they have been very thorough asking and questioning all types of documents to clarify the truth.
Subsequently reassigned the case to a Solicitor as we were demonstrating the irregularities committed. The job of the Solicitor in the United Kingdom is very wide, from helping his clients in specialized legal services of advice and representation (including the one that is carried out before certain jurisdictional bodies) and in any type of matter to act for others like the Crown Prosecution Office, the central and local administrations, mercantile or labor organizations or other entities. The solicitors can choose the type of professional medium that suits them best. There will be cases – like this one – in which they cannot represent in court and will inform a barrister. A barrister is not always required since the duly qualified solicitors have the right to act in the hearing (that is, to represent their clients in court).
On October 4, 2017, the Solicitors Regulator Authority (S.R.A) decided to refer our case to the Disciplinary Tribunal (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal). The Court is an independent entity of the S.R.A. In addition, we were required so that my client will submit a written statement of everything that happened. They -the S.R.A- made a summary in English and Spanish of everything so that He signed it on 2 occasions (two different statements), making reference to all the documents presented. The preliminary investigation had about 1000 folios. He was also warned that his presence at the hearing could be needed and if he was willing to travel to London to witness at the hearing. In this respect, and although my client and I went to London for the hearing, I think they also allow their testimony to be made through a video conference. In fact, we attended, in our case, a video conference that was made with a major law firm in New York (USA) asking about the lawyer investigated.
I have to admit that the professionalism of the SRA has positively surprised me, although it has come to my knowledge information that in others cases the S.R.A is accused of delaying the investigation of other professionals. See information down below and its original content
Whether this is true or not, I ´d prefer to talk about what I know and what I (me and our client) have lived; That is why I insist that both of us can only say that the professionalism of the S.R.A has been impressive.
The oral hearing is like any other Court. In this case there are 3 judges and a secretary. The defense is carry on for both S.R.A and my client interest by the Barrister of the said organization. My role was to present the complaint and documentation -and as I have said before there were about 1000 folios- all in English obviously throughout the process until the end, advise my client, prepare for his testimony and serve as a translator in his relationship with the SRA as the Disciplinary Tribunal. He did have a translator when the Judges and the parties asked him. I also needed to present documentation of criminal proceedings against the same lawyer that began in Spain.
In this case, the trial was held in the absence of the lawyer investigated and the sentence was issued orally several hours after the end of the process. All of my client’s statements were proven, the lawyer was struck out the organization and a fine was imposed. Later we will have the resolution in writing that will be published and sent to other entities.