The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Annual Review for 2013/14, which was published yesterday, sets out SRA’s progress against their strategic objectives for the past 12 months.
The Review, which is available on the SRA website at www.sra.org.uk/reports, highlights the launch of their Regulatory Reform programme, aimed at reducing the burden of regulation while retaining client protections, the establishment of their Training for Tomorrow programme to enhance the education and training of future solicitors, and improvements to the SRA’s operational approach and effectiveness.
Key achievements featured across these areas include:
- A fresh approach to licensing multi-disciplinary practices as alternative business structures. Two firms – KPMG and Ernst Young – have since obtained licences
- Stopping the Keeping of the Roll exercise as an annual event
- Launching a discussion document on developing the SRA’s approach to regulating small firms
- Consulting on a draft Competency Statement for solicitors
- Undertaking a red tape review of education and training regulations to remove, curtail or simplify regulations
- Managing their finances and their staff establishment within budget
Charles Plant, SRA Chair of the Board, said: "In another period of significant change we have achieved a great deal. Paul Philip’s arrival as our Chief Executive in February provided us with an opportunity to take stock and reflect on our progress, approach and direction of travel, which resulted in us publishing our policy statement on regulatory reform in May.
"We have already made progress on the programme and implemented a number of changes, but there is still much more to do to improve our operational effectiveness and efficiency. I am confident that as I step down as Chair of the SRA Board, I am leaving the organisation in a healthy position to face the challenges of the future."
The SRA’s work for the next 12 months is laid out in the 2014/15 Business Plan, which was launched in November alongside the over-arching Corporate Strategy for 2014/17, and associated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
The Business Plan can be found here: www.sra.org.uk/plan.