SRA reports rise in allegations of abandoned firms

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first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority has seen a ‘marked increase’ in reports that solicitors’ practices have been abandoned, with abandonment reports at their highest level since 2008. The regulator’s latest figures show that its risk unit received 94 reports that a law firm had been abandoned from legal complaints bodies, members of the public and other sources in the three months to 31 March this year. This represents a 45% increase on the number received in the same quarter last year. The figures also show a rise in the number of ‘allegations’ its risk unit received relating to bankruptcy and dishonoured office account cheques at law firms, compared to the same time last year. However, there was a fall in the number of reports made to the SRA relating to the legal and administrative competence of practices. Figures for interventions show that the SRA intervened in significantly fewer firms in the 12 months to 31 March 2011; just 59 firms, compared to 92 in the previous 12 months. However, sole practitioners still comprised around three-quarters of the firms intervened in, and firms with two to five partners accounted for 24%. Although the overall number of firms intervened in fell, the number of interventions on grounds of bankruptcy rose slightly, to nine firms in the 12 months to 31 March 2010, compared to seven in the previous 12 months. In relation to disciplinary proceedings against solicitors, there was a 16% fall in the overall number of orders made by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in the past 12 months. However, while there was a 5% drop in the number of solicitors struck off the roll (86), and a 32% decrease in the number fined (122), the number of solicitors who were suspended increased by 15%, to 55.last_img

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