What we do

Centrix Legal in conjunction with its strategic law firm partner Jayne Willetts & Co provides SRA Investigation Support for Law Firms.

We act for firms, partners, members, directors, managers and employees working both in solicitors’ practices and in-house whether facing Solicitors Regulation Authority investigations, SDT proceedings, or an intervention into their practice.

We are experienced at assisting firms in achieving a compliant voluntary closing of their practice and providing regulatory, partnership and professional indemnity insurance advice.

Legal practice is a minefield of overlapping regulations and rules and the problem, of course, is that solicitors are all busy people and simply dealing with client matters is often a full time occupation, leaving little or no spare capacity to deal with administration, office management, personnel issues, accounts or professional conduct. Little wonder, then, that occasionally problems get out of hand. With a wealth of experience in providing advice and representation before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the courts, we can help you to deal with even the most complex regulatory problems, providing practical and expert advice on conduct, discipline, practice, partnership, employment and much more.

We can assist you not only in minimizing the impact of an investigations, interventions or other proceedings but also in helping you to deal with the aftermath and the effects which this might have upon your practice.

The following list is not exhaustive but covers the main Investigation Services we provide Service headings: –

• Representation in SRA Conduct Investigations

Conduct Investigations by the SRA are invariably highly complex, covering many different areas of your practice.

The impact on you and your firm can be enormous and the consequences potentially serious for all involved. We will manage the situation in order to put forward the best possible case and to reduce the impact on the firm. We will work with you to try and avoid a referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal whether by use of an internal sanction or a regulatory settlement agreement. Leaving the problem to the last minute can prejudice your chances of avoiding a referral to the SDT. Be smart at the start and obtain proper advice.

• Defence at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

If you are at this stage, we cannot stress how important it is to obtain expert advice without delay. Instruct us and benefit from a wealth of experience both prosecuting and defending before the SDT. From preparing a statement in mitigation to representing you at the Tribunal, we can help.

• Practicing Certificate issues

The imposition of conditions on your practicing certificate can dramatically affect your ability to practice and your future employment prospects and may stop you practicing at all. We can advise on challenging the imposition of conditions and can also advise on appeals.

• Legal Ombudsman complaints

A complaint of poor service can often overlap with allegations of negligence. Combine this with an increased compensation limit of £50,000 and a myriad of confusing new procedures and the complaint can become overwhelming. We can help to cut through the complexities in order to reach a fair and commercially viable settlement. We have particular expertise in relation to complaints involving potential negligence claims.

• Advice on and Appeals against Interventions

• Self-reports

• Admission to the roll and the Suitability Test

• Professional indemnity insurance coverage disputes

• Appeals to the Administrative Court

• Advising firms, COLPs and COFAs on Compliance

• Practice disposals

• Voluntary Practice Closures

• Representations against the publication of regulatory decisions

Why use us

So what are the advantages of using “outsourced” support in handling matters with the SRA and why do clients trust us?

In a nutshell:

• We save them worry and stress.

SRA Investigations are in there nature often very worrying and distressing
for those involved.

• We save them money.

Whilst our services do render a fee this is often much less than the fees lost by individuals within the firm who become embroiled in the investigation often spending disproportionate amounts of time pondering, researching and worrying over simple regulatory and investigative tasks.

• We save them time.

Again as specialists we can undertake your outsourced tasks quicker than you probably could save you valuable fee earning time.

• We take the strain.

The mental burden of an investigation upon an individual should never be under estimated and this can radically affect both their work and home life.

• We get you a better outcome.

By engaging a specialist regulatory lawyer in the early stages a better outcome is generally always obtained.

This is because we have the experience in handling SRA investigators and their methods. We ensure information is provided to the SRA in the most favourable light and that Principle 7:

“comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner” – is adhered to.

How does it work?

Centrix inconjuction with Jayne Willetts & Co provides a bespoke support for Law Firms who have issues with the SRA dependant upon your size and the scale of the issue. By making our service bespoke we can ensure we are both efficient and cost effective. So after an initial discussion we would agree terms and price dependant upon your specific need.