Diversity monitoring statistics 2013

This report provides statistical data regarding key aspects of the SRA's regulatory activity for the calendar year 2013. The data is disaggregated by ethnicity, gender, age and disability.

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Introduction

Monitoring is an essential part of our Equality Framework at the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), helping us to ensure that we carry out our regulatory activities in a fair, proportionate and non-discriminatory way and are open and transparent about the way we work.

This report provides statistical data about key aspects of our regulatory activity for the calendar year 2013. The data is broken down by ethnicity, gender, age and disability. The disability data should be treated with some caution as there is still significant under reporting of disability in the profession.

To set the context for this regulatory data, the report starts with the full practising population and the population of partners. We have also completed some cross strand analysis for both groups, looking at the data broken down by age and gender, ethnicity and gender and ethnicity and age. This year for the first time we have also added a breakdown of the firm population by firm size.

Although we have covered the same five regulatory areas, our report this year looks different to previous years as we have changed our recording and monitoring to reflect our move to firm based regulation. For the first time in 2012 we were able to publish statistics about the new conduct matters opened against firms as well as those opened against individuals. In 2013, there were considerably more new conduct matters opened against firms than against individuals, and we have also been able to report the outcomes of conduct matters against firms which have been closed. We have also presented the interventions data on a firm basis.

The only data relating solely to individuals in this report are: the number of solicitors referred by the SRA to the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) for disciplinary action, the number of solicitors who had conditions applied to their practising certificates, and the number of partners (or partner equivalents) subjected to regulatory action for failing to submit their accountants' reports by a certain date. The information provided about late accountant reports provides an interesting comparison to the other areas as this data reflects the number of individual partners at firms which have made a late return, as compared to the other regulatory activities included in this report where the SRA takes a risk based decision on whether or not to proceed.

The population referred to in previous years as the 'comparator population' is now reflected in the breakdown of Reports Received, which shows all reports received by the SRA, only a proportion of which are referred to our supervision directorate for further action.

We have set out the report as follows:

  • a summary of our findings;
  • a section explaining how to understand the data tables;
  • a diversity breakdown of the following:
    • the solicitors practising population;
    • the population of partners or partner equivalents;
    • the firm population by size of firm;
    • the population of firms which are supervised;
     
  • a diversity data breakdown by firm and by individual of reports received
  • a diversity breakdown for each of the five regulatory activities covered in this report:
    • new conduct matters and the outcome of closed conduct matters
    • interventions
    • referrals to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
    • late accountants' reports
    • practising certificate conditions
     

We would be happy to provide more detailed data in relation to our diversity monitoring where we have it. For queries or comments on this report please contact us.

Summary of our findings

In our monitoring report for 2013, we have identified the following Key findings:

Solicitor practising population and partner population

The practising population includes solicitors on the roll who hold a current practising certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. For convenience we have used the term 'practising population' throughout the report to refer to these groups.

The partner population represents members of the practising population who are partners or partner equivalents. Partner equivalents are members of an LLP, directors of a company and sole practitioners. For convenience we have used the term 'partner population' throughout the report to refer to these groups.

  • The diversity of the practising population is increasing, with an increase in the number of Black and minority ethnic (BME) solicitors, female solicitors and the number of solicitors reporting a disability.
  • The partner population shows a similar trend to the solicitor practising population over the last 3 years with a gradual increase in the proportion of BME and female partners and a reduction in the proportion of younger partners.

Firm population

The firm population shows the diversity of the regulated individuals working at the firms we regulate. The firms have been split by firm size, which is calculated with reference to the number of regulated individuals who work in the firm. We have used six categories of firm size: 1, 2-4, 5-10, 11-25, 26-80, and 81 plus.

  • The proportion of BME regulated individuals is much higher in smaller firms than in larger firms. 23% of regulated individuals, working in firms with 4 or less regulated individuals, are BME, compared to 10% of regulated individuals in firms with over 10 regulated individuals.
  • The proportion of female regulated individuals is slightly higher in larger firms than in smaller firms. 44% of regulated individuals, working in firms with more than 10 regulated individuals, are female, compared to 36% of regulated individuals in firms with 4 or less regulated individuals.
  • The proportion of regulated individuals under the age of 40 working in a firm, increases as the firm size increases, this contrasts to the proportion of regulated individuals over the age of 50, which decreases as the firm size increases.
  • The proportion of regulated individuals who have informed us they have a disability decreases as the firm size increases.

Population of firms who are supervised

We allocate a Supervisor to a firm based on an assessment of the risk that a firm might pose and this might change over time. When a report about a solicitor or firm is made to the SRA and this is assessed as requiring further investigation, a Supervisor will be usually be assigned to the firm. We would therefore expect the diversity of the supervised firms to be affected by the diversity of the firms we receive reports about.

  • There is a higher proportion of BME regulated individuals in supervised firms which have less than 10 regulated individuals in comparison to the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of female regulated individuals in supervised firms than in the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of younger regulated individuals in supervised firms than in the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of regulated individuals reporting a disability in supervised firms with only 1 regulated individual in comparison to the firm population.

Reports received

There were reports recorded against 9,969 firms in 2013 as compared to 1,623 against individuals. There is disproportionality in the reports received by the SRA about firms when compared to the firm population.

  • The proportion of BME individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population. The difference is larger in the smaller firms.
  • The proportion of female individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population except for firms with only one regulated individual.
  • The proportion of younger individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population.
  • There is a higher proportion of individuals reporting a disability in firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population.

In relation to reports recorded against individuals, there is a higher proportion of BME, male and younger individuals reported to the SRA than there are in the practising population.

New conduct matters

New conduct matters are opened when the SRA receives a report alleging there has been a breach of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct this is assessed as requiring some action. There were more conduct matters opened against firms than against individuals in 2013.

  • There is a slightly higher proportion of BME individuals in firms with between 2 and 10 individuals which were involved in conduct matters, than the firms that were reported to the SRA.
  • There is a higher proportion of individuals reporting a disability in firms with 1 individual which were involved in conduct matters, than the firms that were reported to the SRA.
  • The diversity, with regard to gender, age and disability of firms involved in conduct matters is comparable to the diversity of firms which were reported to the SRA.

The diversity of individuals involved in conduct matters is comparable to the diversity of those that were reported to the SRA.

Outcomes of closed conduct matters

Conduct matters opened by the SRA can result in one of four possible outcomes:

  • Upheld or not upheld refer to conduct investigations which have been concluded one way or the other by a decision of the SRA;
  • Referred to the SDT; and  
  • Other which includes matters which were initially closed but have since been reopened for further investigation; or matters closed without any investigation e.g. because the allegations fall outside the SRA's jurisdiction or the allegations will be investigated under another matter.

In the report, we have compared the two outcomes of upheld or not upheld for firms and individuals and decisions to refer a matter to the SDT are reported separately.

  • The proportion of BME, females and individuals under the age of 40 is slightly lower in firms where an investigation was upheld in comparison to firms where investigations were not upheld.
  • A higher percentage of BME and male individuals had their investigations upheld in comparison to white and female individuals.

Interventions

An intervention is generally recorded against a firm, although an individual can be intervened into. There were 47 interventions during 2013 (37 in 2012). - the number is small and so care must be taken when drawing conclusions about this data.

  • A high proportion of the individuals at the firms with between 2 and 4 regulated individuals which were intervened into were BME.
  • The proportion of female individuals working at larger firms that were intervened into is higher than would be expected, although the number of these firms are very low.
  • There is a higher proportion of older individuals at the firms which were intervened into than the firms which were involved in conduct matters.
  • No individuals reporting a disability were involved in an intervention.

Referrals to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

The data in the report refers only to individuals.

  • The total number of individuals referred to the SDT has fallen for the second consecutive year, from 390 in 2011, to 180 in 2012, to 106 in 2013.
  • The proportion of BME solicitors referred to the SDT has decreased for the second consecutive year, from 35% in 2011 to 32% in 2012 to 28% in 2013. The number of BME solicitors referred to the SDT is proportionate to the reports recorded against individuals which is also 28%.

Late accountant reports

Firms are required to file annual accountants' reports and responsibility for this lies with all the partners in the firm. We have reported the diversity breakdown of all partners whose firms have not filed their accountants' reports in time and compared them to the overall partner population.

  • As seen in previous years a higher proportion of BME partners return their accounts late than white partners and a higher proportion of partners over the age of 60 years old return their accounts late.

Practising certificate conditions

Conditions can be placed on a solicitor's practising certificate or on registered European or Foreign Lawyers.

  • The number of practising conditions imposed this year has decreased. The proportion of BME solicitors with imposed conditions has increased while the number of younger solicitors with conditions has decreased. The proportion of males with practising certificate conditions is higher than would be expected.

Understanding the data tables

In previous years, the majority of this report has been based on the diversity of individuals. Now that we have moved to a firm based approach to regulation we have moved, where feasible, to reporting on the diversity of the firms we regulate. A number of sections in the report include both a firm analysis and an individual analysis as some matters are taken forward against individuals rather than firms.

Firm analysis

The diversity of firms is a summary of the diversity of the solicitors, lawyer managers and non lawyer managers (regulated individuals) working at the firms. Solicitors include those who hold a current Practising Certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. If a regulated individual is working at more than one firm they will be counted at each firm as they will be subject to regulation at each firm. In-house solicitors are not included within the firm analysis.

The firm tables throughout the report are presented in the following format and show the following information:

  • The firm size - grouped by the number of regulated individuals who work in the firm
  • The number of firms involved
  • The number of individuals from each equality group and the proportion that this represents of those of known ethnicity, gender or age, who are working at the firms
  • The total number of regulated individuals working at the firms

We refer to 'known' and 'unknown' groups in the tables for ethnicity, gender and age to illustrate the proportion of individuals for whom we hold the data. The unknown group includes individuals who have expressly declined to provide the data when asked.

An example of the data table layout is provided and further explained below:

Firm population by ethnicity

Firm size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 3,179 6091 (21%)2 2,295 (79%) 2,904 275 (9%) 3,1793
2-4 3,904 2,238 (24%) 7,222 (76%) 9,460 1,195 (11%) 10,655
5-10 1,879 1,966 (17%) 9,547 (83%) 11,513 1,214 (10%) 12,727
11-25 927 1,453 (11%) 12,015 (89%) 13,468 1,408 (9%) 14,876
26-80 380 1,290 (9%) 13,346 (91%) 14,636 1,680 (10%) 16,316
81+ 163 3,777 (10%) 33,940 (90%) 37,717 5,814 (13%) 43,531
Total 10,432 11,333 (13%) 78,365 (87%) 89,698 11,586 (11%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Notes

1. Count of BME Regulated Individuals working at the firms.

2. Percentage based on the known total: 609/2,904.

3. Count of Regulated Individuals working at the firms.

The charts following the tables illustrate the differences in the diversity of firms of differing sizes and allow us to make comparisons more easily.

The firm data tables for Reports Received, Conduct Matters and Interventions show the number of firms involved in these activities. Where possible the diversity at the firms involved is based on the regulated individuals in the firm at the outset of these activities, if this is not possible e.g. because the firm has already been closed, we have taken the diversity of the firm based on the regulated individuals in the firm on the day before the firm closed. If a firm is involved in multiple activities the diversity of that firm is included multiple times. This is because the diversity of the firms will change over time.

Individual analysis

Many of the individual data tables in this report are presented in the following format and show the following information:

  • The number of individuals from each equality group and the proportion that this represents of those of known ethnicity, gender or age
  • The proportion whose ethnicity, gender or age is unknown against the total.

We refer to 'known' and 'unknown' groups in the tables for ethnicity, gender and age to illustrate the proportion of individuals for whom we hold the data. The unknown group includes individuals who have expressly declined to provide the data when asked.

For the ethnicity tables we have set out figures for the Black and minority ethnic (BME) group as well as the five ethnicity categories which make up that group. For more detail about the ethnicity categories used in this report please see Appendix One.

Actual numbers are provided in the 'Total' column, with the percentage of the known group provided in brackets. Actual numbers are always supplied alongside percentages to avoid misinterpretation as it is not possible to draw reliable conclusions when the numbers are relatively small.

Where possible graphs are included alongside the data tables. These provide an overview of the changes for each group for the years 2011 to 2013. These graphs exclude the unknown group. In the ethnicity tables the graphs show groups at binary level (BME and White).

An example of the data table layout is provided and further explained below:

Practising population by ethnicity 2013 population
BME 16,7834 (15%)5
Asian 10,007 (8%)
Black 2,785 (2%)
Chinese 1,423 (1%)
Mixed 1,636 (1%)
Other ethnic group 1,954 (2%)
White 103,011 (85%)
Total of KNOWN ethnicity 120,8166
Ethnicity not known 15,265 (11%)7
Total 136,0818

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Notes

4. Number of individuals.

5. Percentage based on the known total: 10,007 / 120,816.

6. Actual number of the known group, against which the above percentages are calculated.

7. Overall total number of individuals.

Based on the above table we find that (excluding those whose ethnicity is not known to us) 15% of individuals in the practising population are from BME groups (16,783 out of 120,816 of known ethnicity). The remaining 85% are in the white groups.

There was a total of 136,081 individuals in the practising population as at the end of 2013 and we hold ethnicity data for 120,816 of these. We do not hold ethnicity data for 15,265 of these individuals which represent 11% of the total.

Practising population - Cross strand charts

This year we have included Practising Population - Cross Strand Charts. These charts and the associated tables, show the make up of the practising population by two different diversity strands. The tables which provide the data for the cross strand charts show the number of individuals in each category and the percentages shown are a percentage of the column total. The table below shows that there are 12,319 female solicitors aged 22 - 30 years old and that 19% of the female practising population are aged 22-30 years old (12,319 / 63,697 x100).

Practising population by age & gender Female Male Total known gender
22 – 30 12,3198 (19%)9 7,226 (10%) 19,545
31 – 40 26,830 (42%) 20,469 (29%) 47,299
41 – 50 15,658 (25%) 20,114 (28%) 35,772
51 – 60 7,362 (12%) 14,752 (21%) 22,114
61 – 65 1,042 (2%) 4,869 (7%) 5,911
65+ 361 (2%) 3,405 (5%) 3,766
Total of KNOWN age 63,572 70,835 132,269
Age not known 125 (0%) 422 (0%) 219
Total 63,697 71,257 134,954

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Notes

8. Number of individuals.

9. Percentage based on the female total

Partner population - Cross strand charts

We have also included Partner population - Cross strand charts which are set out differently to the Practising Population - Cross Strand Charts in order to present the information as clearly as possible. These tables show the partner population by two different diversity strands. The number of partners is shown in each category e.g. males of a certain age. The percentages reflect the proportion of solicitors in each category who are partners. The table below shows that there are 127 female solicitors aged 22 - 30 years old and 1% of the female practising population who are aged 22-30 years old are partners (127 / 12,319 x100).

Partner population by age & gender Female % of Female Solicitors who are partner / equivalent Male % of Male Solicitors who are partner / equivalent
22 – 30 127 10 1%11 138 2%
31 – 40 2,599 10% 4,283 21%
41 – 50 4,132 26% 10,082 50%
51 – 60 2,514 34% 8,445 57%
61 – 65 364 35% 2,504 51%
65+ 113 31% 1,276 37%
Total of KNOWN age 9,849 15% 26,728 38%
Age not known 36 29% 151 36%
Total 9,885 16% 26,879 38%

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Notes

10. Number of individuals.

11. Percentage based on the number of female solicitors in that age group

Closed conduct / Outcomes tables

The Closed Conduct / Outcomes tables for firms shows the diversity of the firms, by firm size, that had matters 'upheld' and 'not upheld'. As the tables include a lot of information we have only included the known diversity information in order to make the tables easier to read. In the example shown below, it can be seen that 137 firms of size 1 were subject to conduct investigations which were upheld. These firms consisted of 25 BME individuals and 90 white individuals (the remaining 22 individuals are of unknown ethnicity). The accompanying chart allows an easy comparison of the ethnicity of the firms where the matters were 'upheld' and 'not upheld'.

Firm analysis

Conduct investigations closed in 2013 by ethnicity

Firm size Upheld/Not upheld No of firms BME individuals White individuals
1 Upheld 137 25 (22%) 90 (78%)
Not upheld 356 79 (26%) 223 (74%)
2-4 Upheld 179 120 (28%) 313 (72%)
Not upheld 763 716 (37%) 1,233 (63%)
5-10 Upheld 105 152 (23%) 501 (77%)
Not upheld 556 921 (26%) 2,590 (74%)
11-25 Upheld 53 116 (14%) 702 (86%)
Not upheld 437 1020 (15%) 5,679 (85%)
26-80 Upheld 26 100 (10%) 911 (90%)
Not upheld 311 1526 (12%) 11,312 (88%)
81+ Upheld 21 308 (7%) 4,284 (93%)
Not upheld 265 7,652 (8%) 85,910 (92%)

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Individual analysis

The Closed Conduct / Outcomes tables for individuals shows the number and proportion of matters for each diversity group that were 'upheld' and 'not upheld'. In the example shown below, it can be seen that 23 conduct investigations which were upheld involved females, this represents 12% of the investigations involving females.

Conduct investigations closed 2013 by gender Upheld B: Upheld Total
No. % Summary Closed No. % upheld No.
Female 23 12% 170 88% 494
Male 74 14% 451 86% 1,365
Total 97 14%12 621 86%12 718

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Notes

12. Percentages are shown for each group - % upheld and % not upheld which total 100% for each group

Comparison with the practising and firm population

  • We have provided statistics about the practising solicitor and firm population as a useful reference point when looking at the outcomes of our regulatory activity. The practising population includes solicitors who are on the roll and hold a current practising certificate, Registered European and Registered Foreign lawyers and Exempt European Lawyers. Our regulatory data covers all individuals within the scope of our regulatory powers and so will additionally include individuals on the roll who do not have a practising certificate and individuals who work for a solicitors firm.
  • We need to be cautious about drawing conclusions from comparing the equality breakdown for regulatory decisions, with the equality breakdown of the practising or firm population. It is almost inevitable that there will be some disproportionality in the outcomes of our regulatory activities because the makeup of solicitors and firms who are reported to us does not necessarily reflect the makeup of the practising or firm population. The equality breakdown of individuals and firms who have had allegations against them reported to the SRA is provided in the Reports Received section.

Key findings

Where appropriate 'Key findings' will be drawn from the data tables and graphs provided and presented within a light blue box. These 'Key findings' may identify where there is a continuous trend, where an exception to a trend has occurred, or where there appears to be disproportionality.

Practising population

The 2013 practising population data is based on population makeup at the end of 2013.

Data tables

The tables provide the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current practising certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the known practising population.

Practising population by ethnicity 2013 population
BME 16,783 (15%)
Asian 10,007 (8%)
Black 2,785 (2%)
Chinese 1,423 (1%)
Mixed 1,636 (1%)
Other ethnic group 1,954 (2%)
White 103,011 (85%)
Total of known ethnicity 120,816
Ethnicity not known 15,265 (11%)
Total 136,081
Practising population by gender 2013 population
Female 63,697 (47%)
Male 71,257 (53%)
Total of known gender 134,954
Gender not known 1,127 (1%)
Total 136,081
Practising population by age 2013 population
22 – 30 19,302 (14%)
31 – 40 47,789 (35%)
41 – 50 36,319 (27%)
51 – 60 22,499 (17%)
61 – 65 6,027 (4%)
65+ 3,890 (3%)
Total of known age 135,826
Age not known 255 (0%)
Total 136,081

The tables and graphs show the number of solicitors reporting a disability.

Practising population by disability status 2013 population
With disability 1,410 (1%)
Total 136,081

Graphs for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous graphs indicate that over the last 3 years:

  • There has been a gradual increase in the proportion of BME solicitors within the profession, which has increased by 0.5% this year.
  • There has also been a gradual increase in the proportion of female solicitors over the last 3 years.
  • The proportion of young solicitors (aged 22-30) has fallen over the last 3 years.
  • The proportion of solicitors reporting a disability is increasing.
 

Practising population – Cross Strand Charts

The 2013 practising population data is based on population makeup at the end of 2013.

Data table

The table below provides the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current practising certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the total practising population for each gender.

Practising population by age & gender Female Male Total known gender
22 – 30 12,319 (19%) 7,226 (10%) 19,545
31 – 40 26,830 (42%) 20,469 (29%) 47,299
41 – 50 15,658 (25%) 20,114 (28%) 35,772
51 – 60 7,362 (12%) 14,752 (21%) 22,114
61 – 65 1,042 (2%) 4,869 (7%) 5,911
65+ 361 (2%) 3,405 (5%) 3,766
Total of known age 63,572 70,835 132,269
Age not known 125 (0%) 422 (0%) 219
Total 63,697 70,714 134,954

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The above graph illustrates the age distribution of male and female solicitors with the profession. This shows that there are proportionally more younger female solicitors than male solicitors. 62% of female solicitors are 40 or under, compared to 39% of male solicitors.

Data table

The table below provides the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current practising certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the total practising population for each gender.

Practising population by ethnicity & gender Female Male Total known gender
BME 10,012 (17%) 7,791 (13%) 17,803
Asian 5,377 (9%) 4,628 (7%) 10,005
Black 1,713(3%) 1,072 (2%) 2,785
Chinese 869 (1%) 554 (1%) 1,423
Mixed 977 (2%) 659 (1%) 1,636
Other 1,076 (2%) 878 (1%) 1,954
White 48,600 (83%) 54,408 (87%) 103,008
Total of known ethnicity 58,612 62,199 120,811
Ethnicity not known 5,085 (8%) 9,058 (14%) 14,143
Total 63,697 71,257 134,954

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The above graph shows that where ethnicity is known there is a greater proportion of female BME solicitors than male BME solicitors and this contrasts with white solicitors where there are more males than females.

Data table

The table below provides the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current Practising Certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the total practising population for each ethnicity group.

Practising population by age & known ethnicity BME White Combined known ethnicity
22 – 30 3,433 (19%) 15,110 (15%) 18,543
31 – 40 8,071 (45%) 34,893 (34%) 42,964
41 – 50 4,531 (25%) 26,740 (26%) 31,271
51 – 60 1,440 (8%) 17,918 (17%) 19,358
61 – 65 170 (1%) 5,021 (5%) 5,191
65+ 125 (1%) 3,150 (3%) 3,275
Total of known age 17,770 102,832 120,602
Age not known 35 (0%) 179 (0%) 214
Total 16,783 103,011 120,816

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The above graph illustrates the age distribution of BME and white solicitors within the profession. The graph shows that there are proportionally more younger BME solicitors than white solicitors. 65% of BME solicitors are 40 or under, compared to 49% of white solicitors.

Partner population

The following tables provide additional information in terms of how the partner population is made up, showing the proportions of individuals within each group who were partners/partner equivalents as at 31 December 2013. Partner equivalents are members of an LLP, directors of a company and sole practitioners. All partners are counted regardless of the size of firm where they work so sole practitioners are included alongside partners in large city firms.

Data tables

Each individual is counted once

Partner / equivalent by ethnicity   % who are partner / equivalent
BME 20%
Asian 23%
Black 19%
Chinese 11%
Mixed 10%
Other ethnic group 24%
White 27%
Ethnicity not known 37%
Total 27%
Partner / equivalent by gender   % who are partner / equivalent
Female 16%
Male 38%
Total 27%
Partner / equivalent by age   % who are partner / equivalent
22 – 30 1%
31 – 40 15%
41 – 50 40%
51 – 60 50%
61 – 65 49%
65+ 37%
Age not known 35%
Total 27%
Partner / equivalent by disability   % who are partner / equivalent
With disability 20%
Total 27%

A graph for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Data tables

The tables provide the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current Practising Certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer and are a partner or partner equivalent. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the known partner population.

Practising partner population by ethnicity 2013 population
BME 3,587 (11%)
Asian 2,272 (7%)
Black 529 (2%)
Chinese 158 (0.5%)
Mixed 162 (0.5%)
Other ethnic group 466 (1%)
White 28,141 (89%)
Total of known ethnicity 31,728
Ethnicity not known 5,603 (15%)
Total 37,331
Practising partner population by gender 2013 population
Female 9,885 (27%)
Male 26,879 (73%)
Total of known gender 36,674
Gender not known 567 (2%)
Total 37,331
Practising partner population by age 2013 population
22 – 30 266 (1%)
31 – 40 7,103 (19%)
41 – 50 14,429 (39%)
51 – 60 11,050 (30%)
61 – 65 2,879 (8%)
65+ 1,391 (4%)
Total of known Age 37,118
Age not known 213 (1%)
Total 37,331
Practising partner population
by disability status
2013 population
With disability 281 (1%)
Total 37,331

A graph for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The partner population shows a similar trend to the practising population over the last 3 years with a gradual increase in the proportion of BME and female partners and a reduction in the proportion of younger partners.

Partner population – Cross strand charts

The 2013 partner population data is based on population makeup at the end of 2013

Data tables

The tables provide the total number of solicitors on the roll who hold a current practising certificate or are a Registered European Lawyer, a Registered Foreign Lawyer or an Exempt European Lawyer and are a partner or partner equivalent. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the known practising population for each category i.e. the percentage of solicitors within each category who are partner equivalent.

Partner population
by age & gender
Female % of Female Solicitors who are partner / equivalent Male % of Male Solicitors who are partner / equivalent
22 – 30 127 1% 138 2%
31& – 40 2,599 10% 4,283 21%
41 – 50 4,132 26% 10,082 50%
51 – 60 2,514 34% 8,445 57%
61 – 65 364 35% 2,504 51%
65+ 113 31% 1,276 37%
Total of known age 9,849 15% 26,728 38%
Age not known 36 29% 151 36%
Total 9,885 16% 26,728 38%

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The above table and graph show that a higher proportion of male solicitors are in the partner population compared to female solicitors. This is the case across all age bands.

Partner population
by ethnicity & gender
Female % of Female Solicitors who are partner / equivalent Male % of Male Solicitors who are partner / equivalent
BME 1,297 13% 2,290 29%
Asian 795 15% 1,477 32%
Black 227 13% 302 28%
Chinese 65 7% 93 17%
Mixed 68 7% 94 14%
Other 142 13% 324 37%
White 7,630 16% 20,510 38%
Total of known ethnicity 8,927 15% 22,800 37%
Ethnicity not known 958 19% 4,079 45%
Total 9,885 16% 26,879 38%

Key findings

The above table and graph show that for each ethnic group there is a higher proportion of male solicitors than female solicitors in the partner population.

Partner population
by ethnicity & age
BME % of BME Solicitors who are partner / equivalent White % of White Solicitors who are partner / equivalent
22 – 30 79 3% 178 1%
31 – 40 1,209 17% 4,835 16%
41 – 50 1,502 36% 10,685 42%
51 – 60 647 48% 8,887 52%
61 – 65 97 54% 2,403 49%
65+ 52 45% 1,135 37%
Total of known age 3,586 20% 28,123 27%
Age not known 1 3% 18 10%
Total 3,587 20% 28,141 27%

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

Although the proportion of white solicitors who are partners is greater in the middle age bands (41 to 60), the proportion of BME solicitors who are partners is greater for both the younger and the older age bands.

Firm population

The 2013 firm population is based on firms open at the end of 2013.

Data tables

This is a new section to show the diversity of the regulated individuals working at the firms we regulate. The firms have been split by the number of regulated individuals who work in the firm (Firm Size). The number of firms are shown along with the number of regulated individuals. The actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the known population.

Firm population by ethnicity

Firm size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 3,179 609 (21%) 2,295 (79%) 2,904 275 (9%) 3,179
2-4 3,904 2,238 (24%) 7,222 (76%) 9,460 1,195 (11%) 10,655
5-10 1,879 1,966 (17%) 9,547 (83%) 11,513 1,214 (10%) 12,727
11-25 927 1,453 (11%) 12,015 (89%) 13,468 1,408 (9%) 14,876
26-80 380 1,290 (9%) 13,346 (91%) 14,636 1,680 (10%) 16,316
81+ 163 3,777 (10%) 33,940 (90%) 37,717 5,814 (13%) 43,531
Total individuals 10,432 11,333 (13%) 78,365 (87%) 89,698 11,586 (11%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Firm population by gender

Firm Size No of firms Female individuals Male individuals Known gender Unknown gender Total individuals
1 3,179 1,051 (33%) 2,128 (67%) 3,179 0 (0%) 3,179
2-4 3,904 3,934 (37%) 6,614 (63%) 10,548 107 (1%) 10,655
5-10 1,879 5,108 (40%) 7,518 (60%) 12,626 101 (1%) 12,727
11-25 927 6,448 (44%) 8,324 (56%) 14,772 104 (1%) 14,876
26-80 380 7,183 (44%) 9,041 (56%) 16,224 92 (1%) 16,316
81+ 163 18,951 (44%) 23,789 (56%) 42,740 791 (2%) 43,531
Total individuals 10,432 42,675 (43%) 57,414 (57%) 100,089 1,195 (1%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Firm Population by age

Firm size No of firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65 Known age Unknown age Total individuals
1 3,179 12 (0%) 435 (14%) 1,052 (33%) 1,050 (33%) 363 (11%) 267 (8%) 3,179 0 (0%) 3,179
2-4 3,904 672 (6%) 2,487 (23%) 2,969 (28%) 1,050 (33%) 988 (9%) 678 (6%) 10,647 8 (0%) 10,655
5-10 1,879 1,383 (11%) 3,250 (26%) 3,353 (26%) 3,004 (24%) 1,069 (8%) 663 (5%) 12,722 5 (0%) 12,727
11-25 927 1,928 (13%) 4,287 (29%) 3,826 (26%) 3,218 (22%) 1,011 (7%) 560 (4%) 14,830 46 (0%) 14,876
26-80 380 2,376 (15%) 5,121 (31%) 4,458 (27%) 3,095 (19%) 787 (5%) 429 (3%) 16,266 50 (0%) 16,316
81+ 163 9,206 (21%) 16,039 (37%) 11,408 (26%) 5,540 (13%) 836 (2%) 367 (1%) 43,396 135 (0%) 43,531
Total individuals 10,432 15,577 (15%) 31,619 (31%) 27,066 (27%) 18,760 (19%) 5,054 (5%) 2,964 (3%) 101,040 244 (0%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Firm population by disability

Firm Size No of firms Individuals with a disability Total individuals
1 3,179 51 (1.6%) 3,179
2 - 4 3,904 130 (1.2%) 10,655
5 - 10 1,879 125 (1.0%) 12,727
11 - 25 927 125 (0.8%) 14,876
26 - 80 380 145 (0.9%) 16,316
81+ 163 317 (0.7%) 43,531
Total 10,432 893 (0.9%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous tables and graphs show:

  • The proportion of BME regulated individuals is much higher in smaller firms than in larger firms. 23% of regulated individuals, working in firms with 4 or less regulated individuals, are BME, compared to 10% of regulated individuals in firms with over 10 regulated individuals.
  • The proportion of female regulated individuals is slightly higher in larger firms than in smaller firms. 44% of regulated individuals, working in firms with more than 10 regulated individuals, are female, compared to 36% of regulated individuals in firms with 4 or less regulated individuals.
  • The proportion of regulated individuals under the age of 40 working in a firm, increases as the firm size increases, this contrasts to the proportion of regulated individuals over the age of 50, which decreases as the firm size increases.
  • The proportion of regulated individuals who have informed us they have a disability decreases as the firm size increases.
 

Supervision

Data tables

This is a new section to show the diversity of regulated individuals working at open firms we were supervising at the end of 2013. The firms have been split by the number of regulated individuals who work in the firm (Firm Size). The number of firms are shown along with the number of regulated individuals, the actual numbers are also shown as a percentage of the known population.

Supervised firm population by ethnicity

Firm size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 326 91 (31%) 205 (69%) 296 30 (9%) 326
2-4 850 644 (30%) 1,499 (70%) 2,143 295 (12%) 2,438
5-10 884 1,002 (18%) 4,670 (82%) 5,672 585 (9%) 6,257
11-25 685 1,124 (11%) 9,146 (89%) 10,270 964 (9%) 11,234
26-80 328 1,154 (9%) 11,527 (91%) 12,681 1,348 (10%) 14,029
81+ 146 3,525 (10%) 31,893 (90%) 35,418 4,841 (12%) 40,259
Total 3,219 7,540 (11%) 58,940 (89%) 66,480 8,063 (11%) 74,543

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Supervised firm population by gender

Firm size No of firms Female individuals Male individuals Known gender Unknown gender Total individuals
1 326 117 (36%) 209 (64%) 326 (0%) 326
2-4 850 866 (36%) 1,519 (64%) 2,385 53 (2%) 2,438
5-10 884 2,608 (42%) 3,605 (58%) 6,213 44 (1%) 6,257
11-25 685 5,008 (45%) 6,176 (55%) 11,184 50 (0%) 11,234
26-80 328 6,429 (46%) 7,525 (54%) 13,954 75 (1%) 14,029
81+ 146 18,205 (46%) 21,473 (54%) 39,678 581 (1%) 40,259
Total 3,219 33,233 (45%) 40,507 (55%) 73,740 803 (1%) 74,543

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Supervised firm population by age

Firm size No of firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65 Known age Unknown age Total individuals
1 326 12 (0%) 435 (14%) 1,052 (33%) 1,050 (33%) 363 (11%) 267 (8%) 326 0 (0%) 326
2-4 850 672 (6%) 2,487 (23%) 2,969 (28%) 2,853 (25%) 988 (9%) 678 (6%) 2,437 1 (0%) 2,438
5-10 884 1,383 (11%) 3,250 (26%) 3,353 (26%) 3,004 (24%) 1,069 (8%) 663 (5%) 6,254 3 (0%) 6,257
11-25 685 1,928 (13%) 4,287 (29%) 3,826 (26%) 3,218 (22%) 1,011 (7%) 560 (4%) 11,203 31 (0%) 11,234
26-80 328 2,376 (15%) 5,121 (31%) 4,458 (27%) 3,095 (19%) 787 (5%) 429 (3%) 14,015 14 (0%) 14,029
81+ 146 9,206 (21%) 16,039 (37%) 11,408 (26%) 5,540 (13%) 836 (2%) 367 (1%) 40,152 107 (0%) 40,259
Total individuals 3,219 15,577 (15%) 31,619 (34%) 27,066 (25%) 18,760 (16%) 5,054 (4%) 2,964 (2%) 74,387 153 (0%) 74,543

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Supervised firm population by disability

Firm Size No of firms Individuals with a disability Total individuals
1 326 11 (3.4%) 326
2 – 4 850 29 (1.2%) 2,438
5 – 10 884 69 (1.1%) 6,257
11 – 25 685 105 (0.9%) 11,234
26 – 80 328 127 (0.9%) 14,029
81+ 146 311 (0.8%) 40,259
Total 3,219 652 (0.9%) 74,543

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous tables and graphs show:

  • There is a higher proportion of BME regulated individuals in supervised firms which have less than 10 regulated individuals in comparison to the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of female regulated individuals in supervised firms than in the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of younger regulated individuals in supervised firms than in the total firm population.
  • There is a slightly higher proportion of regulated individuals reporting a disability in supervised firms with only 1 regulated individual in comparison to the firm population.

When an allegation about a solicitor or firm is made to the SRA and this allegation is assessed as requiring further investigation, a Supervisor will be usually be assigned to the firm. We would therefore expect the diversity of the Supervised firms to be affected by the diversity of the firms we receive allegations against. The diversity of the firms we receive allegations against is detailed in the following section.

Reports received

Data tables

When we are notified of an allegation of misconduct about a solicitor or firm of solicitors we create a record of that report. These allegations may come from the profession itself, other regulatory or enforcement agencies, or from members of the public (referred to as lay informants). On creation of that record a subject firm, individual or both will be named as the subject of the allegations. Where a subject firm or both a subject firm and a subject individual has been named against the record, we have included that record in the firm analysis, where only a subject individual has been named the record will be included on an individual basis. We have taken the firm information as at the time of the allegation was made, unless the firm no longer exists, then we have taken the firm information the day before the firm closed. If we do not have a record of the firm information but subject individuals were also named we have included the record in the individual analysis.

Firm analysis

Reports received by ethnicity

Firm size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 1,339 359 (30%) 831 (70%) 1,190 149 (11%) 1,339
2-4 2,894 2,418 (33%) 4,871 (67%) 7,289 900 (11%) 8,189
5-10 2,162 3,321 (24%) 10,440 (76%) 13,761 1,544 (10%) 15,305
11-25 1,664 3,696 (14%) 21,819 (86%) 25,515 2,267 (8%) 27,782
26-80 1,113 4,707 (10%) 40,576 (90%) 45,283 3,702 (8%) 48,985
81+ 797 22,213 (10%) 207,249 (90%) 229,462 25,075 (10%) 254,537
Total 9,969 36,714 (11%) 285,786 (89%) 322,500 33,637 (9%) 356,137

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Reports received by gender

Firm size No of firms Female individuals Male individuals Known gender Unknown gender Total individuals
1 1,339 376 (28%) 963 (72%) 1,339 0 (0%) 1,339
2-4 2,894 2,984 (37%) 5,156 (63%) 8,140 49 (1%) 8,189
5-10 2,162 6,301 (41%) 8,942 (59%) 15,243 62 (0%) 15,305
11-25 1,664 12,969 (47%) 14,705 (53%) 27,674 108 (0%) 27,782
26-80 1,113 23,897 (49%) 24,907 (51%) 48,804 181 (0%) 48,985
81+ 797 124,937 (50%) 126,897 (50%) 251,834 2,703 (1%) 254,537
Total 3,219 171,464 (49%) 181,570 (51%) 353,034 3,103 (1%) 356,137

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Reports received by age

Firm Size No of Firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65 Known Age Unknown Age Total Individuals
1 1,339 1 (0%) 236 (18%) 348 (26%) 441 (33%) 170 (13%) 143 (11%) 1,339 (0%) 1,339
2-4 2,894 759 (9%) 2,272 (28%) 2,146 (26%) 1,984 (24%) 582 (7%) 435 (5%) 8,178 11 (0%) 8,189
5-10 2,162 2,088 (14%) 4,362 (29%) 3,827 (25%) 3,122 (20%) 1,169 (8%) 734 (5%) 15,302 3 (0%) 15,305
11-25 1,664 4,177 (15%) 8,668 (31%) 6,735 (24%) 5,384 (19%) 1,802 (6%) 991 (4%) 27,757 25 (0%) 27,782
26-80 1,113 7,645 (16%) 16,405 (34%) 12,565 (26%) 8,669 (18%) 2,430 (5%) 1,238 (3%) 48,952 33 (0%) 48,985
81+ 797 52,253 (21%) 101,211 (40%) 64,606 (25%) 29,449 (12%) 4,529 (2%) 2,125 (1%) 254,173 364 (0%) 254,537
Total individuals 9,969 66,923 (19%) 133,154 (37%) 90,227 (25%) 49,049 (14%) 10,682 (3%) 5,666 (2%) 355,701 436 (0%) 356,137

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Reports received by disability

Firm Size No of firms Individuals with a disability Total individuals
1 1,339 49 (3.7%) 3,179
2 – 4 2,894 87 (1.1%) 10,655
5 – 10 2,162 192 (1.3%) 12,727
11 – 25 1,664 302 (1.1%) 14,876
26 – 80 1,113 459 (0.9%) 16,316
81+ 797 2,166 (0.9%) 43,531
Total 9,969 3,255 (0.9%) 101,284

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous data tables indicate that there is disproportionality in the allegations of misconduct received by the SRA when compared to the firm population.

The proportion of BME individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population. The difference is larger in the smaller firms.

The proportion of Female individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population except from firms with only one regulated individual.

The proportion of younger individuals is higher in the firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population.

There is a higher proportion of individuals reporting a disability in firms that have been reported to the SRA than in the firm population.

Individual analysis

Reports received by ethnicity 2013 population
BME 388 (29%)
Asian 190 (14%)
Black 154 (11%)
Chinese 7 (1%)
Mixed 7 (1%)
Other ethnic group 30 (2%)
White 959 (71%)
Total of known ethnicity 1,347
Ethnicity not known 276 (17%)
Total 1,623
Reports received by gender 2013 population
Female 400 (25%)
Male 1,211 (75%)
Total of known gender 1,611
Gender not known 12
Total 1,623
Reports received by age 2013 population
22 – 30 30 (2%)
31 – 40 299 (19%)
41 – 50 489 (31%)
51 – 60 441 (28%)
61 – 65 144 (9%)
65+ 177 (11%)
Total of known age 1,580
Age not known 43 (3%)
Total 1,623
Reports received by disability status 2013 population
With disability 25 (2%)
Total 1,623

Graphs for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous tables indicate that a higher proportion of BME, male and younger individuals are reported to the SRA than are in the practising population.

New conduct matters

Data tables

The record of a report of allegation of misconduct about a solicitor or firm of solicitors is risk assessed and a Conduct Matter is created. In the last quarter of the year a change to the process of creating Conduct Matters was made and Conduct Matters are now only created where the risk is judged to be above a certain level. Earlier in the year, Conduct Matters, which upon initial assessment were found to have no evidence of misconduct were closed without any further investigation. These are known as Summary Closures and to provide consistency throughout the year these have been excluded from the analysis below.

Firm analysis

Conduct matters by ethnicity

Firm size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 1,080 286 (30%) 676 (70%) 962 118 (11%) 1,080
2-4 2,176 1,912 (35%) 3,507 (65%) 5,419 682 (11%) 61,01
5-10 1,521 2,479 (26%) 7,119 (74%) 9,598 1,115 (10%) 10,713
11-25 1,092 2,486 (15%) 14,162 (85%) 16,648 1,489 (8%) 18,137
26-80 730 3,193 (11%) 26,757 (89%) 29,950 2,473 (8%) 32,423
81+ 498 14,138 (10%) 133,380 (90%) 147,518 15,959 (10%) 163,477
Total 7,097 24,494 (12%) 185,601 (88%) 210,095 21,836 (9%) 231,931

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct matters by gender

Firm size No of firms Female individuals Male individuals Known gender Unknown gender Total individuals
1 1,080 299 (28%) 781 (72%) 1,080 (0%) 1,080
2-4 2,176 2,199 (36%) 3,864 (64%) 6,063 38 (1%) 61,01
5-10 1,521 4,376 (41%) 6,294 (59%) 10,670 43 (0%) 10,713
11-25 1,092 8,371 (46%) 9,688 (54%) 18,059 78 (0%) 18,137
26-80 730 15,885 (49%) 16,404 (51%) 32,289 134 (0%) 32,423
81+ 498 79,682 (49%) 82,189 (51%) 161,871 1,606 (1%) 163,477
Total 7,097 110,812 (48%) 119,457 (52%) 230,032 1,904 (1%) 231,931

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct matters by age

Firm Size No of Firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65 Known age Unknown age Total individuals
1 1,080 (0%) 196 (18%) 264 (24%) 357 (33%) 143 (13%) 120 (11%) 1,080 (0%) 1,080
2-4 2,176 572 (9%) 1,745 (29%) 1,576 (26%) 1,461 (24%) 433 (7%) 304 (5%) 6,091 10 (0%) 61,01
5-10 1,521 1,518 (14%) 3,190 (30%) 2,656 (25%) 2,038 (19%) 798 (7%) 510 (5%) 10,710 3 (0%) 10,713
11-25 1,092 2,732 (15%) 5,627 (31%) 4,462 (25%) 3,472 (19%) 1,148 (6%) 676 (4%) 18,117 20 (0%) 18,137
26-80 730 5,115 (16%) 10,965 (34%) 8,184 (25%) 5,758 (18%) 1,575 (5%) 799 (2%) 32,396 27 (0%) 32,423
81+ 498 34,126 (21%) 65,399 (40%) 40,943 (25%) 18,616 (11%) 2,811 (2%) 1,323 (1%) 163,218 259 (0%) 163,477
Total individuals 7,097 44,063 (19%) 87,122 (38%) 58,085 (25%) 31,702 (14%) 6,908 (3%) 3,732 (2%) 231,612 319 (0%) 231,931

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct matters by disability

Firm Size No of firms Individuals with a disability Total individuals
1 1,080 48 (4.4%) 1,080
2 - 4 2,176 56 (0.9%) 61,01
5 – 10 1,521 144 (1.3%) 10,713
11 – 25 1,092 203 (1.1%) 18,137
26 – 80 730 289 (0.9%) 32,423
81+ 498 1,372 (0.8%) 163,477
Total 7,097 2,112 (0.9%) 231,931

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The previous tables indicate:

  • There is a slightly higher proportion of BME individuals in firms with between 2 and 10 individuals which were involved in Conduct matters, than the firms that were reported to the SRA.
  • There is a higher proportion of individuals reporting a disability in firms with 1 individual which were involved in Conduct matters, than the firms that were reported to the SRA.
  • The diversity, with regard to gender and age, of firms involved in Conduct matters is comparable to the diversity of firms which were reported to the SRA.
 

Individual analysis

Conduct Matters by ethnicity 2013 total
BME 342 (30%)
Asian 157 (14%)
Black 143 (12%)
Chinese 7 (1%)
Mixed 8 (1%)
Other ethnic group 27 (2%)
White 809 (70%)
Total of known ethnicity 1,152
Ethnicity not known 218 (16%)
Total 1,369
Conduct matters by gender 2013 total
Female 341 (25%)
Male 1,024 (75%)
Total of known gender 1,366
Gender not known 4 (0%)
Total 1,369
Conduct matters by age 2013 total
22 – 30 23 (2%)
31 – 40 256 (19%)
41 – 50 407 (30%)
51 – 60 391 (29%)
61 – 65 118 (9%)
65+ 154 (11%)
Total of known age 1,350
Age not known 20 (1%)
Total 1,369
Conduct matters by disability status 2013 Total
With disability 23 (2%)
Total 1,369
Graphs for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The diversity of individuals involved in Conduct matters is comparable to the diversity of those that were reported to the SRA.

Closed conduct / Outcomes

This year we have changed our process and conduct matters opened by the SRA can result in one of four possible outcomes which are detailed below.

Upheld or not upheld refer to conduct investigations which have been concluded one way or the other by a decision of the SRA.

Referred to the SDT/ongoing action is made up of:

  • individuals referred for disciplinary action by the SRA to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) which is an independent tribunal.
  • matters closed because the allegations are being pursued through other ongoing action (for example where a new conduct report is added to an existing SDT case).

Other includes matters which were initially closed but have since been reopened for further investigation; or matters closed without any investigation e.g. because the allegations fall outside the SRA's jurisdiction or the allegations will be investigated under another matter.

Where a subject firm is recorded against a matter it will be included in the firm analysis, if there is only a subject individual recorded against the matter, this will be included in the individual analysis. Where both subject firm and individual have been recorded and a decision has been made against a firm, the matter will be included in the firm analysis. If there is only a decision against an individual then the matter will be included in the individual analysis.

In our systems, there is one outcome recorded for each conduct matter even though a conduct matter may involve a number of firms or individuals. Where the allegations are upheld in relation to one or more firms or individuals, the outcome for that matter will be recorded as 'upheld' even if there are firms or individuals who have not had the allegations upheld against them. Although our records for each individual and firm will be accurate, when producing data about the outcomes of conduct matters, the numbers of firms or solicitors shown in the 'upheld' or 'not upheld' column will not exactly reflect the number of firms or individuals found responsible.

Firm analysis

Conduct Investigations closed in 2013 by ethnicity

Firm Size Upheld/Not upheld No of firms BME individuals White individuals
1 Upheld 137 25 (22%) 90 (78%)
Not upheld 356 79 (26%) 223 (74%)
2-4 Upheld 179 120 (28%) 313 (72%)
Not upheld 763 716 (37%) 1,233 (63%)
5-10 Upheld 105 152 (23%) 501 (77%)
Not upheld 556 921 (26%) 2,590 (74%)
11-25 Upheld 53 116 (14%) 702 (86%)
Not upheld 437 1020 (15%) 5,679 (85%)
26-80 Upheld 26 100 (10%) 911 (90%)
Not upheld 311 1526 (12%) 11,312 (88%)
81+ Upheld 21 308 (7%) 4,284 (93%)
Not upheld 265 7,652 (8%) 85,910 (92%)

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct Investigations closed in 2013 by Gender

Firm Size Upheld/Not upheld No of firms Female individuals Male individuals
1 Upheld 137 36 (26%) 101 (74%)
No upheld 356 106 (30%) 250 (70%)
2-4 Upheld 179 155 (33%) 320 (67%)
Not upheld 763 765 (35%) 1,396 (65%)
5-10 Upheld 105 280 (39%) 430 (61%)
Not upheld 556 1,609 (41%) 2,325 (59%)
11-25 Upheld 53 377 (42%) 522 (58%)
Not upheld 437 3,310 (46%) 3,952 (54%)
26-80 Upheld 26 533 (48%) 584 (52%)
Not upheld 311 6,844 (49%) 7,199 (51%)
81+ Upheld 21 2,425 (48%) 2,585 (52%)
Not upheld 265 50,411 (49%) 51,568 (51%)

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct investigations closed in 2013 by age

Firm Size Upheld/Not upheld No of firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65
1 Upheld 137 0 (0%) 23 (17%) 37 (27%) 44 (32%) 16 (12%) 17 (12%)
Not upheld 356 0 (0%) 61 (17%) 100 (28%) 123 (35%) 35 (10%) 37 (10%)
2-4 Upheld 179 41 (9%) 107 (22%) 142 (30%) 125 (26%) 40 (8%) 24 (5%)
Not upheld 763 215 (10%) 626 (29%) 544 (25%) 527 (24%) 155 (7%) 104 (5%)
5-10 Upheld 105 84 (12%) 196 (27%) 193 (27%) 153 (21%) 57 (8%) 30 (4%)
Not upheld 556 478 (12%) 1,230 (31%) 989 (25%) 823 (21%) 248 (6%) 182 (5%)
11-25 Upheld 53 119 (13%) 225 (25%) 256 (28%) 203 (23%) 66 (7%) 33 (4%)
Not upheld 437 1,148 (16%) 2,291 (31%) 1,696 (23%) 1,419 (19%) 412 (6%) 312 (4%)
26-80 Upheld 26 165 (15%) 376 (34%) 274 (24%) 200 (18%) 69 (6%) 35 (3%)
Not upheld 311 2,145 (15%) 4,666 (33%) 3,689 (26%) 2,544 (18%) 694 (5%) 330 (2%)
81+ Upheld 21 1,028 (20%) 2,049 (41%) 1,226 (24%) 583 (12%) 112 (2%) 41 (1%)
Not upheld 265 20,948 (20%) 41,496 (40%) 26,346 (26%) 11,837 (11%) 1,718 (2%) 772 (1%)

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Conduct investigations closed in 2013 by disability

Firm size Upheld/Not upheld No of firms With disability
1 Upheld 137 1 (0.7%)
Not Upheld 356 11 (3.1%)
2-4 Upheld 179 4 (0.8%)
Not Upheld 763 25 (1.2%)
5-10 Upheld 105 12 (1.7%)
Not Upheld 556 51 (1.3%)
11-25 Upheld 53 8 (0.9%)
Not Upheld 437 81 (1.1%)
26-80 Upheld 26 12 (1.1%)
Not Upheld 311 127 (0.9%)
81+ Upheld 21 46 (0.9%)
Not Upheld 265 864 (0.8%)

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The proportion of BME, females and individuals under the age of 40 is slightly lower in firms where an investigation was upheld in comparison to firms where investigations were not upheld.

There is no consistent pattern for individuals reporting a disability. However, for firms with only 1 regulated individual, the proportion of individuals reporting a disability in firms where an investigation was not upheld is higher than in comparison to the firms where the investigations were upheld.

Individual analysis

Conduct investigations closed 2013 by ethnicity Upheld Upheld Total
No. % Summary Closed No. % upheld No.
BME 38 17% 183 83% 520
Asian 22 22% 78 78% 100
Black 14 13% 94 87% 108
Chinese 1 20% 4 80% 5
Mixed 0 - 0 - 0
Other ethnic group 1 12.5% 7 87.5% 8
White 47 12% 343 88% 390
Ethnicity not known 12 11% 95 89% 107
Total 97 14% 621 86% 718
Conduct investigations closed 2013 by gender Upheld Not upheld Total
No. % upheld No. % not upheld No.
Female 23 12% 170 88% 494
Male 74 14% 451 86% 1,365
Total 97 14% 621 86% 718
Conduct investigations closed 2013 by age Upheld Not upheld Total
No. % upheld No. % not upheld No.
22 – 30 1 12.5% 7 87.5% 35
31 – 40 24 18% 110 82% 341
41 – 50 31 13% 209 87% 577
51 – 60 24 11% 188 89% 556
61 – 65 10 19% 43 81% 177
65+ 7 10% 61 90% 170
Age not known 0 0% 3 100% 3
Total 97 14% 621 86% 718
Conduct investigations closed 2013 by disability Upheld Not upheld Total
No. % upheld No. % not upheld No.
With disability 1 7% 14 93% 15
Total 97 14% 621 86% 718

A graph for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

A higher percentage of BME and male individuals had their investigations upheld in comparison to white and female individuals.

A lower percentage of individuals reporting a disability had their investigations upheld in comparison to those not reporting a disability.

Interventions

An intervention is where the SRA takes control of a firm's practice, or part of a firm's practice, that the SRA believes is putting the interests of clients at risk. An intervention is not a disciplinary outcome for the individuals or firms involved, but a regulatory step designed to protect clients' interests and client money. It may be that individuals from the firm intervened into are subjected to separate conduct investigations, although that data is not provided in the following tables.

The effect of an intervention in most circumstances is to close down the practice of the firm. It is an extremely serious regulatory action which is authorised by statute, and reserved for situations such as suspected dishonesty, abandonment of practice, breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules or incapacity due to illness or accident.

Data tables

An intervention is generally recorded against a firm, although an individual can be intervened into. The tables that follow relate to the 47 interventions which took place during 2013. We have taken the firm information as at the time of the intervention was made, unless the firm no longer exists, then we have taken the firm information the day before the firm closed. If we do not have a record of the firm information but subject individuals were also named we have included the record in the individual analysis.

Firm analysis

Interventions by ethnicity

Firm Size No of firms BME individuals White individuals Known ethnicity Unknown ethnicity Total individuals
1 12 2 (17%) 10 (83%) 12 (0%) 12
2-4 18 25 (56%) 20 (43%) 45 5 (10%) 50
5-10 3 1 (6%) 16 (94%) 17 3 (15%) 20
11-25 2 4 (10%) 37 (90%) 41 2 (5%) 43
26-80 1 8 (21%) 31 (79%) 39 2 (5%) 41
81+            
Total 36 40 (26%) 114 (73%) 154 12 (7%) 166

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Interventions by gender

Firm Size No of firms Female individuals Male individuals Known gender Unknown gender Total individuals
1 12 2 (17%) 10 (83%) 12 (0%) 12
2-4 19 17 (35%) 32 (65%) 49 1 (2%) 50
5-10 3 9 (45%) 11 (55%) 20 (0%) 20
11-25 2 24 (56%) 19 (44%) 43 (0%) 43
26-80 1 31 (76%) 10 (24%) 41 (0%) 41
81+            
Total 37 83 (50%) 82 (50%) 165 1 (1%) 166

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Interventions by age

Firm size No of firms 22-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-65 >65 Known age Unknown age Total individuals
1 12 (0%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 6 (50%) 2 (17%) 2 (17%) 12 0 (0%) 12
2-4 19 3 (6%) 15 (30%) 15 (30%) 10 (20%) 3 (6%) 4 (8%) 50 0 (0%) 50
5-10 3 1 (5%) 8 (40%) 4 (20%) 4 (20%) 2 (10%) 1 (5%) 20 0 (0%) 20
11-25 2 6 (14%) 13 (30%) 9 (21%) 9 (21%) 3 (7%) 3 (7%) 43 0 (0%) 43
26-80 1 10 (24%) 19 (46%) 7 (17%) 4 (10%) (0%) 1 (2%) 41 0 (0%) 41
81+                    
Total individuals 37 20 (12%) 56 (34%) 36 (22%) 33 (20%) 10 (6%) 11 (7%) 168 0 (0%) 166

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Individual analysis

Interventions by ethnicity 2013 total
BME 4 (31%)
Asian 1 (8%)
Black 3 (23%)
Chinese 0 (0%)
Mixed 0 (0%)
Other ethnic group 0 (0%)
White 9 (69%)
Total of known ethnicity 13
Ethnicity not known 0
Total 13
Interventions by gender 2013 total
Female 4 (31%)
Male 9 (69%)
Total of known gender 13
Gender not known 0
Total 13
Interventions by age 2013 total
22 – 30 0 (0%)
31 – 40 2 (15%)
41 – 50 2 (15%)
51 – 60 7 (54%)
61 – 65 1 (8%)
65+ 1 (8%)
Total of known age 13
Age not known 0
Total 13
Interventions by disability status 2013 Total
With disability 1 (8%)
Total 13

A graph for this table is displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The number of Interventions is small and so care must be taken when drawing conclusions about this data.

  • A high proportion of the individuals at the firms with between 2 and 4 regulated individuals which were intervened into were BME.
  • The proportion of female individuals working at larger firms that were intervened into is higher than would be expected, although the number of these firms are very low.
  • There is a higher proportion of older individuals at the firms which were intervened into than the firms which were involved in conduct matters.
  • No individuals reporting a disability were involved in an intervention.
 

Referrals to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

In serious cases of misconduct, the SRA may decide to refer a solicitor to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) which is an independent tribunal that adjudicates upon alleged breaches of the rules of professional conduct for solicitors. Not every solicitor referred to the SDT by the SRA will proceed to an SDT hearing, in some cases the SRA will reach a regulatory settlement agreement with the solicitor.

Individuals may be referred to the SDT in relation to several matters investigated by the SRA. The SDT has the power to strike individuals from the roll of solicitors, suspend a solicitor from practice and apply fines and reprimands. The tables do not provide any information about the outcome of the cases referred to the SDT. The outcome of SDT hearings and regulatory settlement agreements are usually published on the SRA website.

Data tables

Tribunal referrals by ethnicity 2013 total
BME 26 (28%)
Asian 8 (9%)
Black 12 (13%)
Chinese 1 (1%)
Mixed 1 (1%)
Other ethnic group 4 (4%)
White 67 (72%)
Total of known ethnicity 93
Ethnicity not known 13 (12%)
Total 106
Tribunal referrals
by gender
2013 total
Female 25 (27%)
Male 81 (73%)
Total of known gender 106
Gender not known 0
Total 106
Tribunal referrals by age 2013 total
22 – 30 5 (5%)
31 – 40 16 (15%)
41 – 50 29 (28%)
51 – 60 39 (37%)
61 – 65 10 (10%)
65+ 6 (6%)
Total of known age 106
Age not known 1 (1%)
Total 106
Tribunal referrals by disability status 2013 Total
With disability 1 (1%)
Total 106

A graph for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The proportion of BME solicitors referred to the SDT has decreased from last year. The number of BME solicitors referred to the SDT is proportionate to the reports received.

Late accountants' reports

Solicitors who fail to file an accountant's report for their firm by the required date are required to give the SRA notice before applying for their next practising certificate and the SRA has a discretion in such cases to grant or refuse a practising certificate, or to place conditions on a solicitor's practice. Responsibility for the delivery of these reports lies with the partners (or equivalent) of a firm and where a firm's accountant's report is filed late, the regulatory activity applies to all partners of the firm.

All cases of late or outstanding accountants' reports are included in the figures below, regardless of whether any further action was subsequently taken (such as the imposition of a practising condition).

Data tables

Each individual is counted once even if they appear against multiple late/outstanding reports.

Late accountants' reports by ethnicity 2013 total
BME 172 (22%)
Asian 102 (13%)
Black 39 (5%)
Chinese 5 (1%)
Mixed 9 (1%)
Other ethnic group 17 (2%)
White 598 (78%)
Total of known Ethnicity 770
Ethnicity not known 103 (12%)
Total 873
Late accountants' reports by gender 2013 total
Female 226 (26%)
Male 645 (74%)
Total of known gender 871
Gender not known 2 (0%)
Total 873
Late accountants' reports by age 2013 total
22 – 30 9 (1%)
31 – 40 146 (17%)
41 – 50 246 (28%)
51 – 60 264 (30%)
61 – 65 107 (12%)
65+ 100 (11%)
Total of known Age 872
Age not known 1 (0%)
Total 873
Late accountants' reports by disability status 2013 Total
With disability 16 (1%)
Total 873

Graphs for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

As seen in previous years a higher proportion of BME partners return their accounts late than white partners and a higher proportion of partners over the age of 60 years old return their accounts late.

Practising certificate conditions

Practising Certificate Conditions are placed onto a practising certificate or registration and can restrict the ability to practise, the type of work which can be undertaken or impose other requirements or limitations.

Data tables

The tables show the number of individuals who have had conditions applied. Although an individual may have multiple conditions, they are only counted once in the tables below.

PC conditions by ethnicity 2013 total
BME 77 (34%)
Asian 42 (19%)
Black 29 (13%)
Chinese 2 (1%)
Mixed 2 (1%)
Other ethnic group 2 (1%)
White 150 (66%)
Total of known Ethnicity 227
Ethnicity not known 33 (13%)
Total 260
PC conditions by gender 2013 total
Female 51 (20%)
Male 209 (80%)
Total of known gender 260
Gender not known 0
Total 260
PC conditions by age 2013 total
22 – 30 1 (0%)
31 – 40 28 (11%)
41 – 50 104 (40%)
51 – 60 77 (30%)
61 – 65 19 (7%)
65+ 31 (12%)
Total of known Age 260
Age not known 0
Total 260
PC conditions by disability status 2013 Total
With Disability 9 (3%)
Total 260

A graph for these tables are displayed in the PDF document.

Key findings

The number of practising conditions imposed this year has decreased. The proportion of BME solicitors with imposed conditions has increased while the number of younger solicitors with conditions has decreased. The proportion of males with practising certificate conditions is higher than would be expected.

Appendix One – Ethnicity groups

Binary Group Level 1 Group Level 2 Group

White

White

British – English
British – Scottish
British – Welsh
White / European
British – other
Roma/Gypsy
British
Traveller of Irish Heritage
Irish
Any other white background

BME

Black

Caribbean
African
Any other Black background
Afro – Caribbean

Asian

Indian
Pakistani
Bangladeshi
Any other Asian background

Mixed

White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian
Any other mixed background

Chinese

Chinese
Any other Chinese background

Other

Any other
Asian / Chinese

Unknown

Unknown

Prefer not to say
Unknown
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