News release

SRA reports on its 2016/17 work

We have set out the details of our work to protect the public and maintain high professional standards in our latest Annual Review.

Published today, the Annual Review covers our structure, culture and funding, reports on out work over the 2016/17 practising year and outlines out aspirations for the year ahead.

Key points include:

  • 6,599 solicitors were admitted to the roll in 2016/17, up from 6,452 in 2015/16.
  • The number of interventions - when the SRA takes over a firm’s client files and money – rose to 50 from 37 the previous year, but overall the number remains in line with the five-year average.
  • 11,879 complaints about solicitors/firms were received, with reports of incompetence, negligence or delays the most common raised by the public, and identity theft or bogus firms the most common from the profession.
  • £15.2m was paid out from the Compensation Fund, up £4.9m from last year, most commonly for issues linked to property sale proceeds (£4m).
  • There were 9.6m views of content on the SRA website, including 750,000 law firm or solicitor record searches and more than 100,000 views of scam alerts.
  • The average time taken to authorise firms/solicitors, assess complaints and conduct investigations have all improved year-on-year.

The review also provides data on the number, gender and ethnicity of regulated solicitors within England and Wales, as well as the law firms they work within.

The Review will also be published in Welsh and in Easyread.

Enid Rowlands, SRA Chair, said: "Our latest Review reports on our work to protect the public over the last year. Publishing the Review is an important part of our commitment to transparency and accountability and provides a wealth of information on how we work and what we do.

“As well as a full range of performance information, the Review covers our progress as we work with the profession and others on key issues such as improving access to legal services, diversity, money laundering and the development of the SQE. It also looks ahead to the next stages in our reform programme and our plans to implement and evaluate any changes.”

Read the Annual Review