Ethics Helpline for solicitors - standing ready
7 October 2011
Maria Round, Head of Guidance
The Solicitors Regulation Authority's Professional Ethics helpline for solicitors is dedicated to helping the regulated community with compliance enquiries.
With the launch of Outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) and the new Handbook today (6 October), members of the Ethics Guidance Helpline have been hard at work to ensure that they are fully prepared to provide guidance on the SRA's new regulatory framework.
As the majority of advisers are solicitors, they understand the profession's concerns and are familiar with the issues that members of the profession face. Last year, the team received over 58,000 calls to its helpline.
The details and information of those making contact will be shared with other colleagues in the SRA - where this is deemed to be appropriate. A new logging system will be introduced from the second quarter of 2012. A benefit of this process will be to provide support and a better service to those making contact by cutting back on the need for multiple calls to different parts of the organisation.
Maria Round, Ethics Guidance Team Manager, said: "In preparation for the launch of OFR and the new Handbook, the advisors have been undertaking in-depth training to ensure that they continue to offer a first-class service to the regulated community. We know from feedback received that the profession is very appreciative of the support we offer."
And as reported in a recent news release 'Co-operation agreements proposed for SRA whistle-blowers', the SRA could soon be asking for views on potential agreed penalties for those who have breached the Code of Conduct but disclose their and others’ misconduct.
The SRA's Compliance Committee agreed on 20 September that the SRA Board should consider a consultation paper on co-operation agreements and a whistle-blowing policy. If the Board agrees, the SRA will be inviting comments on the idea of imposing more lenient sanctions on those involved who are helpful during investigations.
The Co-operation Agreements release referred to above can be found at www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/press/2011/cooperation-agreements-for-whistleblowers.page