News release

SRA Risk Outlook Spring Update published

Publication of the Spring Update to the Risk Outlook has been announced by Paul Philip, Chief Executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), today.

Mr Philip revealed the publication of the update to the 2014 Outlook at the Law Society's Risk and Compliance Annual Conference in London. Alongside the update, we published a report on balancing duties in litigation. Key headlines from the update include:

  • record number of reports of bogus firms in 2014,
  • 69 percent of UK companies hit by cybercrime,
  • scrutiny over firm accounts used for client banking,
  • lack of a diverse and representative profession,
  • standard of service to consumers.

The accompanying paper, Walking the line: balancing of duties in litigation, considers integrity and ethics when balancing duties to clients, the court, third parties and the wider public interest.

Paul Philip said: "Alongside our yearly Risk Outlook, we want to provide regular information to help firms manage risk. This includes updates on the latest trends, and on relevant topics like balancing duties in litigation.

"Our new ‘Walking the Line’ report looks at the risks around prioritising client interests over other duties and discusses issues such as aggressive, predatory or speculative litigation, abuse of litigation process, misleading the court and taking unfair advantage of a third party.

"Firms and solicitors will want to read these short reports and think about how they could use them to inform their own risk management."

The Risk Outlook, published in July each year, is produced by reviewing the current legal services market to understand better the drivers of risk to the regulatory objectives. The SRA updates the Outlook twice a year and the autumn update was released in November.

The Outlook provides firms and the public with a clear view of the SRA's assessment of significant trends in the legal services market. It also profiles key risks and explains what is meant by each of them, why they are significant and the regulatory approaches to managing them.

The Risk Outlook Spring Update and other Risk Centre publications are available on the SRA website.

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