Who we are and what we do
14 April 2021
What we do
We regulate all solicitors and most law firms in England and Wales.
We protect and help the public by making sure:
- solicitors and law firms meet our high standards
- we take action against solicitors who don't follow our rules - for instance, by taking someone's money or acting dishonestly
- people can get their documents and money back, if, for example, a law firm shuts down suddenly.
When things go wrong
Taking action in cases of serious misconduct
We can prosecute solicitors and firms at an independent court – the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). It can issue fines and suspend or even strike off solicitors.
We can close down firms where there is a serious risk to their clients and the public.
We can fine solicitors and firms and set limits on what work they can do.
We manage a discretionary fund that can help return money to people who have lost it due to a dishonest solicitor. Learn more about our discretionary fund.
Opening up legal services
Check a solicitor is who they say they are
The Solicitors Register allows you to check:
- if we regulate a solicitor or law firm
- contact details for them
- whether we've closed down a firm
- if there are any disciplinary decisions against a solicitor.
Just over one million checks took place this year.
All law firms we regulate must show our clickable logo on their websites. It shows the public that the firm must:
- follow our rules
- keep your money safe
- have professional insurance.
Clearer information on price and services
Law firms must publish prices and more information about some commonly used legal services, such as:
- buying a house
- dealing with an estate when someone dies
- employment issues.
This should help people choose which legal service is best for them.
Encouraging innovation and technology
We are working to encourage innovation in the legal sector. This includes supporting technology that could improve access to legal services for people from all communities.
Helping people through Legal Choices
Legal Choices is a website that helps people who think they might have a legal problem with next steps and getting the support they need. Last year, it was used by around 1.9 million people.
How we can help you
Talk to us when a solicitor has:
- taken or misused money
- acted dishonestly
- suddenly closed down their firm or stopped helping someone
- not met our standards of conduct.
The Legal Ombudsman is also available if someone is unhappy about the work their solicitor did for them or their bill.