What you can expect from us
17 June 2019
We set out how we will work with you and listen to your views or concerns. We explain what you can expect from us, whether you are in direct contact with us or are represented by a consumer support or advocacy organisation. We call this our "Public Engagement Charter".
We aim to treat everyone fairly and equally, making sure we understand your needs.
Who we are and what we do
We are the regulator of solicitors and most law firms in England and Wales. We work in the public interest, overseeing solicitors and law firms. This means we:
- work to make sure solicitors follow our rules and meet our high standards
- protect people when they use a solicitor or law firm:
- stepping in when things go wrong with a solicitor or firm
- compensating people who have lost money in certain circumstances
- work to make legal services accessible and affordable.
- check a solicitor or firm, to help you make the right choice when using legal services
- report an issue or concern about a solicitor's or firm's conduct to us
- apply to our compensation fund if you have lost money as the result of a solicitor's dishonesty
- find information about scams in which people who are not solicitors pretend to be
- tell us your view about any changes we are thinking of making.
We will be open and accountable about
- what we can do for you
- what you can expect from us
- how we come to the disciplinary and policy decisions we make
- what to do if you are not happy with any element of how we have dealt with you or any decision we have made.
We will be as inclusive as possible by
- providing easy-to-access information in plain English
- offering you a range of different ways to get in touch
- wherever possible, working with you in the way that suits you best.
We aim to
1. Provide you with high quality customer service whenever you get in touch with us. We will:
- listen to you
- be professional and courteous
- get back to you when we say we will
- operate fairly, treating everyone equally, without unlawful discrimination
- respond to your individual needs, making sure our services are accessible
- look after your data as you would expect, keeping your information confidential.
2. When we consult on changes that could affect you, we will:
- set out clearly the reasons behind any proposed changes, how they might affect people, and the reasons why we are seeking your views
- give people enough time to respond or tell us what they think
- make sure the widest range of voices and views are heard, including those whose voice might not otherwise be present, such as those who find themselves in vulnerable situations
- use a range of different ways to hear these views, both directly from individuals and through consumer support and advocacy organisations
- listen, consider what people tell us, and change the way we work when this is the right thing to do
- let people know how their views have changed our thinking
- evaluate what works, what does not, and make sure we act on lessons learnt.
3. Make sure everyone at the SRA, and those we work with, recognises and promotes the importance of working this way.
What information we have about solicitors and firms, and how to check their record.
How to report a problem with a solicitor - including details of when we can and can't help, and when the Legal Ombudsman could help instead.
Decision-making guidance – how we come to decisions when we investigate concerns about solicitors or law firms.
Making payments from our compensation fund – details of when you can make a claim to our compensation fund, and what to expect.
How we consult on policy or operational changes – how we talk and listen to people before we make changes to the way we work.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policies include details on reasonable adjustments - how we make it easier for you to contact us if you have, for example, a disability or health problem, and our trans inclusion policy statement setting out our approach to treating everybody with dignity and respect.
Our policy on the use of languages other than English, including Welsh, and details of translation services available.
Fair data processing - what to expect when we collect your personal information.
Publication scheme – what sort of information we publish.
Transparency code – how we go about being as open as possible about what we do.