Open Consultation

Corporate Strategy 2020-2023

3 October 2019

We are seeking views on our new Corporate Strategy which sets out our priorities for the period from 2020 to 2023.

Foreword

Our ambition is to be a progressive and relevant regulator; able to anticipate and respond with agility to emerging opportunities and challenges for the legal sector in England and Wales.

We will continue to promote the Regulatory Objectives set out in the Legal Services Act 2007. And we will be guided by the better regulation principles that say our regulation should be proportionate, accountable, consistent, targeted and transparent.

Over the last 12 years we have built a robust regulatory regime for solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. We have put into practice our public interest commitment to modernise the way the legal sector works. We have done this by taking steps to increase competition while maintaining proper consumer protections so that law firms and solicitors can meet the expectations of both consumers and wider society. This means people being able to access high quality, affordable legal services.

We have more to do to embed our reforms, to evaluate their impact and to take any further steps needed. But it is time to look more widely and to consider what the next few years may hold.

Traditionally regulators are seen as being behind the curve, trying to adapt their regulatory model to a changing world. At a time of uncertainty on so many fronts, it is important that we act to get ahead of the curve. That means being intelligence led, collaborative and having an authoritative voice about emerging issues.

In setting our strategic objectives, we have considered what the challenges and opportunities are that may emerge in our sector of the regulated market and more widely. Growing social, political, economic and environmental uncertainty are likely to bring new challenges to the rule of law and access to justice. Technology has the potential to completely transform the way solicitors and law firms work and how legal services are delivered. This presents real opportunities. It also raises questions about who and what should be regulated and how best to protect consumers.

Legal services underpin economic and social transactions of all different kinds spanning different sectors and regulatory jurisdictions. And with innovation and technology increasingly cutting across traditional boundaries, working with partners will be essential for regulation to be effective and consistent.

Given the environment in which we operate and likely future changes, we have decided to focus our efforts on these three complementary priority areas:

  • Embedding high standards for ourselves and the profession: implementing, evaluating and evolving our reforms and regulatory model.
  • Technology and innovation: supporting the development and adoption of technology and other innovation so that opportunities and new ideas can flourish.
  • Anticipating and responding to change: building our understanding of emerging opportunities and challenges so we can effectively respond to them.

We will embed our ongoing commitment to promoting access to justice across our work in all of these areas.

Our strategic priorities are set at a high level. To provide more certainty we will consult on and publish an annual work programme settingout the detail of the steps we will take to achieve our priorities.

Thank you for your continued interest in our work. We know that collaboration will be key for us setting and delivering on the right strategy to take us into the next decade. We will work with a range of stakeholders including the public and the profession – directly and through the Law Society and other representative bodies. We encourage anybody with an interest in legal services or regulation to let us know your views.

Anna Bradley

Chair, Solicitors Regulation Authority

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