SRA response

Office for Legal Complaints corporate strategy for 2020-23 and business plan for 2020-21

Thank you for sending us your consultation on the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) corporate strategy for 2020-23 and business plan for 2020-21. We also attended your January workshop.

While we do not have any specific comments to make on the individual consultation questions, I would like to highlight some of the key areas where our organisations are making progress in relation to joint working and collaboration, and where further opportunities are likely to develop, linked to the future challenges you outline.

As you know, we support your aim to improve transparency, and we were pleased to respond to your recent Transparency and Reporting Impact discussion paper. We have  also benefited from close working with yourselves in the lead up to the introduction of our new Standards and Regulations last November. This has helped us to develop a series of case studies around how complaints could be handled in different practice settings.

A key area where we support further collaboration is in relation to the detail of complaints data. Now that we have implemented our Transparency Rules and new Standards and Regulations, our focus has moved to monitoring and evaluating our reforms and we are keen to explore how your data on service complaints in relation to SRA regulated firms can support this. This is an important piece of work which I know will benefit from the insight the Legal Ombudsman has to offer.

Thank you too for your response to our own consultation on our Corporate Strategy for 2020-23 – we look forward to publishing an updated version later this year. The backcloth to our strategy is fast moving change for society and the economy, which  means regulators need to be flexible and able to adapt their approach quickly. Part of that means working more closely with other organisations, including yourselves, to understand emerging issues and work together where appropriate.  

As noted in the horizon scanning section of the OLC’s proposed strategy, several aspects of our reform programme will affect the way you undertake your work, including our new Standards and Regulations and Transparency Rules, and the launch of our new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) from 2021. We will continue to liaise with you accordingly.

More broadly, I look forward to our organisations working together collaboratively on areas of mutual interest that could benefit the public throughout our next three year strategic period and beyond.

Yours sincerely

Paul Philip

Chief Executive

Solicitors Regulation Authority