The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published a new report on its enforcement activity. Their 2018/19 Upholding Professional Standards report sets out the diversity profile, broken down by gender, ethnicity, age and disability, of individuals reported to the SRA, those taken forward for investigation and those against whom an action was taken by either the SRA or the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
In response to the publication of the SRA’s report, Matthew Hill, CEO of the Legal Services Board, said:
“We welcome the openness and leadership shown by the SRA in publishing equality, diversity and inclusion data on its enforcement activity. We have been calling for this level of transparency and commitment from all legal services regulators.
“The report identifies a number of areas that merit further exploration, including the over-representation of men, lawyers from a BAME background, and those at later stages of their careers at various stages of the disciplinary process.
“It is very important not to make assumptions about the causes of these patterns, which mirror those seen in some other sectors such as healthcare. It is equally important to find effective means of mitigating them, for example, by investing in better engagement with, and support for, key groups.
“As we make clear in our recently published State of Legal Services 2020 report, improving diversity and inclusion is a challenge for everyone across the legal services sector, and progress over the last decade has been far too slow. We will only make the strides needed by being honest about the challenges, understanding the issues, and collaborating to bring meaningful change. By working together, we can create a legal services profession that is open to everyone, secures everyone’s trust and confidence, and better reflects the society it serves.”