Obiter is no stranger to unwanted emails. Every day we get a barrage of useless notifications, updates and newsletters (not counting the Gazette’s daily update, of course).

But you might have thought that a practising law firm would open emails with ‘SRA Compliance’ in the sender section. Apparently, that is not invariably the case. The regulator has revealed that ‘forensic investigations’ (which brings to mind thoughts of CSI: Birmingham) have uncovered a host of excuses from the 21 firms which failed to nominate compliance officers by the deadline.

It’s not quite ‘dog ate the form’ territory, but it’s not far from it. Explanations range from the understandable (having to care for elderly relatives, out of the country) to the frankly laughable (not bothering to read emails from the SRA, partners unable to decide who would take responsibility for the roles).

Obiter would respectfully suggest it may be worth opening SRA emails in future – after all, you don’t want to miss the one inviting you to an appointment with the SDT, over the bicycle shop in Farringdon Street.