I am a barrister who has been at the bar since 1977. Sadly, I have had to complain about a solicitor for the first (and I hope last) time.
During the week I live in Birmingham and can see the SRA from my flat. I recently decided to walk the 100 yards to its office and deliver some correspondence concerning my complaint.
I walked through a glass door at the Cube and approached a receptionist sitting to the right of a large sign reading ‘Solicitors Regulation Authority’. I told her I had come to drop off a letter. She said she could not accept it. I asked why not and she said it was their policy, but they could accept delivery from a courier. I then asked for somebody to come and explain the policy.
A senior person appeared and said she would not accept delivery. In her presence, I then opened the letter and showed her a sealed order from the Court of Appeal.
She would still not accept it and would shred it if I left it there. So I had to walk back to my chambers and fax it. I have now been told that the SRA never accepts hand-delivered items. I had come from the Crown court, was dressed for court and had expected to be there for seconds. I thought a courier was anyone who hand-delivered an urgent letter? In Birmingham city centre all the firms and government offices accept hand-delivered items.
Can anyone explain why the SRA will not accept a letter by hand?
Chris Gibbons, Rowchester Chambers, Birmingham