The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to consult with the public and the profession on its three-year corporate strategy, in what it says is the first time it has asked for feedback on its aims.
A consultation paper published by the regulator asks for feedback on five aims it wants to achieve by 2020. They are:
- to set and apply consistently high standards for individuals and firms;
- make sure regulatory requirements are proportionate;
- increase availability of relative and timely information;
- make sure regulatory requirements work as effectively as possible (particularly after Brexit); and
- to work better with others to improve responsiveness and delivery of functions.
Included in this is ensuring the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination is a success.
The SRA is to also run a separate research programme that will seek solicitors’ and the public’s views on cost transparency and price comparison websites. Last month, the SRA moved away from its previous position and said it was persuaded by the need for transparency on prices.
Responding to the Competition and Markets Authority’s study of the legal services market, the SRA said that as a starting point the best way forward would be to select a small number of areas of law in which to mandate prices being published on websites. The SRA had previously been minded to allow the market to decide what data should be published.
The corporate strategy consultation ask for comments on the five aims and ask if anything has been missed. The consultation closes on 21 September.
Paul Philip, SRA chief executive, said: ‘We want to do more to create a diverse, open and modern legal market. A market that provides accessible, affordable services and allows solicitors and law firms to thrive. We are keen to hear your views on whether our strategy focuses on the right things to make that happen.’