A leading compliance expert has called for an inquiry by a retired High Court judge and a solicitor with recent experience of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s work into the watchdog’s actions in relation to collapsed national firm Axiom Ince.
Writing in today’s Gazette, Frank Maher of law firm Legal Risk, which advises solicitors on regulation, says the move could restore confidence among the profession amid uncertainty about ‘what the SRA knew and when’.
Maher’s call comes as solicitors brace for a hefty potential cash call arising from the £64m ‘black hole’ in Axiom Ince’s client account and intervention costs that are expected to total £15m. In theory, every practising solicitor could face a one-off levy of £400 just to cover the potential impact on the Compensation Fund.
‘With the profession potentially facing an enormous cost (and who knows, maybe not for the last time), against a background of concern about what the SRA knew and when, and what it did in consequence, there is a clarion call for some oversight about how it now responds, a role the Law Society may be unable to fulfil,’ says Maher.
This article is now closed for comment.