In-house solicitors unsure what to do if they suspect their employer is acting improperly will benefit from new guidance unveiled by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The regulator is seeking views on draft guidance covering the issues of idenitfying clients when working in-house, reporting concerns about wrongdoing and running internal investigations. Guidance has also been published for employers outlining a solicitor's professional obligations.

SRA general counsel Juliet Oliver said: ‘As well as ongoing feedback from the those working in the sector, recent high-profile cases such as the Post Office case have really shone a light on the unique challenges and issues which in-house solicitors can encounter. 

‘We have been working closely with the in-house community over the past year to consider what support we can offer to address some of these challenges. We believe these resources will provide valuable support and guidance to in-house solicitors across a range of important issues. But to make sure this is the case, we want to take this opportunity to invite those working in the sector to input.’

Professor Richard Moorhead, an academic expert on the legal profession, told a Legal Services Board conference last week that the in-house community was ‘crying out’ for more guidance on how to be compliant and stay independent in the face of pressure from employers.

The guidance is expected to be discussed at the SRA's second in-house conference, which will take place in London on Thursday.

Welcoming the guidance, a Law Society spokeperson said: ‘The competing pressures that often arise from the unique position occupied by in-house solicitors and their duties to the wider public interest and employer clients must not be underestimated. This is a good start, but further guidance and detail is needed to ensure the in-house community is adequately supported to navigate these challenges.’

Chancery Lane's professional ethics programme was created to support members in an 'evolving ethical landscape, where potential tensions between the wider public interest and individual clients’ interests can create challenges for solicitors seeking to act ethically', the spokesperson said.