As I sit here at 6.30pm on 19 December wishing it was Christmas, I have just received an email from the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to its diversity survey carried out earlier this year. The SRA provides the report to me and ‘expect[s] you to have arrangements in place to store this information in a confidential and secure manner’.
Now I realise that I may be seen as something of a dinosaur at the age of 45, but here goes. I employ 19 people. The survey tells me things about their job role, their age, gender, disability, ethnic group, socioeconomic background and caring responsibilities. I know all of this information anyway and I really cannot understand what purpose is served by the SRA spending significant sums of money on this sort of exercise. While again I am sure I am not supposed to say it, it sounds to me that a ‘Director of Inclusion’ is just a made-up job title!
As a white, middle-aged male, I may be told that I have absolutely no idea of the prejudice that is suffered by some people and I am quite willing to accept that. I do not shirk away from the fact that many minorities are treated appallingly in all walks of life and I wish that were not so.
What I really do not understand is why the SRA needs to employ somebody to ask these sorts of questions. Can anybody help me understand how this is money well spent in straitened times and how this will help my firm?
Against this background, I am currently waiting nervously to see whether my nomination as a COFA, and my fellow member’s nomination as a COLP, has been approved with two working days to go before the Christmas break. I guess I am going to have to come into the office during shutdown to see if I have been approved. Furthermore, I have failed to obtain any reply from the SRA to my complaint after it wrote to me to say that the corporate member of my LLP had failed to nominate a COLP and COFA, when the previous week it had sent me a certificate giving me a waiver from doing so.
Daniel Sproull, Sproull Solicitors, Bodmin