Various groups of solicitors are disproportionately represented in actions taken by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, but there is no clear pattern, research has found.

White solicitors are more likely to face complaints of professional misconduct, for example, while black and minority ethnic (BME) solicitors are more likely to face complaints regarding financial matters.

The initial report by business psychologists Pearn Kandola aims to understand why disproportionality occurs, even though the 2008 Ouseley review found no evidence of the SRA making inappropriate findings against solicitors.

The report said: ‘Perhaps of most interest is the fact that although male solicitors might be more likely to have matters raised against them [than female solicitors], their matter in turn is also more likely not to be upheld.’

The report found that BME solicitors were more likely to have cases against them upheld, but noted that this was ‘likely to be due purely to the disproportionate number of matters raised against BME solicitors to start with, as identified in the Ouseley report’.

SRA chief executive Antony Townsend (pictured) said: ‘It is clear from Pearn Kandola’s early results that far more analysis is required before meaningful results can be considered. We have asked Pearn Kandola to undertake that work as a priority, to help shape future policy. We are publishing the report in line with our policy of transparency, but with the caution that the statistics to date are extremely rudimentary and that, as Pearn Kandola emphasises, it is not possible to draw proper conclusions at this stage.’