Thousands of firms that did not submit diversity data by last week’s deadline are unlikely to face immediate disciplinary action.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed that 8,396 firms - around 79% - successfully submitted their report to the regulator by Friday’s cut-off point.
The survey, prompted by demands from oversight regulator the Legal Services Board, asks for information on the gender, race and sexuality of people working at law firms in England and Wales.
The option of disciplinary sanctions, including fines up to £2,000, is now available for the SRA, but the Gazette understands those type of punishments are unlikely for now.
At last month’s board meeting, departing chief executive Antony Townsend said a ‘proportionate enforcement strategy’ will come into force.
‘We’re not going out with a big stick but will do our very best to help firms to ensure compliance,’ he said.
Mehrunnisa Lalani, director of inclusion, today echoed that collaborative message, saying the priority for the coming days is to contact firms that need help entering data into the mySRA website.
She also apologised for the ‘technical issues’ some firms experienced when trying to submit information.
The regulator said it will now analyse responses to the survey and publish a collated report in the spring.
It also said it intends to require firms to publish their results annually ‘at some point’.