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It is interesting that research shows that consumers choose legal providers on the basis of recommendation and reputation rather than cost because the SRA frequently use the "Access to justice", i.e. Affordability of services as supposed justification for compromising legal service consumer protection in order to make legal services available to all. This is often on the basis of weak market research without any statistical evidence to back up their theories. In practice indemnity insurers are highly unlikely to reduce premiums as reward for them being less exposed to claims after policy change.

The SRA's compromising effect on consumer protection through PII is not being negated by improved SRA fall-back protection through the SRACF, which is supposed to kick in when PII cover is denied due to for instance, dishonesty. In fact the opposite is true - the SRACF is becoming increasingly more difficult to claim from on account of SRA policy change also reducing the SRA's exposure to claims through the SRACF.

If this wasn't bad enough, the SRA is also failing to allege dishonesty in many cases, despite it being true. They know that if they imply dishonesty by intervening, or if they allege dishonesty, then that will compromise PII cover and subject the SRA to claims through the SRACF. This is what transpired in the Ecohouse fraud case ; the SRA did not allege dishonesty despite a £33 Million misappropriation of client funds. Victims of the fraud are still arguing the point with the SRA 3 years later.

The SRA failing to allege dishonesty has serious implications on justice - none of the offending solicitors in the Ecohouse case were struck off. Apparently the SDT cannot strike off solicitors if the SRA has not alleged dishonesty.

So much for justice through the SRA. I am presently trying to claim for losses through the SRACF but the SRA are attempting to rebut claims and impose an obligation to prove hardship. The SRA are short-changing consumers with policy change designed to reduce PII and SRACF exposure to claims. This has left a gaping hole in consumer protection and the SRA is no longer fulfilling its remit under the Legal Services Act 2007 to protect consumers and to provide swift redress when things go wrong. The SRA are clearly conflicted.

The SRA are also failing to be transparent - another breach of the Legal Services Act. They no longer voluntarily follow the FOI code and refuse to be transparent on their "Due process" via their transparency code. They no longer permit public or Press attendance at board meetings either. They are heading in completely the wrong direction and the LSB couldn't care less.

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