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ABS countdown | Why did the SRA want to bring its fining powers more in line with the SDT?

Stuart Bushell explores a number of possible explanations for the SRA’s desire to bring its fining powers more in line with those of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

8 February 2013

Whatever your point of view, it is difficult to find any logical sense in the current situation regarding the fines to which solicitors could be subject under the present, slightly disjointed, regulatory system.

Theoretically, depending upon your corporate structure and how the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) views your regulatory transgressions, you could be subject to different processes with maximum fines of £2,000, £250m or an unlimited amount. Please form an orderly queue in front of the one you would prefer.

The SRA has announced, in a new consultation paper, that it is currently in discussions with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as to what increases might be made in the SRA’s fining powers for “traditional” (non-ABS) firms of solicitors. This is a little surprising since it was only in October 2012 that the MoJ rejected the SRA’s application to inc...

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