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SRA reveals new suitability test

2 September 2011

The SRA has unveiled details of the revamped suitability test it will apply to solicitors, non-solicitors involved in the running of LDPs, and, in the future, to managers and owners of ABS firms.

The new version, which will come into force on 6 October 2011, will also be applied to ABS compliance officers, for legal practice and financial administration, and to applicants for the qualified lawyers transfer scheme.

Antony Townsend, chief executive of the SRA, said the revised criteria would be as robust as the old, but there would be clearer guidelines about the information needed to assess them.

For example, the new test will make it clear that more detail will be needed on the type of criminal penalty the applicant might have to disclose, whether it was a caution or inclusion on the sex offenders register.

More robust requirements will also be needed to establish that a process of rehabilitation has been successful.

“The changes we’ve introduced are designed to make the process more transparent,” Townsend said.

“However, the basic standard remains the same. We expect those we regulate to have the highest moral and ethical standards, because they have important responsibilities and trust placed upon them.”

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