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Roll of solicitors is a year out of date

5 March 2012

The SRA has admitted that the roll of solicitors is now a year out of date. A spokesman said the organisation hoped to start work on renewing the roll in April 2011, but this would now take place “later than originally planned”.

According to the latest statement on the regulator’s website, this will be at some point after 2 April 2012. A new opening date would be announced “once it was finalised”.

The regulator’s MySRA online renewal system has been plagued by delays, forcing it to repeatedly push back the deadlines for renewing PCs and keeping or deleting names on the roll.

The deadline for renewing PCs using MySRA expired on Friday last week, more than four months after the traditional deadline of the end of October.

Along with the roll, a further casualty of the problems with MySRA is the process for nominating compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and compliance officers for financial administration (COFAs).

As with renewing the roll, the SRA said the exercise would take place “later than originally planned” and the new dates would be announced as soon as they were finalised.

Antony Townsend, chief executive of the SRA, said in a report to last month’s board meeting of the regulator: “We acknowledge the frustration the profession is experiencing and the inconvenience that has been caused.

“We are continuing to monitor the performance of the system, to remedy defects and provide updates.”

Townsend said 65 per cent of individual PC applications had been successfully submitted and around 33,000 PCs issued.

He said the SRA had put in place “additional support” to help the process, including extending the opening hours of the contact centre.

MySRA is part of a wider £18m ‘change programme’ being handled by Tata Consultancy Services, a division of the India-based Tata Group.

A spokesman for the SRA added that the regulator would provide an update on the revised timetable “very soon” for renewing the roll.

“We apologise to those affected by the change in date.”

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