Following the LSB’s annual review of frontline regulators last month, the SRA has reportedly met all 27 of the required outcomes in its regulatory approach, authorisation, supervision, enforcement and leadership.
The results show that the SRA was one of just two organisations that achieved a perfect score in the review and is the second year running that the SRA has been classed as meeting required outcomes in all categories.
The SRA outperformed other frontline regulators such as the Bar Standards Board which was identified as having six areas for improvement by the LSB. The ICAEW and Intellectual Property Regulation Board both have areas requiring action according to the LSB.
Issues raised in the past around the SRA’s transparency appear to have now been resolved, although during the review the LSB revealed that it had received complaints from consumers about how the SRA handled their grievances with solicitors on a range of issues including failing to explain processes properly or handle complaints fairly, not acknowledging or responding to complaints and failing to deliver on time.
But at review the LSB found that all complaints were reviewed on receipt and serious cases were prioritised, commenting that the SRA has an “accessible and clear process so that concerns can be raised about an authorised person”.
“While we consider that these two outcomes remain met, we are still concerned about the numbers of complaints we receive, the issues they raise, and the levels of partially upheld complaints in the performance management data. We will continue to monitor these and the SRA’s performance in handling complaints and addressing the issues”, said the LSB report.
“Following improvements in recent years, we consider the SRA to provide a high degree of transparency in respect of its work, decision-making and accountability, but we encourage it to think how it might provide more”, it added.