Joan Loughrey argues SRA proposals pose risk to consumers

Professor Joan Loughrey recently submitted a response to the Solicitor Regulation Authority’s wide ranging consultation on reforming the regulation of the profession.

The response included a proposal to permit solicitors to work in unregulated firms, introducing two separate, and shorter, Codes of Conduct: one for solicitors and one for regulated firms, and seeking further information on how the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) role operated in practice.

Professor Loughrey who, along with Dr Sundeep Aulakh of the Business School, conducted the first academic study into the role of COLPs, supported the SRA’s proposals on COLPs, but their research suggested that solicitors who were a minority in an unregulated firm could come under pressure to compromise their professional obligations. In addition the reduced level of protections for consumers dealing with such solicitors created a risk of consumer confusion and a threat to the reputation of the profession. Added to this, the revised Codes placed insufficient emphasis on the public interest role of the profession and the work of lawyers in large commercial law firms.

Here you can download Professor Loughreys response.