Which solicitors are most ethical is one issue underlying a recent report for the SRA. It has been suggested in the past that BME solicitors are disproportionately subject to SRA attention. I’m still grappling with the detail of this report, but my initial reading of it is that BME solicitors overrepresentation in SRA processes is explained by factors other than their ethnicity such as the types of firm that they work in. What was most interesting to me was the U-effect: that ethical problems are most manifest with trainee/newlyqualified and long-time qualified solicitors. It’s been common to devote regulatory attention to the youngsters but there has, in the past, been less of an inclination to focus on those who have been in practice a long time. It will be interesting to see how the findings of this study play out in the outcomes- and risk-based approach that the SRA promises.
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