The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced its strategic plan for 2013-15 with a particular focus on moving from its old, rules-based approach to regulation with a risk-based approach.

Richard Collins, SRA Executive Director, said: “The Strategic Plan sets out the SRA’s priorities for the next three years, and provides a clear programme for the completion of the transformation of the SRA into a modern risk-based and outcomes-focused regulator.”

The strategic plan, which is available here, sets out four key strategic objectives:

  • Objective one: Ensure the SRA has the capability and capacity to deliver risk-based outcomes-focused regulation effectively and efficiently and to meet future challenges in a rapidly changing legal services market.
  • Objective two: Deliver risk-based outcomes-focused regulation so as to achieve positive outcomes for consumers in the public interest and do so in a way that is justifiable to all our stakeholders.
  • Objective three: Develop the SRA regulatory arrangements and tools to better meet the regulatory objectives and the principles of better regulation and to mitigate emerging risks and anticipate changes in the external environment.
  • Objective four: Ensure effective operational delivery, the effective operation of the new systems and processes already implemented so as to realise the business benefits and financial efficiencies they were designed to deliver, and address the control weaknesses pertinent to the SRA identified by the Law Society Group external auditors.

A risk-based approach to regulation does away with set rules which have to be followed. At it’s most positive, it ensures that the spirit rather than the letter of it’s regulation is followed.  It relies on a model of risk management which is similar to that adopted by well managed commercial businesses of risk identification, measurement, mitigation, control and monitoring,” said James Burgoyne, director, Brunel Professional Risk.  “It is important that all our solicitor clients recognise the change in approach by the regulator and ensure that their practices and procedures are suitable to meet the regulator’s expectations.  We believe that top quality risk management is essential if solicitors are to avoid professional indemnity insurance claims.  That is why we provide inclusive risk management advice as an integral part of our service to all our clients.”