Did you know a number of people do not feel confident about what to expect from their solicitor and whether their conduct has been appropriate or not?

It's maybe not surprising as for most of us legal problems don't come along all that often, so we might not be in contact with solicitors all that much. When people do need to talk to a solicitor it's not unusual to feel a bit unsure about things.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is currently consulting about the standards solicitors should meet when they qualify and during their career. The aim is to cut through some of the confusion and identify in one place all the things that solicitors need to be able to do for their clients and be competent in.

That basically means that solicitors and their clients will both know the things that solicitors should be able to do, and the skills they should have. The standards will be set out in a document called a competence statement.

A draft statement was written based on views from research activities which included interviews and surveys with 503 individual consumers and 205 business consumers. The findings have made sure that the development of the draft competence statement is informed by the views and experiences of consumers.

People were asked what they expected a solicitor to be able to do competently. They were also asked to rate the adequacy of the draft statement overall as a description of the competences required by a 'competent solicitor'. The ratings received were largely positive.

Julie Brannan, SRA's Director of Education and Training, said: "This research has given us a strong evidence base to develop a Competence Statement that reflects the views and experiences of practitioners and consumers in describing what a competent solicitor needs to be able to do."

Once the standards are in place the SRA will move towards providing confidence to the public that solicitors are meeting the required standards to make sure they provide safe and good quality service.

The SRA would like to hear from you. What do you think a solicitor should be able to do for their client? Have you recently instructed a solicitor? What did you expect from him or her?

If you'd like to have your say, just head over to the SRA's website before 12 January 2015.  

Your Comments

Andrew Newton is says:

Sun, 03/07/2021 - 23:29
I engaged a solicitors practice to act for me in an RTA almost 2 years ago, other drivers 100%fault which isn't being disputed , solicitors really don't seem to be doing anything, never ansewerd even confirmed receipt of several letters. Seems possible conflict of interest,ie other drivers insurance company often uses solicitors acting on my behalf.
I never appreciated the implications of my choice made the following day, not realising I was probably in shock. At this late stage seems compensation they advise is vastly less considering nature of RTA, and following life changes and non material compensation which hasn't even been advised of.
Never having any forthcoming advice only endless emails to sign mandates and medical reports, dates of which are not even correct I feel I'm being under represented, to the extent of possible negligance. I've spoken to the Ombidsman but having gone on so long I don't want to rock the boat.
Surely a solicitor should give his professional service and experience, his clients interest being of primary concern.
Regards, A Newton.
Nature of RTA was head on colision. Head scan only was had after many visits to my GP with frequent pains in my head.MRI I think was a priority above physiotherapy sessions,when my physical ability was above what I was asked to perform. Thank you.

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