The financial penalties imposed on solicitors have been in the news recently for three reasons.
- On 11 March, the Law Society Gazette reported that nearly half of the solicitors fined by the Solicitors
Disciplinary Tribunal have not paid in full the fines imposed on them. The fines go to HM Treasury,
which is also responsible for collecting the fines. Following a freedom of information request, the
Treasury stated that it is owed £1.7 million in outstanding fines, set against the £3.5 million that has
been imposed by the tribunal over the last five years.
The same article stated that only two or three people within the Treasury are responsible for
collecting the fines.
- This was followed a week later by a proposal from the Law Society that responsibility for collecting
the fines should be transferred to it, and that the money raised should go towards the costs of
regulating the profession.
- Separately, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is currently consulting on its Indicative
Guidance on Financial Penalties. This is guidance designed to help decision makers in the SRA
assess the appropriate level of financial penalty to be imposed on regulated persons.
The consultation closes on 19 April. To read more and to respond to the consultation, please visit the SRA website.