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Majority of SRA investigations involve male solicitors

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92% of individuals struck off in 2018/19 were men, new report finds

The majority of the solicitor regulator’s investigations over the previous year involved male practitioners, new figures have shown.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) today announced that 67% of individuals reported to the regulator in 2018/19 were male; 73% of those whose cases were taken forward for investigation; and 85% of those whose case concluded at the tribunal. This is despite male solicitors making up 49% of the overall practising population.

In relation to sanctions imposed by the tribunal, the SRA report found that 92% of individuals struck off were male and 85% of those whom were fined. However, 50% of men received suspensions from practice, which the SRA considers to be “lower that might be expected” but given that only 12 people were suspended that year it is “difficult to draw a conclusion from this data”.

The SRA handled more than 9,500 reports and 3,600 investigations over the year on issues such as sexual harassment, the use of non-disclosure agreements, and money laundering.

It is the first time since 2014 that the SRA has reported diversity characteristics for those involved in its enforcement processes.

The report further found there to be a disparity in the proportion of black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) solicitors in the system: 26% of concerns raised with the SRA related to BAME solicitors; 32% of those whose cases were investigated; and 35% of those whose case concluded at the tribunal. BAME solicitors make up 18% of the profession as a whole.

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The regulator also reviewed data relating to disability but meaningful analysis was made difficult, it said, due to the relatively small number of solicitors — less than 1% — who declare they have a disability.

Anna Bradley, chair of the SRA, said: “We must look at what is happening here. We have made significant changes to our enforcement processes and reformed our regulation over the last few years, but the picture remains the same and it is unclear why that is the case.”

“Since 2007 we have held three independent reviews into our processes to make sure they are fair and free from bias and none found any evidence of issues with our processes,” Bradley continued. “Notwithstanding this, we will look again at our decision making.”

Bradley added that the SRA will commission independent research to find out the factors which may be driving the overrepresentation of BAME solicitors in the disciplinary process.

The SRA holds stats on gender for 97% of the practising population and 76% for ethnicity. It pledged to increase the number of individuals who disclose diversity characteristics to the SRA and the ongoing publication of diversity monitoring information.

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22 Comments

Principle 6

Is the SRA acting ‘in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion’?

(24)(1)

.

Shock

(1)(0)

Where’s Tim?

He’s bound to be commenting shortly…

(9)(0)

Social Justice W

SRA is clearly sexist. This is clearly a case of “systemic” sexism/gender bias. We need to protest this to accentuate the realisation of gender equality.

(20)(4)

Anon

1. Disproportionate numbers of BAME solicitors are investigated.

SRA: We must investigate and get to the bottom of this immediately!

2. Disproportionate numbers of male solicitors are investigated.

SRA: So what?

(38)(6)

Spam Gammon

It is interesting that where there appears to be statistically too many BAME referrals the SRA promises to investigate. But where there are too many investigations involving males it is simply accepted as the way of the world. You would have thought that the SRA (or even the author of this article) might have made some effort to differentiate or explain what looks a lot like double standards.

(30)(0)

FlourPour

Come on girls. Are you even trying?

(11)(0)

Asking On Behalf Of Friend

If someone starts identifying as a woman will that improve their chances in an investigation? Just asking on behalf of a friend.

(12)(5)

Menimist

Men are inherently held to a higher standard in everything they do because of unconscious bias. It’s no wonder depression and suicide are so high in men. Being a man almost comes with strict liability.

(68)(16)

eat a lemon

yes… poor men, let’s all hold hands and pray for their life to be easier. Whilst in other news, men still hold the vast majority of top spots in most firms, are still being paid a higher wage and still have far more freedoms than their female counterparts in the same roles. Oh, did I mention that it’s also men that 99% of the time commit sexual harassment against their peers and juniors, pressuring them into giving sexual favour in order to “fast-forward” their careers? Do I need to keep going? Don’t start this BS nonsense about how the poor men feel – any woman would take their position in a split second, but they obviously can’t cause first they need to “earn their spot”, whilst a partner’s son or mate (normally not the brightest out of the bunch either) get promoted each year for literally nothing. So cry me a river…

(16)(72)

Anonymous

Actually, sexual harassment by gender is about 50/50.

(7)(26)

fevor

I’d like to see the source of that mate, which conclusive report says that sexual harassment is on 50-50 basis? Drop me a link and I’ll gladly read it, although I doubt you’ll find something so ridiculously untrue…

(23)(3)

Anonymous

Its available online mate – the number of false accusations of ‘sexual harassment’ against males (which is ‘sexual harassment’ against those males) is there to see for anyone who cares to look. I don’t believe anyone who says its untrue, ridiculous or otherwise.

Anonymous

You say its ‘ridiculously untrue’ yet haven’t seen evidence either way mate. Sounds like it doesn’t suit you to believe it.

Menimist

You are talking out of your anus

(1)(1)

Anon

99%? Do you have a source to corroborate that? If those comments were posted about a female they would be deemed unacceptable so why is it acceptable to post such things about males?

(2)(4)

In other news...

1. Bears poo in woods.

2. Pope Catholic.

3. Great detective on Baker Street constipated.

(4)(0)

another one?

Ladies and gentlemen and here we have yet another report that clearly tries to say that BAME solicitors are being treated differently when in all actuality I can guarantee that SRA investigations have nothing to do with their race or ethnicity.
First of all, let’s look at the numbers, shall we? “26% of concerns raised with the SRA related to BAME solicitors; 32% of those whose cases were investigated; and 35% of those whose case concluded at the tribunal”. So the first number 26% – I’m sorry but what exactly is supposed to happen here? Should the SRA not investigate the case if they uncover that the solicitor is from a BAME background? Nonsense – I’m not even going to address this any further! Bear in mind that the remaining 74% were against white solicitors, so BAME is not being mistreated here at all. Next number – 32%. So out of the 26% cases reported against BAME (let’s just assume that’s 1000 cases overall), only 32% were investigated, which means out of the 1000 cases only 320 were investigated. Again, a pretty small number in comparison with the number of cases they would’ve investigated against white solicitors. Finally, 35% out of those investigated went to a tribunal, which means out of the 320 cases, only 112 were heard at the tribunal. Nope, that still doesn’t seem like an overly large number. So any and all attempts to make it seem that BAME solicitors are being treated unfairly are utterly absurd!
Ultimately, we must also look at the areas these alleged “over-targeted” solicitors work at. It may be an unpopular opinion, but we all know that there are certain areas of law in which particularly poorly managed firms tend to operate. Do these BAME solicitors happen to come from those firms? If so, maybe the SRA should crack down on firms that clearly break the code every day, that don’t provide adequate training or proper CPD, and so on. Let’s stop this toxicity and frivolous attempts at trying to make it seem like BAME professionals are being horribly mistreated. No, they are not! The simple fact of the matter is – the profession, on the whole, has extreme amounts of unfairness for all races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. Anyone that attempts to suggest that white professionals have it far easier is clearly being obtuse! The only people that have it “easy” in this profession are those that know or are related to the people at the top – nothing more and nothing less. I’m sorry but this whole report serves no purpose whatsoever…

(38)(0)

Anonymous

I think there is an anti-male bias, exacerbated by #metoo hysteria. Post Beckwith this might change.

(24)(8)

Anon

It should change. It won’t change.

(2)(2)

eat a lemon

why should it change? cause men can’t handle the heat from the sh** show they’ve created themselves over the decades? I see no hysteria over here, it has been well researched and confirmed by countless reports how men dominate every corner of the profession and you’ll find it difficult to discover a female partner that would earn the same wage as her male peer (yes, working in the same area, the same department). So maybe it’s about time for men to stop crying that their glass castles are cracking and start being truly equal and allow for some positive changes to take place. Every legal professional in the country knows that this profession is extremely racist, prejudicial and sexists because men, yes, MEN made it like that! Read some history, explore the roots of these evils! That’s not to say all men are horrible monsters, but there are a fair few that can’t handle the truth. Are you one of them?

(4)(8)

Anon

High up my list of “likely to die alone with a cat”.

(6)(2)

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