Regulatory Settlement Agreement
Ordinarily it will take the SRA between 3 and 6 months to prepare a Rule 5 Statement following a decision to refer a solicitor to the Tribunal.
If within that time frame the SRA decides on the basis of further information or representations to resolve the matter by agreement it may be possible to enter into a regulatory settlement agreement.
If a settlement is entered into following the issue of proceedings before the SDT, the SRA may require the solicitor to enter into either a regulatory settlement agreement or an agreed outcome.
A regulatory settlement agreement is a formal written agreement between the SRA and a solicitor which settles complaints made by the SRA against the solicitor.
- It can be entered into at any stage of an investigation. A regulatory settlement agreement normally follows a standard format as follows;
- recites the background facts giving rise to the complaint/allegations;
- identifies the SRA Principles and regulations which are admitted to have been breached;
- contains undertakings setting out any action the solicitor has agreed to take;
- specifies an agreed sanction;
- specifies an agreement reached for the solicitor to pay the SRA’s costs;
contains a mitigation statement;
- acknowledges that the agreement can be published by the SRA.
There is no obligation on the part of the SRA to enter into negotiations for a regulatory settlement agreement.
If the SRA does enter into negotiations such are without prejudice and any such negotiations will be inadmissible in proceedings on the same principles which apply to without prejudice communications.
The benefit of a regulatory settlement agreement is that it offers flexibility and a swift resolution to proceedings.
I am able to provide advice, assistance and negotiate with the SRA in relation to possible regulatory settlement agreements.