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SRA rejects call to open up board meetings
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16 Sep 2022 / global news Print

SRA rejects call to open up board meetings

The body that regulates the solicitors’ profession in England and Wales has rejected a formal request for the public to be re-admitted to its board meetings.

According to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, the public and journalists have been excluded from board meetings of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) since 2017.

The editors of the Gazette and Legal Futures, Paul Rogerson and Neil Rose, had sent a joint letter to SRA chief executive Paul Philip

They said that arrangements to ensure transparency after making the meetings private had diminished, and that there was now a lack of openness about how decisions were made.

Public meetings ‘not helpful’

Philip replied this week that it had become clear that holding meetings in public was “not a helpful approach”, and there were better ways to make decision-making more transparent.

“We are confident our current approach is the right one for providing the public, with ready access to useful and clear information about the work of our board, so we do not anticipate reverting to the public board meetings that so clearly proved to be an ineffective way of providing that information and insight,” the Gazette quoted Philip as saying.

The response came as the SRA’s latest board meeting, held on Tuesday, approved the adoption of its own indemnity fund to replace the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.

The Gazette says that there have yet to be any minutes or an agenda published from the meeting.

Philip said that the overwhelming majority of board papers were published, complemented by publishing feedback to consultations, and “extensive” outreach and engagement with the public and profession.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland