Solicitors Regulation Authority under pressure from private comments by review author
By Alex Varley-Winter | 19 November 2013
“The only way you’ll get justice from them is if you complain to the Legal Services Board, and put all the information in the hands of the media” – Professor Gus John, secretly recorded on SRA review
Exaro today releases audio of excerpts from two telephone conversations that were secretly recorded and are damning of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Professor Gus John was commissioned by the SRA, which regulates the conduct of solicitors in England and Wales, to conduct a review into claims of institutional racism at the organisation.
He was talking to a solicitor who had made a complaint against the SRA, which had resulted in a police investigation.
Sorry, the audio clip is no longer available.
The transcript of the extracts in the audio is shown below:
“My understanding all the time was that your two cases were going to be part of the 14 cases I would look at, and that I would look at – and report on them – separately.
“Now, the only thing is, it would appear, that I am entitled to do under the terms of reference is to make some remarks about your case in the context of… how the SRA applied its procedures, but not as a running commentary on your case as such.”
“But what I had started to do, which is a comprehensive review of your case, based upon the documentation that you’ve given me and they’ve given me, they said that that is not formally part of the report.”
“I am a bit, what’s the word I want, I am a bit annoyed about that because my clear understanding was that I was going to review your two cases. I was going to write them up on the basis of my findings in relation to them, and that was going to form part of the other reports. They reckon that, on no account, will they accept a report that does that.
“Well, I am saying that in order to say to you that it would appear that the only way you will get justice from these people – and I haven’t told you this, but I’m telling you this – the only way you’ll get justice from them is if you complain to the Legal Services Board, and put all the information in the hands of the media, so the media can ask questions.”
“It is clear from my discussions with some people in the SRA that there is a lot of undisclosed stuff about this… business, and the way that was dealt with, I think, was wholly inappropriate, to say the very least.”
“So, the fact that the SRA has allowed this situation to persist is, in itself, very disturbing.”