The incoming chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) board Charles Plant has vowed to heal rifts between the regulator and the City by opening a London office.
Speaking exclusively to The Lawyer Plant conceded that “many City firms have issues” with the SRA, adding: “It’s important that the SRA should soon establish a presence in London.”
The regulator is currently based in Redditch, Worcestershire.
The watchdog is under pressure to address its efficacy to regulate City firms after a Law Society-commissioned report slammed the regulator for its failure to connect with commercial firms.
The Smedley Review warned the SRA that it must reform how it regulates or risk losing the confidence of the profession. It also criticised the regulator for not having a London presence (The Lawyer, 30 March).
Plant said: “One of our priorities is to establish an appropriate regulatory regime with commercial firms, and we’ll need to recruit people who are familiar with the operations of City firms.”
The SRA board will come into being in January 2010.