Annual registration for the roll of solicitors has descended into chaos after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) moved registration online.
Lawyers were told earlier this year that to stay on the roll they would need to register between 30 August and 14 October – only then could they submit their applications before the deadline of 8 November.
Complaints were made after the site’s launch was delayed by several days and passwords were rejected.
“It took me 10 days to register,” one lawyer said. “It was a long process and the system just kept coming up with complete gibberish messages. I called the SRA twice and they couldn’t help – they said the deadline wouldn’t be extended.
“The problem is that everyone will leave it until the last minute and then there’ll be a deluge and it will go into meltdown.”
An SRA spokesman said that so far 25,000 solicitors out of 165,000 had registered online and activations have risen to 3,000 per day.
“Implementing [the] mySRA [system] signals a step change in the way regulated individuals and firms will access our services in future,” said the spokesman. “We’d like to apologise to anyone who has experienced difficulties trying to log on to mySRA. Despite extensive testing prior to launch, there have been some initial problems.
“We’ve worked around the clock to address these problems, and they’re now well on the way to being resolved.”