Ronnie Fox comments on Ryan Beckwith’s successful case against the SRA in The Times on Thursday 10 December.
You can read the full article here, but Ronnie takes a firm line:
“Investigating work-related sexual relationships is generally beyond the remit of the SRA,” he says, claiming that more than 10 per cent of long-term relationships start at work.
“Assessing the extent to which a specific encounter was or was not consensual is not really a job that the SRA or the SDT can do well or should even attempt to do.”
Fox extends the debate to assess the behaviour of the regulator more widely.
“Many solicitors believe that the staff of the SRA have become prosecution-minded,” he says, adding that “more and more solicitors are unhappy about the way the SRA imposes vaguely worded rules and then seeks to enforce those rules”.
According to Fox,
“Few of those who work at the SRA have significant experience of legal practice and the dynamics of working in a law firm” and “the SRA would command much greater respect within the legal profession if the organisation were seen to be listening to the solicitors whom they regulate . . .”