Solicitors Regulation Authority Listens to BME Solicitors at Birmingham Event
Forty black and minority ethnic solicitors from the West Midlands attended a free event in Birmingham yesterday organised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and supported by the Black Solicitors Network.
The event ‘Engaging with BME Solicitors’ featured presentations by SRA Chair Peter Williamson and Chief Executive Antony Townsend, and practical workshops for delegates on how to comply with accounts rules and ensure client care and compliance with the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct. In addition there were presentations on the SRA’s decision-making and equality and diversity strategy.
Delegates took an active role in discussions and gave feedback on their experiences with, and knowledge of, the SRA so that the regulator could learn from their experiences, and use them to develop the future shape of regulation.
Mehrunnisa Lalani, Head of Policy (Inclusion) at the SRA said: “This is one of a series of initiatives we have put in place to encourage a dialogue with BME solicitors and we were extremely pleased with the take-up.
“We recently published our equality and diversity strategy in response to Lord Ouseley’s report into the disproportionate impact of regulatory activity on BME practitioners and one of our key objectives is to work in collaboration with BME groups.
“During the workshops we explained the role of the SRA and what we are doing to ensure that our equality and diversity policy is working for the benefit of everyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender or disability and ask for feedback.
“The SRA already holds Regulation Roadshows for the profession across the country, but we wanted to make a concentrated effort to work collaboratively with the BME solicitor community to improve legal services.”
Nwabueze Nwokolo, Chair of BSN Midlands, said she was happy to see that the event was well attended. She added: “I found it interesting to see the engagement between the regulated and the regulator. I represented BSN on Lord Ouseley’s working party and felt it was important the there should be better communications between BME solicitors and the SRA. I would like to see more of this happening across the length and breadth of the country.”
For further media information, please contact Lesley Miller, Communications Officer, Solicitors Regulation Authority, on 01926 487156/0779 162186 or email Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org.