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The Quest for Regulatory Equality

Leigh Day's Regulatory & Disciplinary team, in conjunction with Dave Neita, Peter Herbert of the Society of Black Lawyers, Professor Gus John and representatives from other interest groups, looked at the issues of the disproportionate impact of regulation on BAME lawyers afresh.

The first of our two online debates took place on 11 November 2020. The second event will discuss the SRA's updated EDI statistics.

As promised, you now have exclusive access to additional content that we’d like to share with you in advance of the event.  


We’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete a short, anonymous survey to tell us about any experiences you have had of dealing with the SRA. We hope this may provide some background data on the number and type of interactions our audience has had with the regulator.

If you are willing to share your experience, either as part of the debate or separately, you can make yourself known to us by providing your contact details at the end of the survey

Six years on from the findings of the Independent Comparative Case Review that solicitors from BME backgrounds faced disproportionately poor regulatory outcomes, we look again at the data and conclusions drawn. Looking ahead to the SRA’s publication of enforcement statistics which will include a breakdown of outcomes by ethnicity, we put forward suggestions for points the SRA should cover and the approach it could adopt.

Interview with Professor Gus John 

Professor Gus John, author of the 2014 Independent Comparative Case Review for the SRA, talks to Dave Neita about the review, some of the key findings, the current situation and lessons for the future.  

Striving for regulatory accountability 

Gideon Habel and Emma Walker of Leigh Day’s Regulatory and Disciplinary team discuss the practicalities of achieving greater accountability in the regulatory process. 

My experience

A female solicitor from a BAME background shares her first-hand experience of being investigated by the SRA. 

The Independent Comparative Case Review – looking back, looking forward 

Leigh Day’s Regulatory and Disciplinary team reflect on the findings of the Independent Comparative Case Review and put forward suggestions for how the regulator and the profession might approach the SRA’s forthcoming publication of statistics on the diversity profile of its disciplinary work. 

“You don’t look like a lawyer” 

One of Leigh Day’s solicitor apprentices takes a look at racial and ethnic inequity in the legal profession, reflecting on her own and others’ experiences of getting into and working in the law. 



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The Leigh Day R&D team story

Human rights law firm Leigh Day knows better than most what it is like to be in the regulator’s sights: between September 2014 and October 2018, it was the subject of a high-profile investigation and prosecution by the SRA. 

Following a six-week hearing in 2017, the longest in the history of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and an appeal by the SRA in 2018, all charges brought against Leigh Day and its lawyers were dismissed.

Now, the in-house solicitors responsible for the firm’s successful defence – who now make up Leigh Day’s Regulatory & Disciplinary team – help other legal professionals and their practices deal with their own regulatory queries and problems.

*We recognise that the use of the acronym BAME – indeed any moniker that seeks to group diverse peoples and experiences into a “neat” homogenous group – is imperfect and under increasing criticism. We understand and sympathise with these views. We use it here because it – and its predecessor, BME – reflects the terminology used by the SRA in collating and presenting its reports and statistics on the issue, and therefore has particular relevance to this subject area.