How do I know if the SRA is investigating?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question, in part because the SRA isn’t specifically obliged to tell you that it’s started an investigation into you or your firm.
In some instances, such as when the SRA serves a Section 44B Notice , it’ll immediately be clear that an investigation is underway (although at that stage the terms of the Notice may be so broad that it’s difficult to know what the focus of the SRA’s concerns is). In other instances, the SRA’s first contact with you as part of an investigation might be an informal call to arrange to visit your firm or an email asking for information; it may only be some time later that you realise that the SRA is, in fact, formally investigating. Alternatively, it might be that you’ve self-reported an issue and it is clear that the SRA is in touch to investigate the circumstances.
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Given the SRA doesn’t have to tell you it has opened an investigation, you should treat any communication from the SRA as potentially related to one, and take appropriate precautions, including seeking early advice from expert regulatory and disciplinary lawyers.