SRA Interviews and Letters
Interview and correspondence
Many investigations conducted by the SRA are done using a combination of interview and correspondence.
Interviews are recorded, and transcripts and answers to letters are used in subsequent disciplinary proceedings whether brought by the SRA themselves, or before the Disciplinary Tribunal.
Investigation officers can sometimes be present at a firm for quite a long time and during that period it is not unusual for ad hoc relatively informal discussions to take place, and for emails to be exchanged with a degree of informality. The entire process needs treating with care. I have had many instances where solicitors were unaware that such informal communications could be used in evidence later on.
Letters from the SRA are commonly referred to as an Enquiry with Warning, or EWW. They ask detailed questions and the letter should explain why they are being asked. It is usually obvious, but not always. What matters is that the questions and requests for information and documents is properly understood. I have known such letters to run to many pages appearing to ask similar questions repeatedly by reference to Principles and Outcomes, or both. To the uninitiated they can be difficult to deal with when a tight timetable is imposed. They need answering with considerable care to make sure that they are thorough and accurate. At a later stage the precise wording will be scrutinised and it can be very difficult to explain an inaccuracy or error.
I can provide the support and advice that you will need to deal properly with an interview or with correspondence. Whilst the SRA has wide investigative powers, it must exercise them fairly and with clarity. I can help you deal with the SRA properly but in a way that protects your rights.