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SRA to make unannounced diversity checks on firms

20th September 2012

A Manchester meeting of the Law Society Firms Diversity Forum has been used by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to announce that they will be making unannounced visits to 100 private practices shortly to see whether their legal recruitment procedures are matching up with mandatory diversity reporting requirements.

The cross-section of practices will apparently be selected at random, and the inspections are aimed at increasing the tangible presence of a culture of diversity within the sector as a whole.

This move comes as a result of a directive issued by the Legal Services Board just over a year ago which stated that, in future, detailed statistics must be published by all firms and barristers’ chambers relating to the ethnic, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability demographics of those who work for them.  

Although the inspections will begin soon, they have recently been delayed by the fact that the SRA’s headquarters will shortly be moving from London and Redditch to Birmingham.