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Solicitors Regulation Authority interventions - FAQs

If you are a client of an intervened firm, the following questions and answers provide you with some guidance on the process.

When will my solicitors be re-opening?

The firm has been closed down by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and have therefore ceased trading, they will not be reopening. The SRA is the regulatory body for the legal profession. The SRA has a statutory power, granted to it by Parliament, which means it is able to close down a firm in certain circumstances.

What is Stephensons role?

When a firm is closed down, the SRA appoints an ‘Intervention Agent' to assist with this process. Stephensons are appointed in this capacity.

As a result we will attend the premises of an intervened firm on the day of the intervention with a representative of the SRA, to remove the client files.

In this role we do not have the authority to continue the practice of an intervened firm. We do not take over responsibility for payment of any trading debts of an intervened firm.

Can I speak to my solicitor?

No, because the firm has ceased trading it is not possible for you to speak to your previous solicitor. Should you need to speak to a solicitor we suggest that you instruct a new Firm to take over your file. You can access a list of firms recommended by The Law Society on their website.

Where is my file?

As Intervention Agents for the SRA, we hold a number of files at our offices. The remainder of the files which are at the offices at the time of Intervention are held by the SRA’s Archive Department, who are based in Coventry.

How can I get my file of papers?

If you are a private paying client, we can forward your file of papers to you directly. You will need to provide us with a form of identification. We can provide you with a guidance sheet should you require one. If your case is funded by the Legal Aid, it is not possible for us to forward the file of papers to you. However, if you instruct a new Solicitor, we can forward the papers to them on receiving a signed Form of Authority.

Why was my solicitors firm closed down?

The SRA have conducted an investigation into the firm and have made a decision to close the practice. It is not possible at this stage to provide any further information. However, the SRA website should be able to provide further information.

Why didn’t the firm let me know this was going to happen? I have been left in a terrible position through no fault of my own.

We appreciate that you have been left unrepresented and this causes some concern. However, Firms are unaware that an Intervention is going to take place, and as such are unable to pre-warn clients.

I have a court appearance very soon. Is it possible for you to represent me?

As Intervention Agents, this is not our role. However, if your matter is urgent, we can advise the local courts and make them aware of the situation. The Courts should be sympathetic to your situation if you are unable to instruct a new solicitor in time.

Can you recommend a particular firm to me?

We cannot recommend any specific firm, however the Law Society have a list of firms in your area to provide some assistance: The Law Society, call 44 (0)20 7320 5650. 

The intervened firm held our deeds/will(s). How do I get hold of them?

The SRA usually collects any Wills and Deeds held on the premises. However, please note that we only collect what is available on the day. The SRA will contact you to inform you as to whether they hold any documentation for you. Should you wish to contact them in the meantime, their details are:

SRA Archive Department, Unit A, Colonnade Point, Pro Logis Park, Coventry, CV6 4BX, 02476 339 250