SRA withdraws from trainee code of best practice
13th Mar 2015
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has decided to withdraw as a signatory to the voluntary code to good practice, a code which provides guidance on the recruitment of trainee solicitors.
The voluntary code to good practice, which sets a timetable for the recruitment of trainee solicitors, aims to provide with opportunities to explore potential options available to them before committing to a particular employer. It encourages law firms to wait until students’ final year of undergraduate study before offering official training contracts, and encourages students to hold on to only two offers at any time and to reject excess offers to allow others to be offered the positions.
The code’s signatories include the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS) and Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), and also included the SRA until its decision to withdraw.
Crispin Passmore, the SRA executive director of policy, said in regards to the withdrawal that ‘it is not appropriate for [the SRA] to be involved recruitment practices and procedures.’
In a joint statement with AGCAS, the JLD stated that it was disappointed with the SRA’s decision to disassociate itself from the guidance, and that although it hoped that the SRA would reconsider its stance, it looks increasingly unlikely that this will be the case. The JLD and AGCAS have said that they will consider the possibility of alternative signatories to ensure the code’s survival.
Whilst the effective date of the SRA’s withdrawal was not known, the JLD and AGCAS said that it this year’s recruitment cycle should not be affected by it.