York to lead research to examine overrepresentation in solicitor reports and enforcement.

News | Posted on Wednesday 17 August 2022

Researchers at York are leading a vital project for the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Statue of the scales of justice
Statue of the scales of justice

Researchers in the School for Business and Society are leading a study to examine why there is a disproportionately high number of solicitors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in reports made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The SRA has commissioned the Universities of York, Cardiff, and Lancaster to lead a new independent review into why it receives more reports about BAME solicitors than their white colleagues. The project will also review the regulator’s decision making at the assessment stage, to understand why a greater proportion of those cases are taken forward for investigation.

Professor Claudia Gabbioneta is Chair in Accounting and Management at the School for Business and Society and the project's lead researcher. She said: “We want to understand why there are more complaints about BAME solicitors than their white counterparts, as well as understanding the role of the SRA’s assessment stage.

“We will be bringing expertise in data analysis and using innovative tools to better understand the information the SRA has about the complaints it receives, as well as looking at the wider landscape and engaging with solicitors about their experience in the sector. This will give us insight into the factors that may make BAME solicitors more vulnerable to complaints than white solicitors.”