Interventions and threatened interventions

Interventions and threatened interventions

An intervention is one of the most drastic steps which the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can take and has the effect of freezing the firm’s bank accounts, and of dealing with client files in such a way that they are either returned to the clients or forwarded to another firm to be dealt with. Although the SRA are always keen to stress that an intervention is not a take-over or a closing down of a firm, to all practical intents and purposes that is what it amounts to.

The SRA perceive an intervention to be a very distinct action – it is a step which is taken to protect the interests of clients and to ensure that client moneys are not misapplied.

Once an intervention is ordered, it is very difficult top prevent and, although the decision to intervene can be reviewed by the High Court this is a costly and complicated process and may not be appropriate to prevent the damage of the the intervention being done. For that reason it is vital that if you believe that your firm is likely to be intervened in, that you contact us as a matter of urgency so that appropriate avoidance steps can be taken.

The circumstances in which the SRA can intervene in a practice are set out in Schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974. The kind of scenaria that might make you believe an intervention is imminent include:

  • you are the subject of a complex investigation by the SRA;
  • you either know or suspect that members or employees of your firm have committed acts of dishonesty or fraud;
  • you know or suspect that serious breach of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules have taken place;
  • serious allegations have been made against your firm and the SRA is looking into these;
  • there has been a serious breach of the rules of professional conduct;
  • you are unable to deal with the affairs of your clients – for example due to ill health;
  • a practice has been abandoned – for example you are an employee and your principal has disappeared;

Contact Us

If you have been, or believe that you are about to be, intervened in, contact the Lawyers Defence Group as a matter of urgency by:

  • telephoning during office hours – 0333 888 4070,
  • requesting a call-back using the call-back request form to the right,
  • telephoning our out of hours number (but please only in an emergency – for example when someone has been arrested or you believe that your firm might be about to be intervened in) 07952 861 868,
  • emailing us at, or
  • writing to us at one of the addresses at the bottom of this web page.