The Tribunal is constituted as a Statutory Tribunal under Section 46 of The Solicitors Act 1974.
The Tribunal adjudicates upon alleged breaches of the rules and regulations applicable to solicitors and their firms, including the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, the SRA Principles 2011, and the SRA Standards and Regulations (including the Principles; Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs; and the Code of Conduct for Firms). The rules and regulations are specifically designed to protect the public, including consumers of legal services, and to maintain the public's confidence in the reputation of the solicitors' profession for honesty, probity, trustworthiness, independence and integrity.
The Tribunal adjudicates upon the alleged misconduct of registered foreign lawyers and persons employed by solicitors. It also decides applications by former solicitors for restoration to the Roll and by indefinitely suspended solicitors for determination of suspension.
The Tribunal's decisions are subject to a right of appeal to the High Court.
The Tribunal currently has 43 members, all appointed by The Master of the Rolls. There are currently 28 Solicitor Members and 15 Lay Members drawn from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect the make up of the profession and, as far as possible, the public. Brief biographical details for Tribunal Members and the Clerk/Chief Executive and the staff team are provided in the Tribunal's Annual Reports.
Solicitor Members are wholly independent of the Council of the Law Society and have no connection with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which instigates over 90% of the cases dealt with by the Tribunal. The remaining cases are commenced by members of the public.
Legislation provided for changes to the Tribunal's funding arrangements. Members receive payment for presiding at hearings from the Tribunal's administration company, Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Administration Limited.