What is an S.44B notice?
Section 44b of the Solicitors Act 1974 gives the SRA the power to require a solicitor to produce information or documents that may be required in the course of an investigation.
As of 31st March 2009, this power was extended by the Legal Services Act 2007 to require an explanation where requested of any document or information provided.
Who can an S.44B notice be served on?
S.44b enables the SRA to serve a notice requiring information, documents and explanations to be made available to them by:
- A solicitor;
- An employee of a solicitor;
- A recognised body; or
- An employee or manager of, or a person with an interest in, a recognised body.
What are the grounds for an S.44B notice?
The grounds for the request are that it is necessary to assist with an investigation into:
- Professional misconduct by a solicitor;
- Failure by a solicitor or an employee of a solicitor to comply with requirements imposed or by virtue of the Act or any rules made by the Society (SRA);
- Whether a recognised body or any of its managers or employees has failed to comply with any requirement imposed by or by virtue of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 or any rules made by the Society and applicable to the body, manager or employee by virtue of section 9 of that Act; or
- Whether there are grounds for making, or making an application to the Tribunal for an order under section 43 in respect of a person who is, or was, involved in a legal practice.
It is essential that anybody who receives a section 44B notice take immediate advice from our specialist SRA solicitors. This is not only because failure to respond promptly or correctly can result in significant consequences, but also because an s.44B notice indicates that an investigation is being undertaken by the SRA.
Our lawyers can often identify the misconduct being investigated. This will give you an opportunity to take remedial action before any allegations are specifically made or, alternatively, proactive steps to assist the successful defence of any subsequent allegations.
Get in touch
If you would like to speak to one of our SRA solicitors in strict confidence regarding any aspect of an section 44b notices then please:
- Request a free call back using the form on this page
- Phone us during office hours on 0845 216 2000
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What we do...
Our SRA solicitors can assist you on several factors regarding a section 44b notice, these include;
Advising you about your obligations under any s44B Notice;
Responding on your behalf to any s.44B notice;
Advising you about the consequences of any SRA investigation flowing from the provision of information;
Advising you of any remedial action you should take in relation to the investigation;
Responding on your behalf to any EWW letter received
Representing you throughout the investigation.