The Independent newspaper published the article below on 14/03/2014.
The body that investigates solicitors has been cleared of institutional racism despite an independent inquiry concluding that it disproportionately pursues black and minority ethnic (BME) lawyers for alleged wrongdoing.
Ethnic-minority lawyers were more likely to be the subject of investigations and tend to receive stiffer punishments than their white counterparts, according to a report commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) into its own activities.
The report found that ethnic-minority lawyers were at greater risk of breaking regulations because they were more likely to set up on their own earlier in their careers. This was in turn because of a lack of opportunity at big firms, which retain a bias in favour of public-school and Oxbridge employees, according to Professor Gus John, who led the review.
But his report concluded: “It is important that these results are not immediately interpreted as evidence of discrimination or racism on an institutional level.” Read the rest of this entry →