On 13 February 2019, the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England and Wales wrote a letter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority after recent decisions adopted by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and appeals to the High Court regarding junior lawyers.
Specifically, our official collaborator referred to Sovani James and Emily Scott cases. Both were struck off as solicitors despite having been bullied and pressured by seniors and subjected to oppressive management.
We want to make something clear: the “Instituto de Salud Mental de la Abogacía – Mental Health Institute of Legal Professions (ISMA-MHILP)” respects all institutions involved, regardless of our support to JLD.
Although these cases are out of our jurisdiction, the truth is that, after the internationalisation of the legal market, some Spanish law firms have offices or best friendship networks with other firms in England and Wales, and vice versa.
For this reason, the JLD’s concerns are also us. Our colleagues are doing incredible work to improve solicitors’ well-being and mental health, and we are going to support them when they need it.
After this official letter, following the JLD’s concerns, our organisation is going to ask Spanish and Catalan bar associations the following questions:
a) What practical support and measures the Bar has in place for lawyers who are facing difficulties in raising their concerns in the workplace?
b) What is the Bar doing to ensure that organisations employing lawyers are being supportive and that these organisations do not have ‘toxic’ cultures in which lawyers feel unable to raise concerns or ask for help?
At this moment, the ISMA-MHILP is changing its legal form and intern structure. Due to this circumstance, we will comply with this decision in the following manner:
1. Approval of Board of Trustees whereby the manager will be able to send letters to Spanish and Catalan bar associations, asking them the questions as mentioned above.
2. Creating a particular line of research within the Studies and Research Committee.
Council of Government of the ISMA-MHILP