Conduct Unbefitting: Solicitors, the SRA and Tax Avoidance

[2019] (1) British Tax Review 31-54

25 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michael Blackwell

Michael Blackwell

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: March 18, 2019


The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have issued a warning notice which suggests that solicitors who facilitate tax avoidance are necessarily breaching the SRA Code of Conduct. This article shows that to be false. While there are risks associated with facilitating tax avoidance, both with regard to breaching professional ethics and negligence, the concept of and the facilitation of tax avoidance in and of itself does not necessarily entail such breaches or negligence. By seeking to restrict the availability of legal advice the SRA have probably breached their own regulatory objective of supporting the constitutional principle of the rule of law.

Keywords: tax avoidance, lawyers, professional conduct, rule of law

JEL Classification: K34, K40, K4, H26

Suggested Citation

Blackwell, Michael, Conduct Unbefitting: Solicitors, the SRA and Tax Avoidance (March 18, 2019). [2019] (1) British Tax Review 31-54, Available at SSRN:

Michael Blackwell (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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