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Your service complaint from the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Your service complaint

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from: Warren Smith <Warren.Smith@sra.org.uk>

to: Shantanu Panigrahi <shanpanigrahi3000@gmail.com>

date: 5 Jun 2023, 17:51

subject: Your service complaint

mailed-by: sra.org.uk

Signed by: sra.org.uk

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Dear Dr Panigrahi,


Please find attached my response to your service complaint.


Yours sincerely,


Warren Smith

Complaints Officer

Investigation and Supervision

Solicitors Regulation Authority

www.sra.org.uk


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We are the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. The Solicitors Regulation Authority Limited is a company limited by guarantee. Our registered offices are: The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN. Our company registration number is: 12608059.

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Dr S Panigrahi RGC-000100925 (1)SolicitorsRegulationAuthorityServiceComplaintReport
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Solicitors Regulation Authority

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The Cube

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Birmingham B1 1RN

DX: 720293 BIRMINGHAM 47

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sra.org.uk

Our ref: RGC-000100925


PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL

To be opened by addressee only

Dr S Panigrahi

Sent by email only to: shanpanigrahi3000@gmail.com


5 June 2023


Dear Dr Panigrahi

I write further to my email of 25 May 2023 to provide my response to your service

complaint.

You made your service complaint in your email of 18 May 2023, this was in response to Rachel Gwilt’s email to you of 15 May 2023, explaining we would be taking no further action in respect of your report dated 1 May 2023. Ms Gwilt was the Investigation Officer (IO) who investigated and responded to your report.

I would explain that as a Complaints Officer at the SRA my role is to review complaints we receive regarding our service. My role therefore differs to that of an IO as it is not my role to investigate the reports made to us. This means I will not be duplicating Ms Gwilt’s assessment of your complaint; I will be considering whether the assessment conducted by Ms Gwilt was reasonable. However, if my

consideration of your service complaint identifies any significant failings in that assessment, I can refer the matter back for further consideration.


Background

You were supported at a police interview by Olives Solicitors Limited (the firm). After becoming dissatisfied with the service provided by the firm, you submitted a complaint to the SRA regarding the firm’s conduct.


Thank you for reporting your concerns to us. Having reviewed our file, I have not identified any significant failings with Ms Gwilt’s assessment of your report. We do recognise that professional standards are very important for solicitors, however based on the information we have carefully considered, we have not identified a breach of our rules by the firm. This means we will not be taking any further action. I have set out my reasons for this below.


Sensitivity: General


Service Complaint

In your email dated 18 May 2023 you explain that you are unhappy with our response to your report and that you wish to raise a service complaint. In a later email dated 25 May 2023 you state that Ms Gwilt did not adhere to the due process of handling your complaint. You say that Ms Gwilt had sinister motives against you, as exemplified by falsely accusing you of having sent her an email that had sexual connotations. You say the email was sent by MI5.


Our response to your Service Complaint

In considering your service complaint I have reviewed all the information on our file and note the circumstances which prompted you to make your report to us.


I can see that Ms Gwilt explained in her email of 15 May 2023 why we were not considering your report further at that time. In summary, it was because the complaints made by you about the firm and their conduct to date did not raise any additional serious regulatory concerns that we needed to consider further.


Ms Gwilt explained that we would be taking no further action regarding your report. In respect of the firm and their representation, Ms Gwilt acknowledged that you had reported your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) and that she was confident this was the appropriate organisation to which to direct your concerns.


In respect of the other firms you say have represented you, Ms Gwilt stated that we cannot assess this further as we have not identified evidence to support your allegations. Ms Gwilt wrote to you on 19 May 2023, explaining that she considered the comments of a sexual nature made in your email of 17 May 2023 at 15.48pm, inappropriate. Ms Gwilt noted that if you send any further unacceptable

communication, we may need to restrict your contact with the SRA.


I have carefully reviewed all the information on our file. I have not identified any significant failings in Ms Gwilt’s response to your report. Ms Gwilt has explained that LeO is the appropriate organisation to review service concerns and that we cannot assess the other four firms without evidence to support the allegations. In respect of your comments that MI5 sent the inappropriate email, we have not identified that MI5 was involved, therefore Ms Gwilt’s response to your email was reasonable. I have not identified evidence that Ms Gwilt had sinister motives against you, or that she did not

adhere to the due process of handling your complaint.


I understand your disappointment that your report was not investigated further. I am sorry I cannot support your assertion that the firm has breached our Standards and Principles.


Whilst I appreciate you may continue to be unhappy about our response to your report, I hope you feel your dissatisfaction with our service has been adequately addressed in this letter. Should you not feel it has been, please refer to the paragraphs below for details of what to do next.


Sensitivity: General


Yours sincerely,


Warren Smith

Complaints Officer

Investigation and Supervision

Solicitors Regulation Authority

warren.smith@sra.org.uk


If you remain dissatisfied with this response and still have concerns, you can contact

our central Corporate Complaints Team within 15 working days of the date of this

letter. Please explain what you remain concerned about and what you would like to

happen as a result of your complaint.

Email: complaintsteam@sra.org.uk

Corporate Complaints Team

Solicitors Regulation Authority


The Cube

199 Wharfside Street

Birmingham

B1 1RN

If you require this letter in an alternative format, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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