But in his first adjudication since taking on the role, Adam Sowerbutts also warned the society that in future it needed to up its game when relying on the public interest exemption that allows it to withhold information about regulatory investigations.
The unnamed firm was told in response to its first request that three complaints about misconduct had been made to the SRA. It then demanded their identities, arguing that if complainants wanted to be anonymous, they should seek a High Court injunction.
But the society refused to provide the details of the complainants, saying to do so would be contrary to the society’s obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. The firm referred the matter to Mr Sowerbutts.
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