The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has this week reprimanded solicitor Mark Small for a series of tweets that he sent out on his firm’s Twitter account boasting of its success in defeating claims made by parents whose children have special educational needs (SEN).
The series of tweets sent out one Saturday, moved rapidly from blogs by outraged parents to stories in the legal press to stories in local and educational press and finally, inevitably, to the nationals and broadcasters. Then came the news that at least eight local authorities cancelled or promised to review contracts with the law firm.
No-one wants an overly-restrictive social media policy that ends up restricting engagement but perhaps deploying some common-sense thinking might help save reputation and clients.
It really is worth taking just two minutes out to think about the angles. Ask yourself what would my sister, or a client think of this? How would the Daily Mail or Legal Cheek report this?
After all, as Mr Small discovered, when you Tweet in haste, you repent at leisure.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority today said Mark Small should face no further action other than a reprimand and an order to pay £600 costs. Small, a solicitor and director of Milton Keynes firm Baker Small Legal Services Ltd, posted a tweet in June reporting a ‘great win’ at a tribunal, before posting five further tweets. The SRA declined to recount the content of the other five, but it was reported at the time that one tweet said the tribunal decision had ‘sent some parents into a storm’. Other tweets included a picture of a kitten that appeared to be yawning, with the message: ‘Some great tweets received today from people who just see a one-sided argument… just shared them with my cat… .’