Application for approval of a non-lawyer manager (Form NL1)
Last updated 19 October 2011
The SRA's move to outcomes-focused regulation and the new SRA Handbook came into effect on 6 October 2011. Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA) also came into effect on this date. This is the section of the LSA which allows the introduction of alternative business structures (ABS).
This means that on 6 October 2011, the door to new non-lawyer manager Legal Disciplinary Practices (LDPs) closed and all bodies that are "licensable" need to apply to a Licensing Authority to become authorised as an ABS.
ABS will need to have a license in order to operate. The SRA has applied (on behalf of the Law Society) to the Legal Services Board (LSB) to become a Licensing Authority for ABS. On 13 June 2011, the LSB approved the SRA's application and recommended to the Lord Chancellor the SRA's designation as a Licensing Authority. When the SRA will formally be designated to license ABS is dependant upon the parliamentary timetable. It is hoped that the SRA will be designated before the end of 2011. You can access further information about ABS at www.sra.org.uk/abs.
If however your firm was an existing recognised body which did not comply with rule 13.1(b) of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011 at the time they came into force, on 6 October 2011, (i.e. that up to 25 per cent of the body's managers were individual non-lawyers approved by the SRA under regulation 3 of the Recognised Bodies Regulations), it can continue to be treated as a recognised body, until
- it ceases to comply with the management and control requirements set out in the transitional provisions and grace period of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011 (rule 22), or
- the end of the transitional period under Part 2 of Schedule 5 of the LSA, or until it elects to become a licensed body.
If your firm is covered by the transitional provisions and grace period set out in rule 22 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011 and you would like to apply for an individual to be approved under regulation 5 of the SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 2011, please contact us to obtain an application form for approval of a non-lawyer as suitable to be a manager of a recognised body (NL1).
Please use www.sra.org.uk/nl1 to link to this page.