It is a criminal offence for someone to call themselves a solicitor or act as a solicitor if they are not on the roll of solicitors. We call these people "bogus solicitors" and we may prosecute them (see our policy on criminal prosecution). We publish alerts about bogus solicitors.
All genuine solicitors are on the roll of solicitors, which we administer, and will be able to give you their roll number (sometimes described as their "SRA ID number") on request. This number should also appear on their letterheads and notepaper.
You can check if someone is a practising solicitor by searching Find a solicitor, the Law Society's online directory of solicitors. This directory contains details of almost all of the practising solicitors we regulate. The only genuine practising solicitors who are not listed in the directory are those who have asked for names to be removed (Some solicitors choose to stay on the roll of solicitors even though they are no longer in legal practice. They can call themselves 'non-practising solicitors. Most non-practising solicitors are not listed in Find a solicitor).
You can check whether a law firm is regulated by us using our Law firm search. You can search using the regulated name of a law firm—not its trading name(s). You can also search for a firm by entering its SRA ID number. Firms we regulate are required to display their SRA ID on their letterhead, email and website.
If you would like to check that a solicitor is genuine, or if you think you are dealing with a bogus solicitor, contact us immediately.
If you have any cause to doubt that letters, emails or other contact that seem to be from a genuine solicitor is really from them, you should take reasonable steps to protect yourself and your property, by contacting the law firm or individual solicitor directly—through reliable and established means. We can tell you whether an individual or firm is regulated and authorised by us. We can also confirm a regulated and authorised individual's or firm's genuine contact information and other practising details. In some cases, you may need to check other public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records), too.
You can also read our guidance for solicitors on bogus law firms and identity theft.
Please use www.sra.org.uk/bogus-solicitors to link to this page.