Question of ethics
Meaning of "individual" in rule 8 of the Authorisation Rules
Q. Does the reference to an "individual" in rule 8 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011 include a body corporate? Our partnership is primarily made up of limited company partners.
The SRA Authorisation Rules for Legal Services Bodies and Licensable Bodies 2011 (AR) require that the compliance office for legal practice (COLP) and compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA) are individual managers or employees, and, as such, a corporate body could not act in this capacity. In the case of your firm, the COLP and COFA should be a manager of one of the limited company partners of the firm or an employee of the firm.
Rules 8.5(b) and (f) of the AR apply to each body we authorise. As such, each limited company partner in your firm will need to appoint a COLP and COFA, in addition to the appointments required in relation to the partnership.
You can apply to us for a waiver of rule 8.5 for a particular purpose, in accordance with rule 12 of the AR. See further information about the waiver criteria.
There is scope under rule 18 of the AR for temporary emergency approvals for compliance officers. This would have to be on the basis that
- the authorised body could not reasonably have commenced an application for approval of designation in advance of the individual leaving, and
- the other conditions set out in that rule are fulfilled.