Change Tracker – SRA Practising Regulations 2009

2000-05-22

The SRA Practising Regulations 2009 have been replaced on the 6 October 2011 by the SRA Practising Regulations 2011 as part of the introduction of outcomes-focused regulation.

Go to SRA Handbook

The SRA Practising Regulations were amended on 14 July 2010 as part of the implementation of the fairer fee structure.

The Practising Certificate Regulations 1995 were replaced on 1 July 2009 by the SRA Practising Regulations 2009 as part of a general updating of the rules to introduce firm-based regulation and legal disciplinary practices as provided for in the Legal Services Act 2007.

 
 

Practising Certificate Regulations 1995

Last amended 22 May 2000

Regulations dated 17th January 1995 made by the Council of the Law Society with the concurrence, where requisite, of the Master of the Rolls under Schedule 14 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, regulating the keeping of the register of foreign lawyers and applications for registration and renewal of registration.

Citation, repeal and commencement

  • 1.

    These regulations replace the Foreign Lawyers Registration Regulations 1991 in relation to all registrations and applications for registration, or renewal of registration, for any period commencing on or after 1st November 1995.

The register

  • 2.

    The register of foreign lawyers shall specify, in respect of each registered foreign lawyer, the following information:

    • (a)

      full name;

    • (b)

      title;

    • (c)

      date of birth;

    • (d)

      name(s) of practice(s);

    • (e)

      practising address(es);

    • (f)

      where the registered foreign lawyer is practising as a partner in a multi-national partnership, the other partners in the multi-national partnership;

    • (g)

      where the registered foreign lawyer is a director of a recognised body, the other directors of the recognised body;

    • (h)

      the profession(s) to which and the jurisdiction(s) in which the registered foreign lawyer is admitted and entitled to practise;

    • (i)

      the date of initial registration and the date by which the registered foreign lawyer must apply for his or her registration to be renewed (the renewal date);

    • (j)

      any conditions to which the registration is subject.

     
  • 3.

    The information specified in regulation 2 above may be inspected by any person during office hours.

Requests for information

  • 4.

    In addition to information supplied on any prescribed form under these regulations, registered foreign lawyers must supply to the Law Society such information as to their practice in partnership with solicitors as the Society shall from time to time reasonably require.

Applications

  • 5.

    Any application for registration or renewal of registration under these regulations must be made to the Law Society on the prescribed form, correctly completed, and accompanied by such additional information, documents and references as the Society shall specify.

  • 6.

    Every application for registration or renewal of registration under these regulations must be accompanied by:

    • (a)

      the fee payable under paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990; and

    • (b)

      any initial contribution, annual contribution or special levy payable by the applicant to the Solicitors' Compensation Fund under paragraph 7 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

     

Renewal of registration

  • 7.

    The renewal date for registration under these regulations shall be the 31st October following the applicant's current registration.

  • 8.

    When a registration is cancelled under regulation 13(a), but an application is received within 12 months of the renewal date, the application shall be treated as a renewal of registration, but any such registration shall be dated from the date of receipt by the Society of the completed prescribed form and fee.

Obligations on completing prescribed form

  • 9.

    Every applicant must ensure that all details relating to him or her given on any prescribed form submitted under these regulations are correct and complete.

  • 10.

    Every prescribed form submitted under these regulations must be personally signed by the applicant unless

    • (a)

      another person who is a solicitor has been given written permission by the Law Society, in exceptional circumstances, to sign on the applicant's behalf; or

    • (b)

      the form used is completed on behalf of a number of applicants in one practice, and the person signing the form is a solicitor authorised by the practice, and has the consent of all the persons named in the form, to sign on their behalf.

     
  • 11.

    If any prescribed form submitted under these regulations is signed by a person other than the applicant that person must take reasonable steps to ensure that all details given on the form are correct and complete.

Change of name

  • 12.

    An application by a registered foreign lawyer that his or her name be changed upon the register must be made to the Law Society in such form and accompanied by such additional information or evidence as may be specified by the Society.

Cancellation of registration

  • 13.

    The Law Society may cancel a registered foreign lawyer's registration if:

    • (a)

      the renewal date has passed but no application for renewal of registration has been received; or

    • (b)

      the registered foreign lawyer has applied to the Society for it to be cancelled.

     
  • 14.

    An application by a registered foreign lawyer that his or her name be removed from the register must be made to the Law Society in such form and accompanied by such additional information or evidence as may be specified by the Society.

  • 15.

    The Society shall cancel the registration of any person on his or her admission as a solicitor or on his or her being called to the bar of England and Wales or on his or her registration in the register of European lawyers.

Notification of registration

  • 16.

    Notification of registration shall be sent by post to the applicant at the applicant's principal practising address or such other address as may be specified by or on behalf of the applicant in writing to the Society's Controller of Administration.

Interpretation

  • 17.

    The Interpretation Act 1978 shall apply to the interpretation of these regulations as it applies to the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

  • 18.

    In these regulations:

    • "multi-national partnership" has the meaning assigned by section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;
    • "practice" means a multi-national partnership, a recognised body, or an overseas partnership or corporate practice of solicitors and other lawyers;
    • "prescribed form" means a form or forms prescribed from time to time by the Law Society under Schedule 14 paragraph 2 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;
    • "recognised body" has the meaning assigned by section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985;
    • "foreign lawyer" has the meaning assigned by section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;
    • "registered foreign lawyer" means a person who is registered under section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and "register" and "registration" in that context shall be construed accordingly;
    • "register of European lawyers" means the register maintained by the Law Society under regulation 15 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000;
    • "solicitor" means a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
     

SRA Practising Regulations 2009

Regulations and rules about:

  • applications for practising certificates by solicitors and for registration by European lawyers and foreign lawyers;
  • applications for authorisation to practise as sole practitioners, by solicitors and registered European lawyers;
  • applications for renewal of practising certificates and registration;
  • the issue of practising certificates to solicitors and the issue of certificates of registration to European lawyers and foreign lawyers; and
  • the keeping of the register of solicitors who hold practising certificates, the register of European lawyers and the register of foreign lawyers,

dated 1 JULY 2009 and commencing 1 JULY 2009

made by the Master of the Rolls under section 28 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and article 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5, Transitory and Transitional Provisions) Order 2009

with the concurrence of the Secretary of State and the Lord Chief Justice under article 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5, Transitory and Transitional Provisions) Order 2009, and

made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 13, 13ZA, 31, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and paragraphs 2 and 3 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990

with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls under section 31 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and article 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5, Transitory and Transitional Provisions) Order 2009

and the concurrence of the Secretary of State under article 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5, Transitory and Transitional Provisions) Order 2009.

Part 1 – Applications, conditions and appeals

Regulation 1 – General requirements for applications under these regulations

  • 1.1

    An application under these regulations must comprise:

    • (a)

      the prescribed form, correctly completed;

    • (b)

      the prescribed fee or fees;

    • (c)

      if the application is for a practising certificate, for replacement of a practising certificate, for registration or for renewal of registration, any prescribed contribution to the Solicitors' Compensation Fund;

    • (d)

      such additional information, documents and references as may be specified by the SRA; and

    • (e)

      any additional information and documentation which the SRA may reasonably require.

    It is not necessary to submit all documents, information and payments simultaneously, but an application will only have been made once the SRA has received all of the documentation, information and payments comprising that application.

  • 1.2

    Every applicant must ensure that all details relating to him or her given on any form prescribed under these regulations are correct and complete.

  • 1.3

    Every form submitted under these regulations must be personally signed by the applicant unless:

    • (a)

      a solicitor or registered European lawyer has been given written permission by the SRA, in exceptional circumstances, to sign on the applicant's behalf; or

    • (b)

      the application is made wholly or partly on a prescribed form which is designed to be completed and signed on behalf of a number of applicants in one firm or organisation. In that case, the form must be signed by a solicitor or registered European lawyer who:

      • (i)

        is authorised to sign the form by the firm or organisation;

      • (ii)

        has the consent of all the persons named in the form to sign the form on their behalf; and

      • (iii)

        has taken reasonable steps to ensure that all details given on the form are correct and complete.

       
     
  • 1.4

    The SRA must notify its reasons in writing to the applicant when it:

    • (a)

      refuses an application;

    • (b)

      grants an application subject to a condition; or

    • (c)

      refuses a permission required under a condition on a practising certificate or registration.

     
  • 1.5

    The SRA shall determine the amount of any fees required under these regulations and the SRA's decision shall be final.

  • 1.6

    The SRA may prescribe from time to time a fee moderation process under which a recognised sole practitioner may make an application for the fee for renewal of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner to be varied. A decision under this process shall be final.

Regulation 2 – Applications for practising certificates and registration

  • 2.1

    The following applications may be made under regulation 2:

     
  • 2.2

    Where application is made under regulation 2 for a practising certificate or for replacement of a practising certificate the SRA must grant the application if:

    • (a)

      the applicant's name is on the roll of solicitors;

    • (b)

      the applicant is not suspended from practice as a solicitor;

    • (c)

      the applicant has supplied satisfactory evidence that he or she will comply with or be exempt from the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules; and

    • (d)

      the application is made in accordance with these Regulations,

    and the SRA must not grant the application unless conditions (a) to (c) are met.

  • 2.3
    • (a)

      Where application is made under regulation 2 for initial registration or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers the SRA must grant the application if:

      • (i)

        the applicant is not (subject to (c) below) a solicitor, barrister or advocate of any of the UK jurisdictions, a barrister of the Irish Republic, or registered under the Establishment Directive with the Bar Standards Board, the Faculty of Advocates or the Bar Council of Northern Ireland;

      • (ii)

        the applicant is a member, and entitled to practise as such, of an Establishment Directive profession;

      • (iii)

        the applicant is a national of an Establishment Directive state;

      • (iv)

        the applicant applies with the intention of practising on a permanent basis in the UK and is legally entitled to do so;

      • (v)

        the applicant is not struck off the register, suspended from the register, or subject to a direction of the Tribunal prohibiting his or her restoration to the register;

      • (vi)

        the applicant has supplied satisfactory evidence that he or she will comply with or be exempt from the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules; and

      • (vii)

        the application is made in accordance with these Regulations,

      except that if the SRA has reasonable cause to believe that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to practise in the UK it may refuse an application for initial registration.

    • (b)

      The SRA must not grant the application unless the conditions in (a)(i) to (vi) are met.

    • (c)

      The provisions of (a)(i) above will not apply to prevent the renewal of the registration of a European lawyer who has become a solicitor of Scotland or Northern Ireland at a time when he or she was registered both with the SRA and with the Law Society of Scotland and/or the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

     
  • 2.4

    Where application is made under regulation 2 for initial registration or for renewal of registration in the register of foreign lawyers, the following provisions apply.

    • (a)

      The SRA may grant the application (subject to such conditions as it may think fit) if:

      • (i)

        the applicant is not a solicitor, registered European lawyer or barrister;

      • (ii)

        the applicant is a member, and entitled to practise as such, of a legal profession which is regulated within a jurisdiction outside England and Wales and is approved by the SRA in accordance with paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

      • (iii)

        the applicant is not struck off the register, subject to an order of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal suspending his or her registration or subject to a direction of the Tribunal prohibiting his or her restoration to the register; and

      • (iv)

        the application is made in accordance with these Regulations.

       
    • (b)

      The SRA may (without prejudice to its general discretion under paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990) reject the application if:

      • (i)

        the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant is eligible for registration;

      • (ii)

        the applicant is prohibited by the rules of his or her profession from practising as a manager of a recognised body;

      • (iii)

        the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant will be in compliance with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules;

      • (iv)

        the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant intends to become a manager or employee of a recognised body; or

      • (v)

        the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to practise as a manager of a recognised body.

       
    • (c)

      A person who has been reinstated to the register under paragraph 12 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 is to be treated as entitled to practise as a member of his or her home legal profession.

     
  • 2.5

    The granting of a practising certificate or registration free of conditions under regulation 2 does not prevent the SRA subsequently imposing a condition in accordance with regulation 6.

Regulation 3 – Application following certain events

  • 3.1

    Regulation 3 applies (subject to 3.3 below) to an initial application for a practising certificate, an application for replacement of a practising certificate, an initial application for registration in the register of European lawyers and an application for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers, in any of the following circumstances.

    • (a)

      The applicant has been:

      • (i)

        reprimanded, made the subject of disciplinary sanction or made the subject of an order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974, ordered to pay costs or made the subject of a recommendation to the Law Society or the SRA to consider imposing a condition, by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, or struck off or suspended by the Court;

      • (ii)

        made the subject of an order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974 by the Law Society or the SRA or rebuked or fined under section 44D of that Act by the SRA;

      • (iii)

        made the subject of, or been a manager of a recognised body which has been the subject of, an intervention by the Law Society or the SRA; or

      • (iv)

        made the subject of a disciplinary sanction by, or refused registration with or authorisation by, another approved regulator, professional or regulatory tribunal, or regulatory authority, whether in England and Wales or elsewhere.

       
    • (b)

      The SRA (or previously the Law Society) has requested an explanation from the applicant in respect of a matter relating to the applicant's conduct and has notified the applicant in writing that it does not regard the applicant's response, or lack of response, as satisfactory.

    • (c)

      The applicant has failed to deliver within the period allowed an accountant's report required by rules made under section 34 of the Solicitors Act 1974.

    • (d)

      The applicant's practising certificate or registration has been suspended and the suspension:

      • (i)

        has come to an end;

      • (ii)

        was continuing when the applicant's last practising certificate or previous registration expired or was revoked; or

      • (iii)

        is continuing.

       
    • (e)

      The applicant has been suspended from practice (or suspended from the register, if the applicant is a European lawyer), and the suspension has come to an end.

    • (f)

      The applicant's last practising certificate or previous registration expired or was revoked whilst subject to a condition.

    • (g)

      The applicant's practising certificate or registration is currently subject to a condition.

    • (h)

      The applicant's right to practise as a lawyer of another jurisdiction or as a lawyer of England and Wales (other than as a solicitor) is subject to a condition or restriction.

    • (i)

      The applicant has been restored to the roll or register, having previously been struck off.

    • (j)

      The applicant is an undischarged bankrupt.

    • (k)

      The applicant:

      • (i)

        has been adjudged bankrupt and discharged;

      • (ii)

        has entered into an individual voluntary arrangement or a partnership voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

      • (iii)

        has been a manager of a recognised body which has entered into a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

      • (iv)

        has been a director of a company or a member of an LLP which has been the subject of a winding up order, an administration order or administrative receivership; or has entered into a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986; or has been voluntarily wound up in circumstances of insolvency.

       
    • (l)

      The applicant lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) and powers under sections 15 to 20 or section 48 of that Act are exercisable in relation to the applicant.

    • (m)

      The applicant has been committed to prison in civil or criminal proceedings and:

      • (i)

        has been released; or

      • (ii)

        has not been released.

       
    • (n)

      The applicant has been made subject to a judgment which involves the payment of money, other than one:

      • (i)

        which is limited to the payment of costs; or

      • (ii)

        in respect of which the applicant is entitled to indemnity or relief from another person as to the whole sum; or

      • (iii)

        which the applicant has paid, and supplied evidence of payment to the SRA (or previously to the Law Society).

       
    • (o)

      The applicant is currently charged with an indictable offence.

    • (p)

      The applicant has been convicted of an indictable offence or any offence under the Solicitors Act 1974, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or the Compensation Act 2006.

    • (q)

      The applicant has been disqualified from being a company director.

    • (r)

      The applicant has been removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity by an order within the terms of section 72(1)(d) of the Charities Act 1993.

    • (s)

      The applicant has been the subject in another jurisdiction of any circumstance equivalent to those listed in (j) to (r).

     
  • 3.2

    If regulation 3 applies:

    • (a)

      an application for replacement of a practising certificate or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers must be commenced at least six weeks before the replacement or renewal date; and

    • (b)

      the SRA:

      • (i)

        has no discretion under regulation 3 to grant the application if the applicant does not meet the conditions in regulation 2.2(a) to (c) or 2.3(a)(i) to (vi);

      • (ii)

        has discretion to impose a condition or conditions in accordance with regulation 6; and

      • (iii)

        has discretion to refuse the application.

       
     
  • 3.3

    The provisions of 3.1 and 3.2 above are subject to the following exceptions.

    • (a)

      Regulation 3 does not apply by virtue of 3.1(a), (b), (c), (d)(i), (e), (j), (k), (m)(i), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r) or (s) if the applicant has previously applied for and obtained a practising certificate or registration, provided that:

      • (i)

        the applicant's practising certificate or registration is not subject to a condition relating to any of those provisions;

      • (ii)

        the SRA (or previously the Law Society) was aware, when granting that application, of all the relevant facts; and

      • (iii)

        no new circumstances have arisen which would bring the application within any of those provisions.

       
    • (b)

      If regulation 3 applies only by virtue of 3.1(j), (m), (n) or (p) and an appeal has been made to the appropriate court against the order or judgment in question, the following provisions apply.

      • (i)

        The application must not be refused before the determination of that appeal, unless in the opinion of the SRA the proceedings on that appeal have been unduly protracted by the appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

      • (ii)

        The SRA may in the meantime postpone a decision on the application and may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration.

       
    • (c)

      If regulation 3 applies only by virtue of 3.1(o), the application may not be refused unless the applicant is convicted, but the SRA may postpone a decision on the application and may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration.

     

Regulation 4 – Application to be a recognised sole practitioner

  • 4.1

    An application may be made under regulation 4 by a solicitor or European lawyer:

    • (a)

      for initial authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner:

      • (i)

        when making an initial application for a practising certificate or for registration in the register of European lawyers;

      • (ii)

        when applying for replacement of a practising certificate or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers; or

      • (iii)

        at any time during the currency of a solicitor's practising certificate or a registered European lawyer's registration; or

       
    • (b)

      for renewal of an existing authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner when applying for replacement of a practising certificate or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers.

     
  • 4.2
    • (a)

      The SRA may grant an application under regulation 4 if the applicant:

      • (i)

        will be practising as a sole practitioner from an office in England and Wales;

      • (ii)

        is not, and is not about to be made, subject to a condition on his or her practising certificate or registration which would prohibit practice as a sole practitioner;

      • (iii)

        has adopted a name under which his or her firm is to be recognised, and which complies with rule 7 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct; and

      • (iv)

        complies with (or has a waiver of) rule 5.02 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct; and

      • (v)

        complies with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules in respect of his or her firm.

       
    • (b)

      The SRA may refuse an application under regulation 4 if it is not satisfied that the applicant is suitable to run and manage a business providing regulated legal services or if for any other reason the SRA reasonably considers that it would be against the public interest to grant recognition.

    • (c)

      In reaching a decision on an application under regulation 4 the SRA may take into account:

      • (i)

        any event listed in regulation 3.1 applying to the applicant;

      • (ii)

        any other conduct on the part of the applicant which calls into question his or her honesty, integrity or respect for law;

      • (iii)

        failure or refusal to disclose, or an attempt to conceal, any matter within (i) or (ii) above in relation to the application; or

      • (iv)

        that the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant has sufficient skills or knowledge in relation to the running and management of a business which provides regulated legal services.

       
    • (d)

      When granting an application under regulation 4 the SRA may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration in accordance with regulation 6.

     
  • 4.3

    An application for initial authorisation of a solicitor or European lawyer who will not comply with 4.2(a)(iv) will be treated as including an application for a waiver of rule 5.02 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

  • 4.4

    A solicitor or registered European lawyer who is practising as a sole practitioner from an office in England and Wales immediately before 1 JULY 2009 will be authorised as a recognised sole practitioner on 1 July 2009 provided that the sole practitioner concerned:

    • (a)

      has in place professional indemnity cover under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules; and

    • (b)

      is not on that date practising as a sole practitioner in breach of a condition on his or her practising certificate or registration.

     
  • 4.5

    If a change to the composition of a recognised body which was a partnership results in a solicitor or REL becoming its sole principal:

    • (a)

      the SRA must be notified within seven days; and

    • (b)

      temporary emergency recognition may be granted, subject to 4.6 below, so as to enable that sole principal to continue in practice without breach of rule 12 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

     
  • 4.6
    • (a)

      An application for temporary emergency recognition:

      • (i)

        may be made by telephone, provided that details given by telephone are confirmed in writing the same day; and

      • (ii)

        must be made (or confirmed) on the prescribed form at the earliest possible opportunity, and accompanied by all information and documentation the SRA reasonably require.

       
    • (b)

      The SRA may grant an application for temporary emergency recognition if the following conditions are met:

      • (i)

        the SRA must be satisfied that the applicant could not reasonably have commenced an application for recognition as a sole practitioner in advance of the change; and

      • (ii)

        the sole practitioner must comply with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules, and must have adopted a name under which the firm is to be registered and which complies with rule 7 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

       
    • (c)

      Temporary emergency recognition:

      • (i)

        may be granted initially for 28 days;

      • (ii)

        may be extended for a further specified period or periods in response to a reasonable request by the applicant;

      • (iii)

        must be extended (subject to (vii) below) pending determination of a substantive application for initial recognition commenced during the currency of a temporary emergency recognition;

      • (iv)

        may be granted or extended subject to such conditions as the SRA thinks fit, in circumstances falling within regulation 6;

      • (v)

        is to be treated as initial recognition for the purpose of these regulations;

      • (vi)

        if granted, cannot prejudice the discretion of the SRA to refuse a substantive application for recognition under this regulation (which is also, for the purpose of these regulations, to be treated as initial recognition); and

      • (vii)

        in exceptional circumstances, and for reasonable cause, may be revoked at any time.

       
     

Regulation 4A – Fee determinations for acquisitions, mergers and splits

The turnover of a recognised sole practitioner for the purpose of determining the fee for renewal of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is based on a historic turnover figure submitted to the SRA. Where in the 12 months following the submission of that figure a recognised sole practitioner merges or splits, a notice of succession identifying all recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners affected by the merger or split and any resulting apportionment of historic turnover figures for those firms will enable the SRA to ensure that the turnover figure on which the fee is based reflects the impact of the merger or split.

  • 4A.1

    A recognised sole practitioner who has succeeded to the whole or a part of one or more recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners must within 28 days of the change taking place deliver to the SRA a notice of succession in the prescribed form.

  • 4A.2

    For the purposes of regulation 4A.1, "succeeded" includes any taking over of the whole or any part of a recognised body or recognised sole practitioner, for value or otherwise

  • 4A.3

    A recognised sole practitioner who:

    • (a)

      has split or ceded part of the practice to a recognised body or recognised sole practitioner; and

    • (b)

      wishes this change to be considered by the SRA when determining the recognised sole practitioner's next fee for renewal of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner

    must within 28 days of the change taking place deliver to the SRA a notice of succession in the prescribed form.

  • 4A.4

    A notice of succession delivered under these regulations must;

    • (a)

      identify all recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners affected by the succession; and

    • (b)

      provide details of any resulting apportionment of the turnover figures for those recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners.

     
  • 4A.5

    A recognised sole practitioner delivering a notice of succession under these regulations must seek the agreement of all affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners to the contents of the notice of succession.

  • 4A.6

    Where a notice of succession is delivered to the SRA which has not been agreed by all affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners, the recognised sole practitioner delivering the notice of succession shall be treated as having made an application for the SRA to apportion the turnover figures of the affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners for the purposes of determining the fee for renewal of recognition.

  • 4A.7

    Before apportioning the turnover figures under regulation 4A.6, the SRA will contact any affected recognised body or recognised sole practitioner identified in the notice of succession who has not agreed with the notice of succession and may require the production of additional information.

 

Regulation 5 – Applications for reinstatement

The following applications are to be treated as made under these regulations:

Regulation 6 – Conditions

  • 6.1

    The SRA may impose one or more conditions on a practising certificate or on the registration of a European lawyer when granting an application under regulation 3 to 5, or at any time during the practising year, for the following purposes.

    • (a)

      The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to undertake certain activities in relation to a legal practice, either at all or save as specified in the condition, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the involvement of the individual concerned in those activities.

    • (b)

      The SRA considers that the individual concerned is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients, third parties or the public by taking certain steps in relation to a legal practice, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the taking of such steps by the individual concerned.

    • (c)

      The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to engage in certain business agreements, business associations or practising arrangements and that imposing a condition requiring the applicant to obtain the SRA's written approval before taking certain steps will, in the public interest, limit, halt or prevent a risk to clients, third parties or the public.

    • (d)

      The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, require the individual concerned to take specified steps conducive to the carrying on of efficient practice by the individual concerned.

    • (e)

      The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, facilitate closer monitoring by the SRA of compliance by the individual concerned with rules and regulations.

    • (f)

      The SRA considers that it would be in the public interest to impose the condition in any other case during the currency of a practising certificate or registration.

     
  • 6.2

    Without prejudice to the powers of the SRA under paragraph 2A, 12 or 13 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, the SRA may when granting an application under regulation 2.1(c) or at any time during the currency of a registration, impose such conditions on a foreign lawyer's registration as it sees fit:

    • (a)

      if any event listed in regulation 3.1 applies to the individual concerned;

    • (b)

      for a purpose within regulation 6.1(a) to (f); or

    • (c)

      where the SRA considers in any other case that imposing the condition would be in the public interest.

     
  • 6.3

    When the SRA decides, on an initial application for a practising certificate or registration or on an application for replacement of a practising certificate or renewal of registration, to grant the application subject to a condition:

    • (a)

      the SRA may postpone the issue of the certificate or the registration pending determination or discontinuance of any appeal; but

    • (b)

      the postponement may be rescinded if in the SRA's opinion proceedings on appeal have been unduly protracted by an appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

     
  • 6.4
    • (a)

      The SRA must, subject to (b) below, give 28 days written notice, with reasons, to the individual concerned, when the SRA decides to impose a condition during the currency of a practising certificate or registration.

    • (b)

      The SRA may shorten or dispense with the 28 day period under (a) if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that it is in the public interest to do so.

    • (c)

      A condition is effective from the date on which the condition is imposed unless a later date is specified in the condition.

     

Regulation 7– Appeals

Part 2 – Duration, expiry and revocation of practising certificates and registrations

 

Regulation 8– Commencement, replacement and renewal dates

  • 8.1
    • (a)

      The commencement date for a practising certificate is the day on which it is entered in the register of holders of practising certificates.

    • (b)

      The commencement date for registration in the register of European lawyers is the day on which the lawyer's name is entered in the register.

    • (c)

      The commencement date for registration in the register of foreign lawyers is the day on which the lawyer's name is entered in the register.

    • (d)

      The commencement date for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is the day on which the authorisation is entered in the register of holders of practising certificates or the register of European lawyers.

     
  • 8.2
    • (a)

      The replacement date for a practising certificate is the 31 October following the issue of the certificate.

    • (b)

      The renewal date for registration in the register of European lawyers is the first 31 October following initial registration, and 31 October in each successive year.

    • (c)

      The renewal date for registration in the register of foreign lawyers is the first 31 October following initial registration, and 31 October in each successive year.

    • (d)

      The renewal date for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is the first 31 October following the initial authorisation, and 31 October in each successive year.

     

Regulation 9 – Expiry and revocation

  • 9.1
    • (a)

      A practising certificate expires:

      • (i)

        when a replacement certificate is issued;

      • (ii)

        on the death of the solicitor;

      • (iii)

        if the solicitor is removed from or struck off the roll;

      • (iv)

        in the case of a practising certificate which is suspended, on its replacement date, or if its replacement date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect.

       
    • (b)

      The registration of a registered European lawyer expires:

      • (i)

        if the lawyer becomes a solicitor, barrister or advocate of any of the UK jurisdictions or a barrister of the Irish Republic;

      • (ii)

        if the lawyer ceases to be a member, and entitled to practise as such, of an Establishment Directive profession;

      • (iii)

        if the lawyer ceases to be a national of an Establishment Directive state;

      • (iv)

        on the death of the lawyer;

      • (v)

        if the lawyer is removed from or struck off the register; or

      • (vi)

        in the case of a registration which is suspended, on its renewal date, or if its renewal date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect,

      except that the registration of a European lawyer will not expire by virtue of the lawyer becoming a solicitor of Scotland or Northern Ireland at a time when he or she is registered both with the SRA and with the Law Society of Scotland and/or the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

    • (c)

      The registration of a registered foreign lawyer expires:

      • (i)

        if the lawyer becomes a solicitor, registered European lawyer or barrister;

      • (ii)

        if the lawyer ceases to be a member, and entitled to practise as such, of a legal profession which is regulated within a jurisdiction outside England and Wales and is approved by the SRA in accordance with paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

      • (iii)

        on the death of the lawyer;

      • (iv)

        if the lawyer is removed from or struck off the register; or

      • (v)

        in the case of a registration which is suspended, on its renewal date or if its renewal date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect.

       
    • (d)

      Authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expires on:

      • (i)

        the expiry or revocation of the solicitor's practising certificate or the European lawyer's registration; or

      • (ii)

        the imposition of a condition on the solicitor's practising certificate or the European lawyer's registration which prohibits practice as a sole practitioner.

       
     
  • 9.2
    • (a)

      The SRA may revoke a practising certificate, registration in the register of European lawyers or registration in the register of foreign lawyers:

      • (i)

        at any time, if the SRA is satisfied that the practising certificate or registration was granted as a result of error or fraud;

      • (ii)

        on a date chosen by the SRA, if the replacement or renewal date has passed and the SRA has not received an application for replacement of the practising certificate or renewal of the registration made in accordance with regulation 1;

      • (iii)

        at any time, if the SRA is satisfied, in the case a registered European lawyer, that the lawyer has no intention of practising on a permanent basis in the United Kingdom;

      • (iv)

        at any time, if the SRA is satisfied, in the case a registered foreign lawyer, that the lawyer has no intention of practising in a recognised body or an authorised non-SRA firm or as the employee of a recognised sole practitioner; or

      • (v)

        on refusing, under regulation 2 or 3, to replace a practising certificate or to renew a registration.

       
    • (b)

      The SRA may revoke authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner at any time if:

      • (i)

        the authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner was granted as a result of error or fraud;

      • (ii)

        the solicitor or registered European lawyer is not practising from an office in England and Wales;

      • (iii)

        the SRA is not satisfied that the recognised sole practitioner continues to meet the criteria for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner;

      • (iv)

        the recognised sole practitioner has a temporary emergency recognition but has not within the initial 28 day period or any extension of that period commenced a substantive application for recognition; or

      • (v)

        the SRA has decided under regulation 4 not to renew authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner.

       
    • (c)

      The SRA may revoke a practising certificate, registration, or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner on the application of the person concerned but:

      • (i)

        there is no discretion to refund any part of the fee paid for that practising year; and

      • (ii)

        the SRA may refuse the application if there is an outstanding complaint against the applicant or for any other reason relating to the public interest.

       
     
  • 9.3
    • (a)

      When the SRA decides to revoke a practising certificate, registration, or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner under 9.2(a) or (b) it must give the person concerned 28 days notice, with reasons. The notice may be given together with notification of refusal of an application to replace a practising certificate, renew a registration or renew an authorisation.

    • (b)

      Revocation takes effect on expiry of the notice under (a), or on such later date as may be stated in the notice, except that if an appeal is made during the period of notice the revocation does not take effect until determination or discontinuance of any appeal, whether under the SRA's own procedure, or to the High Court under statutory provisions, or to the High Court under regulation 7.6(b).

     

Part 3 – The registers, practising certificates and certificates of registration

 

Regulation 10 – The register of holders of practising certificates

  • 10.1

    The SRA must keep a register of solicitors who hold practising certificates, which may be kept in electronic form.

  • 10.2

    The register must contain, in respect of each solicitor who holds a practising certificate, the following information:

    • (a)

      full name as shown on the roll;

    • (b)

      date of birth;

    • (c)

      registration number;

    • (d)

      any other legal profession of which the solicitor is a member and whether the solicitor is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

    • (e)

      date of admission as a solicitor;

    • (f)

      the commencement and replacement dates for the solicitor's current practising certificate;

    • (g)

      whether the solicitor is a recognised sole practitioner, and if so:

      • (i)

        the registered name of the solicitor's sole practice; and

      • (ii)

        any other practising styles used by the solicitor as a sole practitioner;

       
    • (h)

      the solicitor's place or places of business, except in the case of a non-practising solicitor;

    • (i)

      an address for correspondence in the case of a non-practising solicitor;

    • (j)

      any condition to which the solicitor's practising certificate is subject;

    • (k)

      a note about any suspension of the solicitor from practice, or suspension of the solicitor's practising certificate, or suspension of the solicitor from practice as a sole practitioner, or suspension of the solicitor's authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner, or the termination of any such suspension;

    • (l)

      a note of any order of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal under section 47 of the Solicitors Act 1974 in respect of the solicitor (or former solicitor), and a note of any order of the High Court or the Court of Appeal striking the solicitor off the roll; and

    • (m)

      any other reasonable information, necessary for carrying out the SRA's statutory objectives, from time to time prescribed by the SRA.

     
  • 10.3
    • (a)

      Entries in the register under 10.2(a), (c) to (h) and (j) to (m) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

      • (i)

        the address of any or all a solicitor's places of business; or

      • (ii)

        all information about a condition to which a solicitor's practising certificate is subject, or details of the condition.

       
    • (b)

      The date on which a solicitor's practising certificate or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

     

Regulation 11– the register of European lawyers

  • 11.1

    The SRA must keep a register of European lawyers, which may be kept in electronic form.

  • 11.2

    The register must contain, in respect of each registered European lawyer, the following information:

    • (a)

      full name;

    • (b)

      date of birth;

    • (c)

      registration number;

    • (d)

      in relation to each Establishment Directive profession of which the lawyer is a member:

      • (i)

        the professional title;

      • (ii)

        the professional body; and

      • (iii)

        whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

       
    • (e)

      any other legal profession of which the lawyer is a member and whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

    • (f)

      the date of initial registration;

    • (g)

      the commencement and renewal dates for the current period of registration;

    • (h)

      whether the lawyer is a recognised sole practitioner, and if so:

      • (i)

        the registered name of the lawyer's sole practice; and

      • (ii)

        any other practising styles used by the lawyer as a sole practitioner in the United Kingdom;

       
    • (i)

      the lawyer's place or places of business in the United Kingdom;

    • (j)

      any condition to which the lawyer's registration is subject;

    • (k)

      a note about any suspension of the lawyer's registration, or suspension of the lawyer's authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner, or the termination of any such suspension;

    • (l)

      a note of any order of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal under section 47 of the Solicitors Act 1974 in respect of the lawyer, and a note of any order of the High Court or the Court of Appeal striking the lawyer off the register; and

    • (m)

      any other reasonable information, necessary for carrying out the SRA's statutory objectives, from time to time prescribed by the SRA.

     
  • 11.3
    • (a)

      Entries in the register under 11.2(a) and (c) to (m) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

      • (i)

        the address of any or all an REL's places of business; or

      • (ii)

        all information about a condition to which an REL's registration is subject or details of the condition.

       
    • (b)

      The date on which a registered European lawyer's registration or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

     
  • 11.4

    A registered European lawyer whose name has changed may apply to the SRA to change his or her name on the register.

Regulation 12 – the register of foreign lawyers

  • 12.1

    The SRA must keep a register of foreign lawyers, which may be kept in electronic form.

  • 12.2

    The register must contain, in respect of each registered foreign lawyer, the following information:

    • (a)

      full name;

    • (b)

      date of birth;

    • (c)

      registration number;

    • (d)

      in relation to each legal profession of which the lawyer is a member:

      • (i)

        the professional title;

      • (ii)

        the professional body; and

      • (iii)

        whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

       
    • (e)

      the date of initial registration;

    • (f)

      the commencement and renewal dates for the current period of registration;

    • (g)

      the registered name and place or places of business of any recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm of which the lawyer is a manager or in which the lawyer has an ownership interest;

    • (h)

      the registered name of any recognised sole practitioner, recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm who or which is the lawyer's employer, and the address of the lawyer's place of employment;

    • (i)

      any condition to which the lawyer's registration is subject;

    • (j)

      a note about any suspension of the lawyer's registration, or the termination of such suspension;

    • (k)

      a note of any order of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of the lawyer; and

    • (l)

      any other reasonable information, necessary for carrying out the SRA's statutory objectives, from time to time prescribed by the SRA.

     
  • 12.3
    • (a)

      Entries in the register under 12.2(a) and (c) to (l) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

      • (i)

        the address of any or all an RFL's places of business; or

      • (ii)

        all information about a condition to which an RFL's registration is subject or details of the condition.

       
    • (b)

      The date on which a registered foreign lawyer's registration expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

     
  • 12.4

    A registered foreign lawyer whose name has changed may apply to the SRA to change his or her name on the register.

Regulation 13 – Practising certificates and certificates of registration

  • 13.1

    Each practising certificate and each certificate of registration must specify:

    • (a)

      the individual's full name;

    • (b)

      its commencement date;

    • (c)

      its replacement date;

    • (d)

      in the case of a solicitor or registered European lawyer who is authorised as a recognised sole practitioner, a statement to that effect; and

    • (e)

      any condition to which the practising certificate or registration is subject, to the extent that it is public information under regulation 10, 11 or 12.

     
  • 13.2

    Every practising certificate or certificate of registration must be delivered to the applicant at the applicant's principal place of business or to such other address as may be specified by or on behalf of the applicant in writing, and may be delivered by post or electronically.

Part 4 – Information requirements, notifying third parties and review of decisions

 

Regulation 14 – Information requirements

  • 14.1

    In addition to any requirements under section 84 of the Solicitors Act 1974 or any other rules applicable by virtue of that Act, a solicitor, registered European lawyer or registered foreign lawyer must inform the SRA within 14 days if he or she:

    • (a)

      is committed to prison in civil or criminal proceedings;

    • (b)

      is charged with or convicted of an indictable offence;

    • (c)

      is made the subject of bankruptcy proceedings;

    • (d)

      makes a proposal for an individual voluntary arrangement or is a manager of a firm which makes a proposal for a company voluntary arrangement or a partnership voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

    • (e)

      is admitted as:

      • (i)

        a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales;

      • (ii)

        a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor;

       
    • (f)

      is made subject to disciplinary proceedings as:

      • (i)

        a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales; or

      • (ii)

        a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor;

       
    • (g)

      becomes a manager of or acquires an ownership interest in a firm which is a recognised body or an authorised non-SRA firm;

    • (h)

      sets up a sole practice as:

      • (i)

        a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales; or

      • (ii)

        a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor.

       
     
  • 14.2

    A solicitor, registered European lawyer or registered foreign lawyer who ceases to practise must inform the SRA within 14 days and supply the SRA with a contact address.

Regulation 15 – Notifying third parties of decisions

The SRA may, if it considers it in the public interest to do so, notify any or all of the following persons of a decision made under these regulations:

    • (a)

      a recognised body or an authorised non-SRA firm of which the solicitor, registered European lawyer or registered foreign lawyer concerned is a manager, or in which he or she has an ownership interest;

    • (b)

      a recognised sole practitioner, recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm of which the solicitor, registered European lawyer or registered foreign lawyer concerned is an employee;

    • (c)

      any approved regulator;

    • (d)

      the Legal Services Board;

    • (e)

      the Legal Complaints Service or the Office for Legal Complaints;

    • (f)

      the regulatory body for any profession of which the solicitor, registered European lawyer or registered foreign lawyer concerned is a member;

    • (g)

      any law enforcement agency.

     

Regulation 16 – Reconsideration

  • 16.1

    The SRA may reconsider or rescind a decision made under these regulations when it appears that the decision maker:

    • (a)

      was not provided with material evidence that was available to the SRA;

    • (b)

      was materially misled;

    • (c)

      failed to take proper account of material facts or evidence;

    • (d)

      took into account immaterial facts or evidence;

    • (e)

      made a material error of law;

    • (f)

      made a decision which was otherwise irrational or procedurally unfair;

    • (g)

      made a decision which was otherwise ultra vires; or

    • (h)

      failed to give sufficient reasons.

     
  • 16.2
    • (a)

      A decision may be reconsidered under 16.1 only on the initiative of the SRA and if a person duly authorised by the SRA gives a direction to that effect.

    • (b)

      That person may also give directions:

      • (i)

        for further investigations to be undertaken;

      • (ii)

        for further information or explanation to be obtained; and

      • (iii)

        for the reconsideration to be undertaken by the original decision maker or by a different decision maker or panel.

       
     

Part 5 – Interpretation, commencement and repeals

 

Regulation 17 – Interpretation

  • 17.1

    All terms in these regulations are to be interpreted in accordance with rule 24 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

  • 17.2

    The Interpretation Act 1978 shall apply to the interpretation of these regulations as it applies to the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

  • 17.3

    The date of any notification or notice given under these regulations is deemed to be:

    • (a)

      the date on which the communication is delivered to or left at the recipient's address or is sent electronically to the recipient's e-mail or fax address;

    • (b)

      if the recipient is practising, seven days after the communication has been sent by post or document exchange to the recipient's last notified practising address; or

    • (c)

      if the recipient is not practising, seven days after the communication has been sent by post to the recipient's last notified contact address.

     
  • 17.4 In these regulations:
    • (a)

      commencing an application under these regulations means submitting a completed application form, together with the prescribed fee and any Compensation Fund contribution required;

    • (b)

      "prescribed form" means the form prescribed by the SRA;

    • (c)

      "prescribed fee" means a fee prescribed:

       
    • (d)

      revocation of a practising certificate or registration includes withdrawal of a practising certificate or registration for the purposes of the Solicitors Act 1974 and cancellation of registration for the purposes of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

    • (e)

      "Solicitors' Code of Conduct" means the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007;and

    • (f)

      "SRA" means the Solicitors Regulation Authority.; and

    • (g)

      "turnover figure" means as prescribed from time to time by the SRA

     

Regulation 18 – Commencement and repeals

These regulations commence on 1 July 2009 and replace:

  • (a)

    the Practising Certificate Regulations 1995;

  • (b)

    the European Lawyers Registration Regulations 2000; and

  • (c)

    the Foreign Lawyers Registration Regulations 1995,

in relation to the issue and replacement of practising certificates and initial registration of and renewal of registration of European and foreign lawyers for any period commencing on or after 1 JULY 2009.