SRA Handbook

Appeals by legal services bodies

Version 19 of the Handbook was published on 1 October 2017. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 30: Appeals by legal services bodies or sole practitioners

30.1

A legal services body or a sole practitioner which is the subject of any decision in (a)-(b) below may invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure:

(a)

against the SRA's decision to modify or refuse an application for modification of the terms and conditions of an authorisation under Rule 10;

(b)

before exercising its right of appeal to the High Court:

(i)

against refusal of authorisation, under paragraph 2(1)(a) or paragraph 2(1A)(a) of Schedule 2 to the AJA;

(ii)

against the imposition of a condition on its authorisation, under paragraph 2(1)(b) or (c) or paragraph 2(1A)(b) or (c) of that Schedule; or

(iii)

against refusal by the SRA to approve a step which, under a condition on the body's authorisation, requires such prior approval, under paragraph 2(2) or paragraph 2(2A) of that Schedule.

30.2

A legal services body or a sole practitioner which is the subject of any decision in (a)-(c) below and/or the person who is the subject of any decision in (a)-(c) below, may invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure against the SRA's decision:

(a)

not to approve the person to be a manager, owner or compliance officer of a legal services body or a sole practitioner's practice under Rules 8.5(b) or (d) or 8.6(a);

(b)

to approve the person to be a manager, owner or compliance officer of a legal services body or a sole practitioner's practice under Rules 8.5(b) or (d) or 8.6(a) subject to conditions on the authorised body's authorisation; or

(c)

to withdraw its approval of the person to be a manager, owner or compliance officer of the body under Rule 17 or Rule 18.

(d)

A legal services body or a sole practitioner may appeal to the High Court against the SRA's decision to suspend or revoke the authorised body's authorisation, but must first invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure.

30.3

A legal services body, treated as such in accordance with Rule 22.3 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules, which is the subject of any decision in (a)-(b) below and/or the person who is the subject of any decision in (a)-(b) below, may appeal to the High Court against the SRA's decision:

(a)

not to approve the individual as suitable to be a non-lawyer manager of the body under Rule 8.6(a); and

(b)

to withdraw its approval of the individual as suitable to be a non-lawyer manager of the body under Rule 17;

but must first invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure, and for the purposes of 30.4 and 30.6(c) "non-lawyer" means an individual who is not listed in Rule 22.4(d)(i) of the SRA Practice Framework Rules.

30.4

Deemed refusal

(a)

An application by a legal services body or a sole practitioner for authorisation under Rule 4 is deemed, for the purpose of any appeal under Rule 30.1(b) above, to be refused on the day of the expiry of the decision period, if by the end of that day the SRA has not notified the applicant of its decision.

(b)

An application for approval of a person under Part 4 is deemed, for the purpose of any appeal under Rule 30.4(a) above, to be refused on the day of the expiry of the decision period, if by the end of that day the SRA has not notified the applicant or authorised body as appropriate, and the person who is the subject of the approval, of its decision.

30.5

If an appeal is made to the High Court in relation to a decision made in respect of a legal services body or a sole practitioner's practice to:

(a)

impose conditions on an authorisation under Rule 9;

(b)

modify terms and conditions of an authorisation under Rule 10;

(c)

withdraw approval of a non-lawyer manager under 30.4; or

(d)

revoke or suspend a body's authorisation;

the appellant may apply to the High Court for a stay of the decision pending the determination or discontinuance of the appeal, and if the High Court imposes an order for a stay in relation to a decision, the SRA shall stay the decision accordingly.

Guidance note

(i)

Rule 30.5 allows an applicant or authorised body to regard their application as refused on certain dates to allow an appeal to be commenced. However, this is only for the purpose of ensuring the body has appeal rights and despite the deemed refusal the SRA may still determine the application.

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