SRA Handbook

General powers of the Council

Version 20 of the Handbook was published on 1 October 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Part 6: General powers of the Council

Rule 19: Waiver powers

19.1

The Council shall have power on such terms and conditions as it shall think fit to waive any Rule or part of any Rule in a particular case or cases including extending the time, either prospectively or retrospectively, for the doing of any act under any Rule.

(a)

Any application by any person for a waiver of any Rule or part of any Rule under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2001 to 2010 or SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011 to 2013 must be made in writing to the Society as soon as reasonably practicable.

(b)

No application by any person for a waiver of any Rule or part of any Rule under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 may be considered unless it was made in writing to the Society as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event no later than 28 February 2002.

(c)

Any appeal against any decision made by the Society in respect of any application for a waiver of any Rule or part of any Rule under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 to 2010 or SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011 to 2013 must be made in writing to the Society within 21 days from the date of the decision.

(d)

An application for a waiver as contemplated by this Rule 19.1 or the making of an appeal against any decision made by the Society in respect of such application shall not relieve any person from any obligation under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 to 2010 or SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011 to 2013 pending the determination of any such application or appeal.

Commentary:

It is envisaged that Rules will be waived only in exceptional circumstances. Anyone who wishes to apply for a waiver, or to appeal against an initial decision, must do so in accordance with the time limits set out in this Rule. Contact details appear at the end of the introductory commentary. The Panel of Adjudicators Sub Committee has adopted a waiver policy, which is available on request. Unless and until any waiver is granted, the person concerned must comply with the requirements of these Rules in full. A waiver may be granted subject to conditions, and may be revoked without notice.

19.2

The Council shall have power to treat any firm as complying with any Rule or Rules for the purposes of the SA notwithstanding that the firm has failed to comply with a Rule or Rules where such non-compliance is regarded by the Council in a particular case or cases as being insignificant.

19.3

For the purposes of the SA (including without limitation section 10 of that Act), any person who is in breach of any Rule or part of any Rule under the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2000 to 2010 or SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2011 to 2013 shall be deemed, for so long as he remains in breach, not to be complying with these Rules.

Commentary:

The effect of this general power is that, for example, a practising certificate may be issued to a person notwithstanding a technical and insignificant breach by that person or a firm of any provision of these Rules.

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