SRA Handbook

Participation in legal practice

Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 6 December 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 11: Participation in legal practice

11.1

If you are a solicitor, REL or RFL and you are:

(a)

a manager, member or interest holder of:

(i)

a recognised body; or

(ii)

a body corporate which is a European corporate practice and is a manager of a recognised body; or

(b)

a manager, member or owner of:

(i)

a licensed body; or

(ii)

a body corporate which is a European corporate practice and is a manager of a licensed body;

it must be in your capacity as a solicitor, REL or RFL (whether or not you are held out as such);

(c)

employed in connection with the provision of legal services in England and Wales, by an authorised body;

it must be in your capacity as a solicitor, in accordance with section 1A of the SA, an REL or an RFL (whether or not you are held out as such);

(d)

Practising in accordance with (a), (b) or (c) above does not prevent you from practising also as an individual authorised by an approved regulator other than the SRA or providing services as a member of a non-lawyer profession.

11.2

Subject to 11.3 below, if you are a solicitor, REL or RFL and you are:

(a)

a manager, member or interest holder of:

(i)

an authorised non-SRA firm which is not licensed under Part 5 of the LSA; or

(ii)

a body corporate which is a manager of such an authorised non-SRA firm;

(b)

a manager, member or owner of an authorised non-SRA firm which is licensed under Part 5 of the LSA; or

(c)

an employee who is employed in connection with the provision of legal services in England and Wales, by an authorised non-SRA firm;

it must be in your capacity as a solicitor, REL or RFL or as an individual authorised by an approved regulator other than the SRA (whether or not you are held out as such) but this does not prevent you from practising in both capacities or providing services as a member of a non-lawyer profession in addition to practising as a lawyer.

11.3

If you are a solicitor who is employed by, or is a director of, an authorised non-SRA firm, section 1A of the SA will require you to practise through that firm in the capacity of solicitor, even if also practising in some other capacity.

11.4

No solicitor or REL, while a prisoner in any prison, may commence, prosecute or defend any action, suit or other contentious proceedings, or appear as an advocate in any such proceedings, unless he or she does so as a litigant in person and not as a solicitor or REL.

Guidance note

(i)

A solicitor, REL or RFL is required to be involved in a recognised body in that capacity even if they merely have a small interest in the firm. There is greater flexibility in licensed bodies where a solicitor, REL or RFL is permitted to have a small share in a licensed body without being treated as practising merely because of that involvement. For example, a solicitor could have a small interest in a licensed body through a pension fund even though not practising.

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