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Decision-making criteria

This set of criteria was archived on 5 October 2012 as part of our Transformation Programme.

Registration as a registered European lawyer (REL) or registered foreign lawyers (RFL), initial and renewal applications for

Principles of regulatory decision-making, approved by the SRA Board, provide a set of standards applicable to decisions. The principles are supported by guidelines.

The reasons given by a decision-maker will normally include specific criteria applicable to the decision. SRA Policies relevant to decision-making are reflected in the criteria.

Scope of this document

This document applies to applications by RELs or RFLs for initial or renewal of registration.

The relevant provisions are:

  • The Establishment of Lawyers Directive 98/5/EC
  • The European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000
  • Schedule 14 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990
  • The SRA Practising Regulations 2009

Criteria

The following criteria are relevant when considering such an application, but are not an exhaustive list:

  • The application been made on the prescribed form.
  • The application is accompanied by the prescribed fee, as determined annually by the Law Society Council.
  • The prescribed contribution to the Compensation Fund has been received.
  • Where the application is to renew the registration the application has been received on or before the renewal date, 31 October (annually).
  • Where the applicant is a manager (partner/partner equivalent) of a firm, they comply with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules.
  • Where the applicant is subject to regulation 3 of the SRA Practising Regulations (or regulation 6.2(a) where the applicant is an RFL) due consideration is given to the relevant part of the regulations.
  • The form is personally signed by the applicant unless:
    • a solicitor or registered European lawyer (REL) has been given written permission by the SRA in exceptional circumstances, to sign on the applicant's behalf; or
    • 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 REL who:
      • is a manager (partner/partner equivalent) of the firm:
      • is authorised to sign the form by the firm or organisation;
      • has the consent of all the persons named in the form to sign the form on their behalf; and
      • has taken reasonable steps to ensure that all details given on the form are correct and complete.
  • Any additional information, documents and references as specified by the SRA has been received.
  • Where the applicant applies with the intention of practising on a permanent basis in the UK , they are legally entitled to do so.
  • Where the applicant is applying for renewal of their registration, due consideration will be given to any conditions already imposed on their registration.

Example

The example below is illustrative and does not set any type of precedent. Each matter is considered on its own facts and merits.

Registered Foreign Lawyer

A registered foreign lawyer (RFL) partner working within a recognised body partnership applies to renew their registration by 31 October. This is an annual requirement in compliance with the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.

The applicant completes the application form and submits it together with payment for renewal.

We identified from the application that the RFL is based mainly in England and Wales (e.g. spending more than 50% of their practising time in an office based in England and Wales)

The applicant has, however, submitted a reduced fee. A reduced fee only available to those RFLs who are based mainly from an overseas office (e.g. spend more than 50% of their practising time from an office outside of England and Wales).

We notify the applicant of the shortfall in fees.

The applicant pays the outstanding balance. The application is therefore complete in accordance with regulation 1.1 of the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.

Registration is granted with effect from 1 November as the application was received prior to the 31 October deadline.

Registered European Lawyer

A registered European lawyer (REL) partner working within a recognised body partnership applies to renew their registration by 31 October. This is an annual requirement in compliance with the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.

A completed application form is submitted together with payment for renewal of registration.

There is no previous adverse regulatory history against the applicant.

The appropriate fee for their registration and Compensation Fund contribution is also received with the application.

The application is therefore complete in accordance with regulation 1.1 of the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.

Registration is granted with effect from 1 November, the application having been received prior to the 31 October deadline.