Bulk renewal application (2020/21)
23 October 2020
This year, we are running practising certificate renewals on a new IT system and with new telephony, which has been particularly challenging against the backdrop of the impact of Covid-19 on us and on the profession.
We know there have been some teething problems and a small number of organisations have experienced technical issues. Therefore, we have decided to extend the renewal period to Friday 20 November.
Internet Explorer users
If you are using Internet Explorer 11 or an older version of Internet Explorer, and if either of your answers in the Fee earners section of the bulk renewal form is “0”, you will be unable to complete the application. We recommend using Chrome or Edge browsers to complete the bulk renewal application.
Form name and location
The bulk renewal form can be found in mySRA under 'Start a new application' and in 'Organisation applications'. It is now called 'Pay your periodic fees and apply for bulk renewal'.
Before, when the form was opened, it was 'frozen' and no changes could be made to related mySRA accounts. Now the form can be accessed at any time before you submit it, giving you freedom to look at the questions and the information you need before completing it.
This also means that solicitors and registered European or foreign lawyers in your organisation can opt into your bulk renewal at any time before you submit this. If someone does add themselves, you will get a notification, so you will know if this has happened.
We do not need any other documentation to support your application. So, you do not need to upload any documents. If you need to tell us any more information, you can use the 'brief description' text box where these appear.
Making your payment
If you choose to pay via the Bill me option, we will email you when your invoice has generated.
You will be able to access an application summary and a payment summary in your organisation documents.
Payment should be made via your bank to the details below:
|Account name||Law Society Receipts|
|Bank name||Barclays Bank PLC, Level 27, 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP|
|Iban number||GB79 BARC 2032 2943 5779 02|
|Swift code (overseas only)||BARCGB22|
You can obtain a quotation and apply to Wesleyan to settle your fees using their Spread Payment Facility, which is endorsed by the Law Society.
You will need your invoice number and the amount owed to make your application.
Questions in the application form
To help you get ready, here are the questions you will be asked. There are no changes from last year to what we ask, or the information needed.
This section tells you what your application is for and what information you need to give us.
Did the organisation hold or receive client money or operate a client's own account as signatory in the 12 months to 31 October 2020?
If you answer 'yes', three further questions are asked:
- What was the largest statement or passbook balance obtained when undertaking monthly reconciliations in the 12 months to 31 August 2020?
- What was the smallest statement or passbook balance obtained when undertaking monthly reconciliations in the 12 months to 31 August 2020?
- What was the average statement or passbook balance obtained when undertaking monthly reconciliations in the 12 months to 31 August 2020?
You should also be aware of the following:
Money held outside a client account
If you have held client money in an account other than a client account, such as a trustee account or in the organisation's office account, you should also answer 'yes' to the holding client money question above.
Holding client money includes:
- client money held by the principals, such as salaried and/or associate partners, in an unincorporated practice
- client money held by either the company or LLP in an incorporated practice.
Is the organisation exempt, or partially exempt, under Annex 2 of the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules?
If your organisation is not exempt, you will need to tell us:
- Insurer (not your broker)
- policy number
- policy start and end dates.
Introductions and referrals
Did the organisation have any arrangements with third parties, including other lawyers, for the introduction of work to your organisation in your last complete accounting period?
If you need to tell us of such arrangements with third parties (introducers), you will be asked for this information:
- organisation or individual's name
- date the arrangement began
- main type of work
- percentage of the organisation's turnover arising from this arrangement
- total sum paid and the value of other consideration paid or given to the introducer or fee sharer during your last complete accounting period.
Does your organisation have arrangements to share its own professional fees with another individual or business, directly or indirectly?
Does your organisation have arrangements to receive a share of the fees or profits of another individual or business, directly or indirectly?
The same information as for introducers is asked for here.
Are there any arrangements, relationships or connections with third parties that may allow them to influence the running of the organisation?
Tell us if the authorised body owns or is owned by, or if any of its practising certificate holders or managers own or are connected with, or actively participate in any of the following:
- a separate business that carries out non-reserved legal activities
- a separate business to which clients of the authorised body or aspects of their case are referred, signposted or transferred
- a separate business which is jointly advertised or promoted with the authorised body (including sharing a website, offering joint services or bidding for work together).
Briefly describe the nature of the separate business or businesses and their links to the authorised body, practising certificate holder or manager.
How many legally qualified fee earners (full-time equivalent) currently based in the organisation's offices in England and Wales?
How many fee earners (full-time equivalent) who don't have legal qualifications are currently based in your offices in England and Wales?
(If you are using Internet Explorer 11 or an older version of Internet Explorer, and if either of your answers in this part of the form is “0”, you will be unable to complete the application. We recommend using Chrome or Edge browsers to complete the firm renewal application.)
How many claims were made against the organisation in the last complete indemnity period?
How many claims were paid by the insurer or the organisation in the last complete indemnity period?
Legal Service Board first tier complaints
Did you receive any complaints in the last 12-month period to 31 August 2020?
If you answer 'yes', you will be asked to enter the number of complaints against each of these categories:
- complaints received
- complaints resolved
- referred to Legal Ombudsman.
Tell us about your organisation's turnover arising from work undertaken from offices in England and Wales.
Questions in this section include:
- What was your organisation's total turnover from your last complete accounting period ending before 1 November 2020?
- What is the turnover figure based on?
- Has the organisation's accountant provided written confirmation of the organisation's turnover?
- Does any single client, group of clients or referral source account for more than 20 percent of the organisation's turnover for the last complete accounting period?
- What percentage of organisation's turnover is funded by legal aid?
Areas of work
Please give us a breakdown of the areas of work your organisation carried out as a percentage of its turnover.
Persons in office
This section allows you to update the details of solicitors, registered European lawyers and registered foreign lawyers in your organisation. This includes a question on whether they have identified learning and development needs in the past year. If any of them have been on furlough this year, we have a Q&A on how this impacts their continuing competence.
You can select the 'Summary' link to view a summary of your answers, or you can go straight to the next page.
Fees information, declaration and payment
This is where you will confirm that the information you are providing in your application is correct. The declaration statement must be ticked to proceed.
You will then be shown a breakdown of the fees you will need to pay. How you pay your practising certificate and registration fees is slightly different this year. The fee summary page will show you how the fee is broken down – administration, regulatory and Compensation Fund contribution. There is no change to how you pay your periodic fees.
In most cases we will approve all your practising certificate and registration applications immediately and you will pay all your fees in one go.
However, if we need to further assess any of the practising certificates or registrations in your application, you will only pay your administration fee for now. If we approve the application, you will then pay the regulatory fee and Compensation Fund contribution.
Find out more about practising fees and Compensation Fund contributions.