Conditions on practising certificates and registration

Updated 25 November 2019


If you are a solicitor, registered European lawyer (REL) or registered foreign lawyer (RFL), under certain circumstances, we can regulate the way you work by placing conditions on your practising certificate (PC) or registration. Some conditions restrict your ability to practise, and others outline steps you must follow.

We take into account the impact of any conditions we impose on the way you practise. Our primary concern is to protect the interests of the public.

How long conditions remain in place

A condition is generally imposed for the duration of the PC or registration. We can vary or revoke this during the PC or registration year.

When you apply for replacement of your PC or renewal of your registration, and you already have a condition imposed, we will reconsider if it needs to remain on your PC or registration. It is not uncommon for conditions to be re-imposed for two or three years, possibly longer. Our decision will depend on the particular circumstances and whether we consider conditions remain necessary in the public interest. We may also impose new conditions – even part way through the practising year.

A decision to impose a condition may be published.

What conditions mean to you

You have a duty to comply with any conditions we impose. If you fail to comply, we may take further regulatory action.

You may be able to appeal our decision.

Each time you apply to replace your PC or renew registration, we will review your position. We may decide to relax, lift or leave in place any conditions.

Decisions to impose conditions may be published. You can view our published regulatory and disciplinary outcomes and read our policy on publication of regulatory and disciplinary outcomes.

Appealing a decision to impose conditions

You can appeal a decision to impose conditions while your PC or registration is in force. You may invoke our internal review procedure before exercising your right of appeal to the High Court. The appeal period is 28 days from the date of the decision or such other time as the decision may specify. Your request for review must state clearly the reasons for your disagreement with our decision.

A request for review to us can have the following outcomes:

  • We may vary the first instance decision.
  • The decision on appeal might improve or worsen the outcome from your point of view.

Replacement and renewal

If your PC or registration is subject to conditions when you apply to replace or renew it, we must decide whether to:

  • leave the conditions unchanged
  • impose further or different conditions
  • refuse your application, or
  • grant you a new PC or registration free of conditions.

When making this decision, we review your position to see if the conditions can be amended to widen the scope within which you may practise.