Conditions on practising certificates and registration
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 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 cannot be removed during the life of the practising certificate or registration on which it is imposed.
A condition will be reconsidered on your next annual application for practising certificate 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 practice 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 (Principle 7). If you fail to comply, we may take further regulatory action.
You may be able to appeal our decision.
Each time you apply to renew your practising certificate or 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 practising certificate or registration is in force.
You may invoke our internal appeals 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 appeal must state clearly the reasons for your disagreement with our decision.
An appeal 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.
If your practising certificate or registration is subject to conditions when you apply to renew, we must decide whether to
- leave the conditions unchanged,
- impose further or different conditions,
- refuse your application, or
- grant you a new practising certificate 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.