Existing firm applications
25 November 2019
Tell us that your firm is closing or being acquired
What is this application for?
You need to tell us if your authorised body:
- is closing or ceasing to practise
- is ceasing because of an acquisition or merger with another authorised body, or
- no longer requires SRA authorisation
When we say "closure" we mean all of the above scenarios.
Corporate managers or owners that no longer need our authorisation must send us a separate notification form.
Information you need
First, you should read our guidance 'Closing down your practice'.
If your authorised body has practised, we will ask you to tell us how you will protect the interests of your clients and others. This includes:
- in an acquisition or merger, the SRA number of each of the authorised bodies which have taken over your practice and a manager who we can contact to confirm this,
- the date the authorised body has or will stop holding or receiving client money,
- plans to distribute current client files,
- details of residual balances and outstanding undertakings,
- the number of closed client files, wills and deeds and storage details,
- the SRA number for any other authorised body where files will be stored, and
- the name, SRA number and contact details of a manager who former clients or third parties can contact in relation to files
Individuals need to make sure their practising and contact details are up to date in mySRA. See mySRA User Guides for guidance on updating personal and professional details.
We will close your authorised body's record from the date you tell us. This will include ending the posts and roles of the individuals associated with the closing authorised body.
More help and guidance
Depending on the reason, closing down your practice can be very stressful and there is a lot to think about. Closing down your practice lists details of organisations and support schemes.
If your reasons for closing down are financial, or you are facing the possibility of being struck off or suspended, your local law society may be able to connect you with firms interested in a merger or buying your practice.
Professional Ethics can give you advice and guidance on your responsibilities when closing your authorised body, you can contact us.
If you have questions about completing the form, you can contact us.
How to tell us
You will need to tell us by completing the Firm Closure notification
The form is an editable PDF and must be completed electronically. You must save a copy of the form to your computer before you start to fill it in. These forms are not compatible with Mac computers.
If your partnership will still exist at law or your company/LLP will still be registered at companies house once you have ceased to practise, you should apply for revocation of your authorisation. Do this on the Firm Closure Notification form.
When to tell us
You must tell us promptly if you intend to, or become aware that you will, cease operating as a legal business.
What to do when you are acquiring another authorised body
We do not need to approve an acquisition. But you may need to make applications or tell us about the changes to your authorised body.
This checklist is a step-by-step guide to complying with your regulatory requirements when you acquire or merge with other SRA-authorised firms. You do not need to submit it to us.
Send your completed notification to the email address on the form.
There is no fee for this notification.
What you can expect from us
We deal with 95 per cent of complete notifications within 30 days of receiving them.
We close your authorised body's record from the date you tell us to.
We then consider your application to revoke your authorisation.