When do I need a practising certificate?

When do I need a practising certificate?


This guidance is to help you understand your obligations and how to comply with them. We will have regard to it when exercising our regulatory functions.

Who is this guidance for?

All solicitors on the roll who want to know when they need to have a practising certificate. This guidance may also be helpful for SRA authorised bodies, Non-SRA authorised bodies and all employers of solicitors including those that are not authorised by an approved regulator under the Legal Services Act 2007.

Purpose of this guidance

To help you to understand the circumstances in which you must have a practising certificate.

Are you carrying on any reserved legal activities as defined in section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007 or supervising an unqualified person carrying on such activities?

Reserved legal activities are the following activities which are set out in section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007 and Schedule 2 to that Act:

  1. the exercise of a right of audience before certain (higher) courts
  2. the conduct of litigation (which can be described as the taking of formal steps in proceedings, such as issuing a claim or filing documents or forms)
  3. reserved instrument activities (which covers certain conveyancing transactions - for example preparing and lodging transfers or charges with the Land Registry - and preparing instruments relating to court proceedings, such as pleadings)
  4. probate activities, namely preparing papers on which to seek or challenge grant of probate or letters of administration
  5. notarial activities (for which you are authorised by the Master of the Faculties)
  6. the administration of oaths.


Further help

If you require further assistance, please contact the Professional Ethics helpline.