The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
SRA Admission Regulations 2011Back to version 21
Version 16 of the Handbook was published on 01/04/2016. For more information, please click 'History' Above
SRA Admission Regulations 2011
Introduction to the Admission Regulations
Authority: Made on 17 June 2011 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 28, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974 with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007
Date: These regulations came into force on 6 October 2011
Replacing: The Solicitors' Admission Regulations 2009
Regulating: Those individuals seeking admission to the roll of solicitors in England and Wales
Regulating: appeals from SRA decisions relating to admission as a solicitor.
Outcomes-focused regulation concentrates on providing positive outcomes which when achieved will benefit and protect clients and the public. These regulations set out the outcomes-focused requirements governing the process for admitting people to the roll of solicitors. They also cover appeals against SRA decisions taken under the SRA Training Regulations and the SRA Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme Regulations.
Education and training underpins the regulation of solicitors - it ensures the creation of competent and ethical practitioners. We regulate and set requirements for all stages of pre-qualification training in order to give solicitors the tools they need to adhere to the Principles.
These regulations form part of the Handbook, in which the 10 mandatory Principles are all-pervasive. They apply to all those we regulate and underpin all aspects of practice. Outcomes relevant to education and training are listed beneath the Principles.
- uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
- act with integrity;
- not allow your independence to be compromised;
- act in the best interests of each client;
- provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
- behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
- comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
- protect client money and assets.
you have complied with all relevant training and/or assessment requirements; and
These outcomes, and the regulations that flow from them, apply to all individuals seeking admission to the roll of solicitors in England and Wales - i.e. unadmitted persons, trainee solicitors, and qualified lawyers from another jurisdiction seeking qualification via transfer.
Part 1: Interpretation
Regulation 1: Interpretation and definitions
The SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 shall apply and, unless the context otherwise requires:
all italicised terms shall be defined; and
all terms shall be interpreted;
in accordance with the Glossary.
On any appeal to the High Court under these regulations:
Part 2: Appeals
Regulation 2: Appeals against our decisions on eligibility to commence recognised training
If you are an applicant for assessment of a character and suitability issue under regulation 6 of the SRA Training Regulations - Qualification and Provider Regulations, whose application has been refused under regulation 6.4 of those regulations, you may appeal to the High Court under this regulation against our decision on a review of the application under regulation 17.1 of the SRA Training Regulations - Qualification and Provider Regulations.
If you are seeking to establish eligibility pursuant to Directive 2005/36/EC or the Establishment Directive, you have rights of appeal under regulation 36 of the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 or regulation 35 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 respectively - see regulations 6.3 and 6.4 of the QLTSR.
On an appeal under regulation 2.1 above, the High Court may:
Regulation 3: Appeals against our decisions arising from character and suitability issues
on an application under regulation 17.1 of the SRA Training Regulations Qualification and Provider Regulations for review of a refusal to recognise a period of training or eligibility to commence or continue recognised training;
On any appeal under regulation 3.1 above, the High Court may:
Part 3: Applications for admission
Regulation 4: When you can make an application for admission
Regulation 5: Form and fees
Regulation 6: Our decisions
In any case where we refuse to issue a certificate of satisfaction under regulation 6.1 we shall notify you to this effect stating the grounds for refusal within one month of you complying with all reasonable requirements we make in respect of the application.
If we refuse to issue a certificate of satisfaction for either reason given in regulation 6.1(a) or (b), you may apply to us in writing for a review of the decision within one month of receiving notification of the refusal.
Once the deadline in regulation 6.2 has passed without us issuing a certificate of satisfaction or notifying you of refusal, the application is deemed, for the purpose of any appeal, to have been refused and refusal notified to you on that date.
Where we refuse or fail to issue a certificate of satisfaction under regulation 6.1, except where you have established eligibility under regulation 4 of the QLTR, or regulation 2 of the QLTSR pursuant to Directive 2005/36/EC or the Establishment Directive, and we have upheld that refusal or deemed refusal following a review under regulation 6.3, you may appeal under this regulation to the High Court, which may:
If you have established eligibility pursuant to:
Directive 2005/36/EC, you have the right to appeal to the High Court under regulation 36 of the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007; or
Regulation 7: Admission following issue of certificate of satisfaction
Where a certificate of satisfaction has been issued under regulation 6.1, you shall be admitted as a solicitor within a reasonable period on a day we determine, unless cause to the contrary in writing is shown to our satisfaction.
Regulation 8: Cause for preventing admission following issue of a certificate of satisfaction, and review of such a decision
If, after we issue a certificate of satisfaction but before your admission, cause is shown in writing to our satisfaction that you should not be admitted, we shall not admit you as a solicitor and we shall notify you of our decision in writing.
In such a case, except where you have established eligibility under regulation 4 of the QLTR or regulation 2 of the QLTSR, pursuant to Directive 2005/36/EC or the Establishment Directive, you may appeal under this regulation to the High Court, which may:
If you have been certified eligible pursuant to Directive 2005/36/EC you have the right, within three months of receiving notification of our decision, to appeal to the High Court under regulation 36 of the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 against:
If you have been certified eligible pursuant to the Establishment Directive, you have the right, within three months of receiving notification of our decision, to appeal to the High Court under regulation 35 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 against:
An appeal under regulation 8.3 above must be brought within three months of the applicant receiving notification of our decision on the review.
You may make up to three applications to us to reverse our decision not to admit you as a solicitor, after intervals of not less than twelve months from the final determination as to the initial decision, or from the final determination of your previous application for review, as the case may be.
Within three months of receiving notification from us of our decision on an application to reverse the decision not to admit you as a solicitor, you may appeal under this regulation to the High Court, which may: