The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.

SRA Handbook


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Version 2 of the Handbook was published on 23/12/2011. For more information, please click 'History' Above

Part 1: Interpretation

Regulation 1: Interpretation and definitions


Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions and interpretation provisions as set out within the SRA Glossary shall apply to these regulations.


In these regulations:


includes money, documents, wills, deeds, investments and other property;


means a person called to the bar by one of the Inns of Court and who has completed pupillage and is authorised by the General Council of the Bar to practise as a barrister;


means the person for whom you act and where the context permits, includes prospective and former clients;


means continuing professional development, namely, the training requirement(s) set by us to ensure solicitors and RELs maintain competence;

CPD year

means each year commencing 1 November to 31 October;

comparable jurisdiction



for lawyers qualified through the QLTR, those jurisdictions listed in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Schedule to the QLTR; or


for lawyers qualified through the QLTSR, recognised jurisdictions as defined in the QLTSR;

higher courts

means the Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in England and Wales;

higher courts advocacy qualification

means, subject to regulation 6 of the SRA Higher Rights of Audience Regulations, one of the qualifications referred to in regulation 3 of those regulations to exercise extended rights of audience in the higher courts;


means a Legal Practice Course, namely, a course the satisfactory completion of which is recognised by us as satisfying, in part, the vocational stage of training;


means the activities, in that capacity, of:


a solicitor;


an REL, from an office or offices within the UK;


a member of an Establishment Directive profession registered with the BSB under the Establishment Directive, carried out from an office or offices in England and Wales;


an RFL, from an office or offices in England and Wales as:


an employee of a recognised sole practitioner;


a manager, employee or owner of an authorised body or of an authorised non-SRA firm; or


a manager, employee or owner of a body which is a manager or owner of an authorised body or of an authorised non-SRA firm;


an authorised body;


a manager of an authorised body;


a person employed in England and Wales by an authorised body or recognised sole practitioner;


a lawyer of England and Wales; or


an authorised non-SRA firm;

and "practise" and "practising" should be construed accordingly; save for in:


the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules where "practice" means the whole or such part of the private practice of a firm as is carried on from one or more offices in England and Wales; and


the SRA Indemnity Rules where it means a practice to the extent that:


in relation to a licensed body, it carries on regulated activities; and


in all other cases, it carries on private practice providing professional services as a sole solicitor or REL or as a partnership of a type referred to in Rule 6.1(d) to 6.1(f) and consisting of or including one or more solicitors and/or RELs, and shall include the business or practice carried on by a recognised body in the providing of professional services such as are provided by individuals practising in private practice as solicitors and/or RELs or by such individuals in partnership with RFLs, whether such practice is carried on by the recognised body alone or in partnership with one or more solicitors, RELs and/or other recognised bodies;

previous regulations

means either the Higher Courts Qualification Regulations 1992, the Higher Courts Qualification Regulations 1998, or the Higher Courts Qualification Regulations 2000, or the Solicitors' Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2010;


means the Principles in the SRA Handbook;


means the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulations 1990 and 2009;


means the SRA Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme Regulations 2010 and 2011;

qualified lawyer

means a lawyer whose qualification we have determined:


gives the lawyer rights of audience;


makes the lawyer an officer of the court in that jurisdiction; and


has been awarded as a result of a generalist (non-specialist) legal education and training;


means a person who has been admitted as a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and whose name is on the roll kept by the Society under section 6 of the SA, save that in the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules includes a person who practises as a solicitor whether or not he or she has in force a practising certificate and also includes practice under home title of a former REL who has become a solicitor;


means the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and reference to the SRA as an approved regulator or licensing authority means the SRA carrying out regulatory functions assigned to the Society as an approved regulator or licensing authority;

statement of standards

means the "Statement of standards for solicitor higher court advocates" issued by us;


means the SRA, and "we", "our" and "ourselves" should be construed accordingly;


for the purpose of these regulations means a solicitor or an REL, and references to "your" should be construed accordingly.