The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect.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

SRA Handbook

Sole practitioners

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Version 9 of the Handbook was published on 01/04/2014. For more information, please click 'History' Above

Rule 10: Sole practitioners


If you are a solicitor or REL you must not practise as a sole practitioner unless:


the SRA has first authorised you as a recognised sole practitioner by endorsing your practising certificate or certificate of registration to that effect;


your practice falls within 10.2 below and you are therefore exempt from the obligation to be a recognised sole practitioner; or


you are authorised to practise as a sole practitioner by an approved regulator other than the SRA.


For the purpose of 10.1(b) above you are exempt from the obligation to be a recognised sole practitioner if:


your practice is conducted entirely from an office or offices outside England and Wales;


your practice consists entirely of work as a temporary or permanent employee and any firm which employs you takes full responsibility for you as an employee; or


your practice consists entirely of:


providing professional services without remuneration for friends, relatives, companies wholly owned by you or your family, or registered charities; and/or


administering oaths and statutory declarations; and/or


activities which could constitute practice but are done in the course of discharging the functions of any of the offices or appointments listed in paragraph (i)(E) of the definition of private practice.

Guidance note


Until 31 March 2012 or the date on which an order made pursuant to section 69 of the LSA relating to the status of sole practitioners comes into force, whichever is the later, see regulation 4 of the SRA Practising Regulations. After that, see the SRA Authorisation Rules.