SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules


These provisions set out the SRA's arrangements for the authorisation of firms. This includes recognised bodies, licensed bodies and recognised sole practices.

The rules set out our authorisation and application requirements, the effect of authorisation by the SRA on the legal activities such bodies may provide, and how and when we may restrict or limit a firm's authorisation or bring it to an end.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for authorisation, or need to be authorised, please see our guidance.

This introduction does not form part of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules.

Part 1: Eligibility

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Part 2: Determination of authorisation applications, duration and validity

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Part 3: Effect of authorisation and conditions of practice

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General conditions of practice

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Part 4: Approval of role holders

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Part 5: Succession, loss of eligibility and temporary emergency authorisation

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Supplemental notes

Made by the SRA Board on 30 May 2018.

Made under sections 31 of the Solicitors Act 1974, sections 9 and 9A of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, and section 83 of, and Schedule 11 to, the Legal Services Act 2007.

You are reading current version in effect from 1 December 2023



Approval of employment under s41 and s43 of the Solicitors Act 1974 - Guidance

Guidance: To explain how you can apply to us for our written permission to employ someone who has a control order or been suspended from practice.

Legal Disciplinary Practices - Guidance

Guidance: To explain how existing LDPs with non-lawyer managers can remain as recognised bodies or elect to become licensed bodies.

How we make our decision to authorise a firm - Guidance

Decision making: For those applying to us to authorise their business as an SRA regulated recognised sole practice, recognised body or licensed body.

Approval of role holders - Guidance

Decision making: How we approve persons to be managers, owners or compliance officers of firms we regulate.

Sole practitioners and small firms regulatory starter pack - Guidance

Guidance: This starter pack provides help and support to people who are looking to establish their business.

Can my business be authorised? - Guidance

Guidance: If your business needs to be authorised to provide legal services, or you have chosen to be authorised, this checklist provides a summary of the eligibility requirements.

Does my business need to be authorised? - Guidance

Guidance: This checklist will help you determine if your business requires authorisation.

Does your interest in a licensed body require approval? - Guidance

Guidance: An overview of our approach in determining whether a particular role or interest a person has in licensed body requires approval.

Firm authorisation - Guidance

Guidance: If you wish to set up a business providing legal services, understand whether the business needs to be authorised by us and how this is done.

Multi-disciplinary practices: Regulation of non-reserved legal activity - Guidance

Guidance: To help you understand how we will regulate reserved and non- reserved legal activity in an MDP.

Responsibilities of COLPs and COFAs - Guidance

Guidance: To assist COLPs and COFAs in understanding their duties and responsibilities.

Does my employer need to be authorised by an approved regulator? - Guidance

Guidance: A flow chart to assist solicitors, registered European lawyers and registered foreign lawyers in deciding whether their employer needs to be authorised under the Legal Services Act.

Bringing criminal proceedings - Guidance

Decision making: Understand how and when we may bring criminal proceedings against those we regulate.