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 25 November 2019



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

This guidance sets out how you can apply to us for written permission, and how we will decide on your application.

Legal Disciplinary Practices

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

How we make decisions and the criteria we apply

We are the regulator of legal services delivered by solicitors, law firms, and individuals working and holding roles within those firms in England and Wales. We use our regulatory powers to protect consumers of legal services and support the operation of the rule of law and the proper administration of justice.

Approval of role holders

This guidance is about how we approve persons to be managers, owners or compliance officers of firms we regulate.

Sole practitioners and small firms regulatory starter pack

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

Can my business be authorised?

Where your business must be authorised, or you have chosen to be authorised, this checklist sets out a summary of the eligibility requirements.

Does my business need to be authorised?

This checklist is to help you determine if your business requires authorisation.

Does your interest in an ABS require SRA approval?

An overview of the approach which the SRA will adopt in determining whether or not a particular role or interest which a person has in an ABS law firm requires notification to the SRA.

Firm authorisation

Solicitors intending to provide legal services to the public or a section of the public.

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

To help you understand how the SRA will regulate reserved and non-reserved legal activity in an MDP.

Responsibilities of COLPs and COFAs

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

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

This flow chart and the accompanying notes are intended to assist solicitors, registered European lawyers and registered foreign lawyers in deciding whether their employer needs to be authorised under the LSA.

Bringing criminal proceedings

This guidance is to help you understand how and when we may bring criminal proceedings