Approval of role holders

Back to
You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019



Approval of role holders

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

Glossary terms


means the Solicitors Regulation Authority


includes a body of persons (corporate or unincorporated)


means compliance officer for legal practice and in relation to a licensable body is a reference to its HOLP


means a compliance officer for finance and administration and in relation to a licensable body is a reference to its HOFA



  1. the sole principal in a recognised sole practice;
  2. a member of a LLP;
  3. a director of a company;
  4. a partner in a partnership; or
  5. in relation to any other body, a member of its governing body

means, in relation to a body, a person with any interest in the body, save that:

  1. in the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules, and the SRA Authorisation of Individuals Regulations, owner means any person who holds a material interest in an authorised body, and in the case of a partnership, any partner regardless of whether they hold a material interest in the partnership; and
  2. for the purposes of the SRA Principles and the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms means a person who holds a material interest in the body; and
  3. for the purposes of the SRA Assessment of Character and Suitability Rules includes owners who have no active role in the running of the business as well as owners who do,

and "own" and "owned" shall be construed accordingly

authorised body


  1. a body that has been authorised by the SRA to practise as a licensed body or a recognised body; or
  2. a sole practitioner's practice that has been authorised by the SRA as a recognised sole practice

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, save that in the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules and the MTC this includes a person who practises as a solicitor whether or not the person has in force a practising certificate, and also includes practice under home title of a former REL who has become a solicitor



means a European lawyer registered in the register of European lawyers


means a foreign lawyer registered in the register of foreign lawyers

approved regulator

means any body listed as an approved regulator in paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 to the LSA or designated as an approved regulator by an order under paragraph 17 of that Schedule


means the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal which is an independent statutory tribunal constituted under section 46 of the SA


means prescribed by the SRA from time to time

compliance officer

is a reference to a body's COLP or its COFA


means a member of one of the following professions, entitled to practise as such:

  1. the profession of solicitor, barrister or advocate of the UK;
  2. an authorised person other than one authorised by the SRA;
  3. an Establishment Directive profession other than a UK profession; and
  4. any other regulated legal profession specified by the SRA for the purpose of this definition
material interest

has the meaning given to it in Schedule 13 to the LSA

licensed body

means a body licensed by the SRA under section 71(2) of the LSA in accordance with the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules


means the Legal Services Act 2007

authorised non-SRA firm

means a firm which is authorised to carry on legal activities as defined in section 12 of the LSA by an approved regulator other than the SRA


means a director of a company; and in relation to a societas Europaea includes:

  1. in a two-tier system, a member of the management organ and a member of the supervisory organ; and
  2. in a one-tier system, a member of the administrative organ

means a company incorporated in a state to which the Establishment of Lawyers Directive 98/5/EC applies and registered under the Companies Acts or a societas Europaea