Population of solicitors in England and Wales

The SRA regulates solicitors and their firms, as well as other lawyers and non-lawyer managers working in law firms across England and Wales. We also regulate those working as registered European lawyers or registered foreign lawyers. Our purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that solicitors meet high standards, and by acting when risks are identified.

The chart below shows the trend in the number of practising solicitors (those holding practising certificates) in England and Wales. There are currently 149,005 practising solicitors.

Each year we carry out a practising certificate bulk termination exercise where we terminate those practising certificates which have not been renewed. The results of this exercise can be seen by the falls in the numbers of solicitors holding practising certificates on the chart above in December 2009, January 2011, August 2012, March 2013, February 2014, December 2014, December 2015, December 2016, December 2017 and December 2018.

We also carry out a keeping of the roll exercise. The results of this exercise can be seen by a fall in the number of all solicitors on the roll in November 2012, August 2013 and July 2014.

Snapshot of solicitors

As well as practising solicitors, we also regulate registered European lawyers, registered foreign lawyers, and exempt European lawyers and the current numbers of these three groups can be seen in the table below.

The total number of solicitors on the roll at the end of November 2019 was 199,503.

Date range               All solicitors on the roll Practising solicitors* Registered European lawyers Registered foreign lawyers

Exempt European lawyers

November 2019

199503 149005 769 2688 3576

October 2019

199181 150349 761 2685 3564

September 2019

198692 149806 741 2662 3548

August 2019

196324 147403 733 2638 3522

July 2019

195952 146913 731 2602 3500

June 2019

195660 146418 728 2568 3489

May 2019

195334 146046 732 2544 3469

April 2019

194969 145547 722 2515 3432

March 2019

194464 144845 715 2439 3400

February 2019

193451 143683 690 2390 3385

January 2019

193162 143187 679 2369 3305

December 2018

192866 143198 667 2364 3222

November 2018

192516 145999 694 2493 3217

October 2018

192121 146625 689 2491 3203

September 2018

191621 146050 699 2470 3191

August 2018

189236 143652 693 2449 3174

July 2018

188880 143184 677 2406 3164

June 2018

188557 142665 668 2396 3147

May 2018

188274 142286 661 2383 3120

April 2018

187961 141811 649 2348 3097

March 2018

187469 141121 647 2331 3052

February 2018

186560 140064 642 2315 3004

January 2018

186269 139579 635 2278 2996

December 2017

185900 139797 633 2258 2978

November 2017

185596 142359 673 2420 2968

October 2017

185240 143072 676 2407 2938

September 2017

184736 142515 676 2398 2923

August 2017

182324 140083 667 2389 2920

July 2017

181982 139638 661 2364 2919

June 2017

181619 139084 654 2350 2907

May 2017

181347 138758 651 2327 2892

April 2017

181000 138280 649 2308 2918

March 2017

180559 137623 650 2294 2899

February 2017

179647 136596 640 2234 2834

January 2017

179317 136068 630 2215 2816

December 2016

178972 135309 602 2194 2849

November 2016

178682 138063 612 2325 2832

October 2016

178340 139313 627 2337 2827

September 2016

177785 138905 619 2320 2830

August 2016

175582 136701 611 2309 2825

July 2016

175181 136211 599 2289 2805

June 2016

174732 135598 593 2279 2784

May 2016

174416 135221 581 2243 2776

April 2016

174095 134785 567 2211 2743

March 2016

173636 134099 551 2193 2721

February 2016

172788 133224 531 2166 2718

January 2016

172380 132635 522 2147 2713

December 2015

172033 132245 504 2166 2718

November 2015

171760 136940 531 2310 2694

October 2015

171464 136294 515 2296 2695

September 2015

170857 135976 510 2281 2682

August 2015

168663 133837 496 2266 2674

July 2015

168231 133364 482 2249 2666

June 2015

167866 132864 476 2230 2651

May 2015

167503 132520 467 2201 2616

April 2015

167147 132087 455 2175 2590

March 2015

166737 131518 431 2138 2577

February 2015

165754 130443 427 2122 2567

January 2015

165368 129922 420 2069 2567

December 2014

164951 129246 401 2027 2568

November 2014

164598 132636 439 2115 2540

October 2014

164133 133327 445 2132 2539

September 2014

163336 132975 443 2131 2531

August 2014

161091 130846 424 2102 2527

July 2014

160546 130419 412 2082 2527

June 2014

166423 129552 414 2071 2513

May 2014

166119 129552 408 2044 2495

April 2014

165781 129083 392 2021 2471

March 2014

165242 128425 383 2003 2464

February 2014

164365 127423 374 1994 2452

January 2014

163898 130612 405 2140 2433

December 2013

163514 131134 397 2130 2420

November 2013

163015 130812 384 2106 2414

October 2013

162367 130643 383 2095 2340

September 2013

161323 129794 380 2076 2343

August 2013

158872 127874 375 1914 2342

July 2013

167790 127575 376 1898 2338

June 2013

167457 127068 370 1889 2308

May 2013

167146 126624 364 1870 2301

April 2013

166522 126064 354 1851 2269

March 2013

165956 125192 371 1825 2239

February 2013

164998 128169 409 2018 2226

January 2013

164793 128379 401 2000 2174

December 2012

164181 128419 393 1978 2078

November 2012

163031 127890 388 1967 2077

October 2012

169338 127353 384 1955 2077

September 2012

168713 127109 368 1929 2047

August 2012

166385 124968 367 1744 2046

July 2012

166007 128710 385 1852 2042

June 2012

165748 128860 366 1835 2023

May 2012

165519 128569 360 1812 2025

April 2012

165227 128240 343 1784 2018

March 2012

164841 127884 338 1780 2016

February 2012

163978 126858 328 1768 2001

January 2012

163229 126008 327 1765 1997

December 2011

163259 125718 317 1742 1996

November 2011

163108 125473 304 1728 1997

October 2011

162818 125011 305 1722 1994

September 2011

161815 124306 300 1707 1989

August 2011

159798 122343 294 1680 1966