Change tracker – Code of Conduct

2007-07-01

Solicitors'SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 20072009

 

The SRA Recognised Bodies Regulation 2009 has been replaced on the 6 October 2011 by the SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 2011 as part of the introduction of outcomes-focused regulation.

Go to SRA Handbook

The SRA Recognised Bodies Regulation were amended on 1 October 2010 by the Solicitors' Code of Conduct and SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations (Miscellaneous) Amendment Rules 2010 to reflect various legislative changes.

The SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations were amended on 14 July 2010 as part of the implementation of the fairer fee structure.

The Solicitors' Recognised Bodies Regulations 2007 were amended on 1 July 2009 by the SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 2009 as part of a general updating of the rules to introduce firm-based regulation and legal disciplinary practices as provided for in the Legal Services Act 2007.

The Solicitors' Recognised Bodies Regulations 2007 were replaced on 31 March 2009 by the SRA Recognised Bodies Regulations 2009 as part of a general updating of the rules to introduce firm-based regulation and legal disciplinary practices as provided for in the Legal Services Act 2007.

 

Introduction

Rules dated 10 March 2007 commencing 1 July 2007 made with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls under section 9(2) of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, making provision as to the form and manner of applications relating to recognition of a recognised body, and as to the list of recognised bodies, the duration of recognition and revocation of recognition.

Regulation 1 – Applications for recognition and for renewal of recognition

  • 1.1

    Applications for initial recognition and for renewal of recognition must be made on the prescribed form, and accompanied by the prescribed fee and such information and documentation as the Solicitors Regulation Authority may require.

  • 1.2

    A recognised body wishing to continue in practice after the renewal date must send its application for renewal of recognition so as to be received by the Solicitors Regulation Authority on or before the renewal date.

  • 1.3

    A recognised body not wishing to renew its recognition must notify the Solicitors Regulation Authority on or before the renewal date that it does not seek renewal of recognition.

Regulation 2 – Discretion to grant or refuse applications

  • 2.1

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority may grant an application for initial recognition or renewal of recognition, if satisfied that the applicant body corporate:

    • (a)

      is registered under the Companies Act 1985 or the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 either in England and Wales or in Scotland, or registered outside England, Wales and Scotland as a societas Europaea;

    • (b)

      complies with rule 14 (Incorporated practice) of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct in relation to its internal structure, direction and ownership;

    • (c)

      has a name that complies with rule 7 (Publicity)of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct; and

    • (d)

      complies with or is exempt from the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules as to qualifying insurance and top-up insurance.

  • 2.2

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority may refuse an application for initial recognition or renewal of recognition if:

    • (a)

      the Authority is satisfied that a director, member or shareowner is not a suitable person to be engaged in the direction or ownership of a recognised body, by reason of that person's character, conduct or associations; or

    • (b)

      for any other reason the Authority thinks it proper in the public interest not to recognise the body.

Regulation 3 – Appeals

  • 3.1

    If the Solicitors Regulation Authority refuses an application for initial recognition or renewal of recognition, the applicant is entitled to receive notice in writing of the grounds for refusal, and may appeal to the Master of the Rolls under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985.

  • 3.2

    If the Solicitors Regulation Authority neither grants nor refuses recognition within three months of the date an application was received, the applicant may appeal to the Master of the Rolls under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 as if the application had been refused.

Regulation 4 – Duration of recognition and renewal date

  • 4.1

    Recognition lasts for three years and continues in force until it is revoked.

  • 4.2

    Renewal of recognition commences on the day following the renewal date.

  • 4.3

    The renewal date following initial recognition is the last day of the last calendar month of the three-year period; and thereafter, the day before the end of each subsequent three-year period of recognition.

Regulation 5 – The list of recognised bodies

  • 5.1

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority shall keep a list of recognised bodies.

  • 5.2

    The list of recognised bodies may be kept in electronic form and must contain, for each recognised body:

    • (a)

      the recognised body's name;

    • (b)

      the recognised body's registered office;

    • (c)

      all the recognised body's practising addresses; and

    • (d)

      whether it is a company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee, an unlimited company, an oversea company registered in England and Wales, an oversea company registered in Scotland, a societas Europaea, or an LLP .

  • 5.3

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority must make a copy of any entry in the list available for inspection on request by any member of the public.

Regulation 6 – Certificates of recognition

  • 6.1

    Once a body is granted initial recognition or its recognition is renewed, the Solicitors Regulation Authority shall issue a certificate of recognition.

  • 6.2

    Each certificate of recognition shall state, in respect of the recognised body:

    • (a)

      its name;

    • (b)

      its registered office (or its principal practising address in England and Wales, if it is a company or LLP incorporated in Scotland, an oversea company, or a societas Europaea registered outside England and Wales);

    • (c)

      whether it is a company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee, an unlimited company, an oversea company registered in England and Wales, an oversea company registered in Scotland, a societas Europaea, or an LLP ;

    • (d)

      that it is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as suitable to provide legal services;

    • (e)

      the date from which recognition is granted or renewed; and

    • (f)

      the next renewal date.

Regulation 7 – Revocation of recognition

  • 7.1

    Recognition may be revoked at any time, if:

    • (a)

      the Solicitors Regulation Authority is satisfied that recognition was granted as a result of error or fraud; or

    • (b)

      the Authority is satisfied that the body would not be eligible to be recognised if it were at that time applying for initial recognition.

Regulation 8 – Expiry of recognition

  • 8.1

    Recognition will automatically expire if a recognised body ceases to be registered, either:

    • (a)

      under Part I of the Companies Act 1985 as an unlimited company, a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee;

    • (b)

      under section 690A or 691 of the Companies Act 1985 as an oversea company incorporated in an Establishment Directive state;

    • (c)

      under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 as an LLP ; or

    • (d)

      as a societas Europaea.

  • 8.2

    Recognition will automatically expire if a winding-up order or administration order is granted under Part II of the Insolvency Act 1986, or a resolution is passed for voluntary winding-up, or an administrative receiver is appointed, in respect of a recognised body.

  • 8.3

    Recognition will expire if:

    • (a)

      the renewal date stated on the last certificate of recognition has passed;

    • (b)

      the Solicitors Regulation Authority has not received an application for renewal of recognition and all required fees, information and documentation; and

    • (c)

      the Solicitors Regulation Authority has decided that recognition will not be renewed.

Regulation 9 – Interpretation

  • 9.1

    All terms in these regulations are to be interpreted in accordance with rule 24 (Interpretation) of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

Regulation 10 – Waivers

  • 10.1

    In any particular case or cases the Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority shall have power to waive in writing the provisions of these regulations for a particular purpose or purposes expressed in such waiver, and to revoke such waiver.

Rules dated 31 March 2009 and commencing 31 March 2009, made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and sections 9 and 9A of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor under paragraph 16 of Schedule 22 to the Legal Services Act 2007, making provision as to:

  • the procedures for, and the circumstances in which, bodies may be recognised by the SRA as suitable to undertake the provision of legal services, the duration of recognition and the circumstances in which recognition will expire or may be revoked;
  • the procedures for, and the circumstances in which, individuals who are not legally qualified may be approved by the SRA as suitable to be managers of recognised bodies, and the circumstances in which such approval may be withdrawn;
  • the form and manner of applications relating to the recognition of a body, the approval of an individual, and other applications under rules applying to recognised bodies, their managers and employees, and the fees to accompany such applications;
  • the circumstances in which a body's recognition may be made subject to a condition;
  • appeals relating to recognition of a body, conditions on recognition, or approval of an individual;
  • the names used by recognised bodies; and
  • the register of recognised bodies.

PART 1 – APPLICATIONS, CONDITIONS AND APPEALS

Regulation 1 – Form, timing and fees for applications

  • 1.1

    Applications under these regulations, or under any other rule which applies to a recognised body, its manager or employee, must comprise:

    • (a)

      the prescribed form, correctly completed;

    • (b)

      the fee or fees for the application, as determined from time to time by the SRA Board;

    • (c)

      if the application is for recognition or for renewal of recognition, any prescribed contribution to the Solicitors' Compensation Fund;

    • (d)

      such additional information, documents and references as may be specified by the SRA; and

    • (e)

      any additional information and documentation which the SRA may reasonably require.

    It is not necessary to submit all documents, information and payments simultaneously, but an application will only have been made once the SRA has received all of the documentation, information and payments comprising that application.

  • 1.2

    An application for renewal of recognition must be sent to the SRA so as to arrive on or before the renewal date.

  • 1.3

    A recognised body must notify the SRA on or before the renewal date if it does not intend to apply for renewal of recognition.

  • 1.4

    The SRA shall determine the amount of any fees required under these regulations and the SRA’s decision shall be final.

  • 1.5

    The SRA may prescribe from time to time a fee moderation process under which a recognised body may make an application for the fee for renewal of recognition to be varied. A decision under this process shall be final.

Regulation 2 – Initial recognition and renewal of recognition

  • 2.1

    The SRA may grant an application for initial recognition or renewal of recognition, if it is satisfied that the applicant body is a partnership, LLP or company which meets the conditions in (a) to (d) below:

    • (a)

      the body complies with rule 14 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct in relation to:

      • (i)

        its formation as a body corporate or partnership;

      • (ii)

        its composition and structure, including any necessary approval of a participant under Regulation 3; and

      • (iii)

        its practising address (and if appropriate, its registered office) in England and Wales;

    • (b)

      the body complies with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules;

    • (c)

      the body complies with (or has a waiver of) rule 5.02 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct; and

    • (d)

      if the body is a partnership, it has adopted a name under which it is to be registered, and which complies with rule 7 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

  • 2.2

    The SRA may refuse an application for initial recognition if:

    • (a)

      the SRA is not satisfied that a manager or a person with an interest in the body is a suitable person to be engaged in the management or ownership of a recognised body, taking into account that person's history, character, conduct or associations;

    • (b)

      the SRA is not satisfied that the body's managers or owners are suitable, as a group, to operate or control a business providing regulated legal services; or

    • (c)

      for any other reason the SRA reasonably considers that it would be against the public interest to grant recognition.

  • 2.3

    In reaching a decision under 2.2 the SRA may take into account:

    • (a)

      any event listed in regulation 3.1 of the SRA Practising Regulations applying to a manager of the applicant body;

    • (b)

      any other conduct on the part of a manager of the applicant body which calls into question his or her honesty, integrity or respect for law;

    • (c)

      failure or refusal to disclose, or attempts to conceal, any matter within (a) or (b) above in relation to the application;

    • (d)

      that the SRA is not satisfied that the managers of the applicant body, taken together, have sufficient skills and knowledge to run and manage a business which provides regulated legal services,

    and any other facts which the SRA reasonably considers should be taken into account.

  • 2.4

    An application for initial recognition of a body which will not comply with 2.1(c) will be treated as including an application for a waiver of rule 5.02 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

  • 2.5

    If, when considering an application for renewal of recognition, the SRA:

    • (a)

      is not satisfied that the body's managers, taken together, are suitable to run and manage a business providing regulated legal services; or

    • (b)

      considers that for any other reason it would not be in the public interest to renew the body's recognition,

    the SRA may defer renewal of recognition pending a decision whether the body's recognition should be revoked under regulation 9.

  • 2.6

    A grant of initial recognition takes effect from the date of the decision unless otherwise stated.

  • 2.7
    • (a)

      When granting an application for recognition or for renewal of recognition the SRA may impose a condition in accordance with regulation 4.

    • (b)

      The granting of recognition free of conditions under regulation 2 does not prevent the SRA subsequently imposing a condition under regulation 4.

Regulation 2A – Fee determinations for acquisitions, mergers and splits

The turnover of a recognised body for the purpose of determining the fee for renewal of recognition is based on a historic turnover figure submitted to the SRA. Where in the 12 months following the submission of that figure a recognised body merges or splits, a notice of succession identifying all recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners affected by the merger or split and any resulting apportionment of the historic turnover figures for those firms will enable the SRA to ensure that the turnover figure on which the fee is based reflects the impact of the merger or split.

  • 2A.1

    A recognised body which has succeeded to the whole or a part of one or more recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners must within 28 days of the change taking place deliver to the SRA a notice of succession in the prescribed form.

  • 2A.2

    For the purposes of regulation 2A.1, "succeeded" includes any taking over of the whole or any part of a recognised body or recognised sole practitioner, for value or otherwise.

  • 2A.3

    A recognised body which:

    • (a)

      has split or ceded part of the practice to a recognised body or recognised sole practitioner; and

    • (b)

      wishes this change to be considered by the SRA when determining the recognised body’s next fee for renewal of recognition

    must within 28 days of the change taking place deliver to the SRA a notice of succession in the prescribed form.

  • 2A.4

    A notice of succession delivered under these regulations must;

    • (a)

      identify all recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners affected by the succession; and

    • (b)

      provide details of any resulting apportionment of the turnover figures for those recognised bodies and recognised sole practitioners.

  • 2A.5

    A recognised body delivering a notice of succession under these regulations must seek the agreement of all affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners to the contents of the notice of succession.

  • 2A.6

    Where a notice of succession is delivered to the SRA which has not been agreed by all affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners, the recognised body delivering the notice of succession shall be treated as having made an application for the SRA to apportion the turnover figures of the affected recognised bodies or recognised sole practitioners for the purposes of determining the fee for renewal of recognition.

  • 2A.7

    Before apportioning the turnover figures under regulation 2A.6, the SRA will contact any affected recognised body or recognised sole practitioner identified in the notice of succession who has not agreed with the notice of succession and may require the production of additional information.

Regulation 3 – Approval of an individual as suitable to be a manager

  • 3.1

    An individual who is not a lawyer of England and Wales, an REL, an RFL or an exempt European lawyer must be approved by the SRA under this regulation in order to be:

    • (a)

      a manager or owner of a recognised body; or

    • (b)

      a manager of a body corporate which is a manager of a recognised body.

  • 3.2

    The following are not eligible for approval under this regulation:

    • (a)

      a member (practising or non-practising) of any profession coming within the meaning of lawyer of England and Wales (including a solicitor);

    • (b)

      an REL;

    • (c)

      an RFL;

    • (d)

      an exempt European lawyer; and

    • (e)

      a member (practising or non-practising) of any profession eligible for approval by the SRA under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

    except that an individual who is not a solicitor or a practising member of any profession of lawyers, but is a non-practising barrister or a non-practising member of another profession of lawyers, and who is prevented by his or her professional rules or training regulations from changing status so as to able to practise through the recognised body as a practising lawyer, may apply for approval under this regulation.

  • 3.3

    The SRA has a discretion to reject an application under regulation 3 if it is not satisfied that the individual concerned is suitable to be involved in the provision of legal services, and to exercise influence over the conduct of the recognised body concerned because:

    • (a)

      the applicant, the individual concerned or any recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm in which that individual has previously been a manager or employee, has been:

      • (i)

        reprimanded, made the subject of disciplinary sanction or ordered to pay costs by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, or struck off or suspended by the Court;

      • (ii)

        rebuked or fined by the SRA under section 44D of the Solicitors Act 1974 or paragraph 14B of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985;

      • (iii)

        intervened in by the SRA (or previously by the Law Society);

      • (iv)

        notified in writing by the SRA (or previously by the Law Society) that it does not regard as satisfactory an explanation given at the SRA's (or the Society's) request; or

      • (v)

        made the subject of disciplinary sanction by, or refused registration with or authorisation by, another approved regulator, professional or regulatory tribunal, or regulatory authority, whether in England and Wales or elsewhere,

      in respect of a matter involving the individual concerned;

    • (b)

      the individual concerned:

      • (i)

        has been committed to prison in civil or criminal proceedings;

      • (ii)

        has been disqualified from being a company director;

      • (iii)

        has been removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity by an order within the terms of section 72(1)(d) of the Charities Act 1993;

      • (iv)

        is an undischarged bankrupt;

      • (v)

        has been adjudged bankrupt and discharged;

      • (vi)

        has entered into an individual voluntary arrangement or a partnership voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

      • (vii)

        has been a manager of a recognised body which has entered into a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

      • (viii)

        has been a director of a company or a member of an LLP which has been the subject of a winding up order, an administration order or administrative receivership; or has entered into a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986; or has been otherwise wound up or put into administration in circumstances of insolvency;

      • (ix)

        lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) and powers under sections 15 to 20 or section 48 of that Act are exercisable in relation to that individual;

      • (x)

        is the subject of outstanding judgments involving the payment of money;

      • (xi)

        is currently charged with an indictable offence, or has been convicted of an indictable offence or any offence under the Solicitors Act 1974, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or the Compensation Act 2006;

      • (xii)

        has been the subject of an order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974;

      • (xiii)

        has been the subject of an equivalent circumstance in another jurisdiction to those listed in (i) to (xi); or

      • (xiv)

        has been involved in other conduct which calls into question his or her honesty, integrity or respect for law;

    • (c)

      the applicant or the individual concerned fails to disclose, refuses to disclose or seeks to conceal any matter within (a) or (b) above in relation to the application.

  • 3.4
    • (a)

      The application for approval must be made by the recognised body or prospective recognised body concerned and may be made:

      • (i)

        when applying for initial recognition; or

      • (ii)

        at any time after recognition has been granted.

    • (b)

      It is for the applicant body to demonstrate that the individual concerned meets the criteria for approval.

    • (c)

      The applicant body must:

      • (i)

        co-operate, and secure the co-operation of the individual concerned, to assist the SRA to obtain all information and documentation the SRA requires in order to determine the application;

      • (ii)

        obtain all other information and documentation in relation to that individual which the prescribed form requires the body to obtain and keep; and

      • (iii)

        keep all information and documentation under (ii) above for a period of not less than 6 years after the individual concerned has ceased to be a manager of the body.

    • (d)

      The individual concerned must confirm in writing on the face of the application that the information supplied about him or her is correct and complete.

  • 3.5
    • (a)

      Approval takes effect from the date of the decision unless otherwise stated.

    • (b)

      The SRA's decision to approve or refuse approval must be notified in writing to the applicant body and, separately, to the individual concerned.

    • (c)

      If the applicant body is a recognised body it must not allow the individual concerned to become a manager until it has received written notice that the individual has been approved.

    • (d)

      Approval continues until:

      • (i)

        it is withdrawn; or

      • (ii)

        two years have elapsed during which the individual has not been a manager of a recognised body.

  • 3.6

    The SRA may at any time require the production of information or documentation from:

    • (a)

      an approved individual;

    • (b)

      a recognised body in which an approved individual is a manager; or

    • (c)

      the body which originally obtained approval for that individual and holds information and documentation under 3.4(c)(iii) above;

    in order to satisfy the SRA that the individual met the criteria for approval or continues to meet the criteria for approval.

  • 3.7
    • (a)

      The SRA may decide to withdraw approval if it is not satisfied that an approved individual met the criteria for approval or continues to meet the criteria for approval or if information or documentation is not promptly supplied in response to a request made under regulation 3.6.

    • (b)

      Subject to (c) below, withdrawal of approval takes effect on expiry of the notice period under regulation 6.2(b) or on such later date as may be stated in the notice.

    • (c)

      If an appeal is made before the withdrawal of approval takes effect, the withdrawal of approval is suspended pending determination or discontinuance of the appeal, unless in the opinion of the SRA the proceedings on that appeal have been unduly protracted by the appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

  • 3.8

    Where withdrawal of approval relates to a director of a company, the SRA may set separate dates for that individual ceasing to be a director and disposing of his or her shares.

Regulation 4 – Conditions on recognition

  • 4.1

    The SRA may impose one or more conditions on a recognised body's recognition:

    • (a)

      when granting initial recognition;

    • (b)

      when granting renewal of recognition;

    • (c)

      when granting approval of an individual under regulation 3;

    • (d)

      when deciding to withdraw approval of an individual under regulation 3; or

    • (e)

      at any other time.

  • 4.2

    The purposes for which the SRA may impose a condition are set out in (a) to (g) below.

    • (a)

      The SRA considers that:

      • (i)

        the condition would limit, restrict, halt or prevent an activity or activities on the part of the body, or of a manager or employee of the body, which is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients, third parties or the public, and

      • (ii)

        it is in the public interest to impose the condition.

    • (b)

      The SRA considers that:

      • (i)

        the condition would limit the activities of a manager or employee of the body who is considered unsuitable to undertake a particular activity, either at all or save as specified in the condition, and

      • (ii)

        it is in the public interest to impose the condition.

    • (c)

      The SRA considers that:

      • (i)

        the condition would limit, halt or prevent a risk to clients, third parties or the public arising from a business agreement or association which the body has or is likely to enter into, or a business practice which the body has or is likely to adopt, and

      • (ii)

        it is in the public interest to impose the condition.

    • (d)

      A relevant insolvency event within the meaning of paragraph 32(1A) of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 has occurred in relation to a recognised body, and:

      • (i)

        the event has not triggered expiry of recognition under regulation 10, and

      • (ii)

        the SRA considers that it is in the public interest to impose the condition.

    • (e)

      The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, facilitate closer monitoring by the SRA of compliance with rules and regulations on the part of the body.

    • (f)

      The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, require the body concerned to take specified steps conducive to the carrying on of efficient practice by that body.

    • (g)

      The SRA considers, in any other case concerning a body which is currently recognised, that it would be in the public interest to impose the condition.

  • 4.3

    A condition imposed under this regulation takes effect from the date on which the condition is imposed unless a later date is specified in the condition.

Regulation 5 –Temporary emergency recognition following a partnership split

  • 5.1

    If a partnership split brings into being a new partnership which is not a recognised body:

    • (a)

      the SRA must be notified within 7 days; and

    • (b)

      temporary emergency recognition may be granted, subject to 5.2 to 5.4 below, so as to enable the partners in the new partnership to practise through the new partnership for a limited period without breach of the law.

  • 5.2

    An application for temporary emergency recognition may be made by telephone, provided that details given by telephone are confirmed in writing the same day; and must be made (or confirmed) on the prescribed form at the earliest possible opportunity, and accompanied by all information and documentation the SRA may reasonably require.

  • 5.3

    The SRA may grant an application for temporary emergency recognition if the following conditions are met.

    • (a)

      The SRA must be satisfied that the partners could not reasonably have commenced an application for recognition in advance of the change.

    • (b)

      The partnership must otherwise comply with rule 14 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct in relation to its composition and structure and its practising address in England and Wales.

    • (c)

      The partnership must comply with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules, and must have adopted a name under which it is to be registered and which complies with rule 7 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct.

  • 5.4

    Temporary emergency recognition:

    • (a)

      may be granted initially for 28 days;

    • (b)

      may be extended in response to a reasonable request by the applicant;

    • (c)

      must be extended (subject to (g) below) pending determination of a substantive application for initial recognition commenced during the currency of a temporary emergency recognition;

    • (d)

      may be granted or extended subject to such conditions as the SRA thinks fit, in circumstances falling within regulation 4;

    • (e)

      is to be treated as initial recognition for the purpose of these regulations;

    • (f)

      if granted, cannot prejudice the discretion of the SRA to refuse a substantive application for recognition of the body under regulation 2 (which is also, for the purpose of these regulations, to be treated as initial recognition); and

    • (g)

      in exceptional circumstances, and for reasonable cause, may be revoked at any time.

Regulation 6 – Notification of decisions by the SRA

  • 6.1
    • (a)

      The SRA must notify its reasons in writing when it:

      • (i)

        refuses an application;

      • (ii)

        grants an application subject to a condition; or

      • (iii)

        refuses a permission required under a condition on a body's recognition.

    • (b)

      The reasons must be given to the applicant body and to the individual concerned, when refusing approval of an individual under regulation 3.

  • 6.2

    The SRA must give 28 days written notice, with reasons:

    • (a)

      to the recognised body concerned, when the SRA decides to impose a condition on the body's recognition, or revoke the body's recognition;

    • (b)

      to the body and the individual concerned, when the SRA decides to withdraw an approval granted under regulation 3.

  • 6.3

    The SRA may shorten or dispense with the 28 day period under 6.2 in imposing a condition if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that it is in the public interest to do so.

Regulation 7 – Appeals

  • 7.1

    Before exercising its right of appeal to the High Court:

    • (a)

      under paragraph 2(1)(a) of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985, against refusal of initial recognition;

    • (b)

      under paragraph 2(1)(b) or (c) of that Schedule, against the imposition of a condition; or

    • (c)

      under paragraph 2(2) of that Schedule, against refusal by the SRA to approve a step which, under a condition on the body's recognition, requires such prior approval,

    a body may invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure.

  • 7.2

    A body may appeal to the High Court against the SRA's decision to revoke the body's recognition, but must first invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure.

  • 7.3

    A body, and/or the individual concerned, may appeal to the High Court against the SRA's decision:

    • (a)

      not to approve the individual under regulation 3; or

    • (b)

      to withdraw its approval of the individual under regulation 3,

    but must first invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure.

  • 7.4
    • (a)

      An application for initial recognition under regulation 2 is deemed, for the purpose of any appeal under 7.1(a) above, to be refused on the 90th day after the SRA has received the application and all additional information and documentation required, and duly notified to the applicant on that day, if by the end of that day the SRA has not notified the applicant body of its decision.

    • (b)

      An application for approval of an individual under regulation 3 is deemed, for the purpose of any appeal under 7.3(a) above, to be refused on the 90th day after the SRA has received the application and all additional information and documentation required, and duly notified to the applicant on that day, if by the end of that day the SRA has not notified the applicant body, and the individual concerned, of its decision.

  • 7.5
    • (a)

      Appeals under the SRA's own appeals procedure must be made within 28 days of receiptnotification of the SRA's reasons for refusalits decision, or within 28 days of deemed refusal under 7.4 above.

    • (b)

      AnUnless otherwise provided in rules of Court, an appeal to the High Court must be made:

      • (i)

        within 28 days of notification of the relevant decision; or

      • (ii)

        within 28 days of notification of refusal of an appeal under the SRA's own appeals procedure,

      whichever is the lateras appropriate.

  • 7.6

    An appeal under the SRA's own appeals procedure under 7.3(a) above shall be treated as an application for the purpose of these regulations.

PART 2 – DURATION OF RECOGNITION, RENEWAL DATE, REVOCATION AND EXPIRY

Regulation 8 – Duration of recognition and renewal date

  • 8.1

    Except where transitional provisions in 8.5 to 8.7 apply, recognition is renewable yearly and the renewal date is 31 October in each successive year.

  • 8.2

    Recognition continues in force unless it is revoked, or unless it expires under regulation 10 or is suspended by the High Court.

  • 8.3

    Renewal of recognition commences on the day following the renewal date.

Passporting

  • 8.4
    • (a)

      All partnerships carrying on the practice of solicitors and/or RELs on 31 March 2009 will be recognised as recognised bodies on 31 March 2009 provided that:

      • (i)

        the composition and structure of the partnership complies with rule 14 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct; and

      • (ii)

        the partnership is practising from an office in England and Wales.

    • (b)

      The first renewal date for partnerships recognised under this provision is 31 October 2009.

Transitional provisions

  • 8.5

    If a body's recognition commenced on or before 1 November 2006, recognition lasts for three years and the renewal date is that stated on the certificate of recognition.

  • 8.6

    If a body's recognition commenced after 1 November 2006 but before 31 March 2009:

    • (a)

      recognition lasts until 31 October 2009 and the renewal date is not that stated on the certificate of recognition but 31 October 2009; and

    • (b)

      when applying for renewal of recognition the body will be given credit for fees and contributions already paid in respect of the cancelled period of recognition after 31 October 2009.

  • 8.7

    If a body's recognition commenced on or after 31 March 2009 but before 1 November 2009, the renewal date will be 31 October 2009.

Regulation 9 – Revocation of recognition

  • 9.1

    The SRA may revoke a body's recognition, if:

    • (a)

      recognition was granted as a result of error or fraud;

    • (b)

      the body would not be eligible to be recognised if it were at that time applying for initial recognition;

    • (c)

      the renewal date has passed and the SRA has not received an application for renewal of recognition and all required fees, information and documentation;

    • (d)

      the body has a temporary emergency recognition but has not within the initial 28 day period or any extension of that period commenced a substantive application for recognition;

    • (e)

      the body has ceased to practise;

    • (f)

      an approved regulator other than the SRA has authorised the body;

    • (g)

      the SRA has decided under regulation 2.5 not to renew the body's recognition; or

    • (h)

      a relevant insolvency event within the meaning of paragraph 32(1A) of Schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 has occurred in relation to the recognised body which has not triggered expiry of recognition under regulation 10,

      and the SRA is satisfied that revocation would not present a risk to clients, to the protection of client money or to any investigative process.

  • 9.2
    • (a)

      Subject to (b) below, revocation takes effect on expiry of the notice period under regulation 6.2(a) or on such later date as may be stated in the notice.

    • (b)

      If an appeal is made before the revocation takes effect, the revocation is suspended pending determination or discontinuance of the appeal, unless in the opinion of the SRA the proceedings on that appeal have been unduly protracted by the appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

Regulation 10 – Expiry of recognition

Subject to 14.04(2) of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct, a body's recognition will automatically expire if the body is wound up or for any other reason ceases to exist.

PART 3 – NAME, THE REGISTER AND CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION

Regulation 11 – Name of a recognised body

  • 11.1

    A body corporate will be recognised under its corporate name.

  • 11.2

    A partnership must elect to have a name under which it is to be recognised.

Regulation 12 – The register of recognised bodies

  • 12.1

    The SRA must keep a register of recognised bodies, which may be kept in electronic form.

  • 12.2

    The register of recognised bodies must contain, for each recognised body:

    • (a)

      the name and number under which the body is recognised;

    • (b)

      any other practising styles used by the body;

    • (c)

      the recognised body's registered office and registered number, if it is an LLP or company;

    • (d)

      the recognised body's principal practising address in England and Wales;

    • (e)

      all the recognised body's other practising addresses;

    • (f)

      whether the recognised body is a partnership, an LLP or a company; and

    • (g)

      if the recognised body is a company, whether it is:

      • (i)

        a company limited by shares;

      • (ii)

        a company limited by guarantee;

      • (iii)

        an unlimited company;

      • (iv)

        an overseas company registered in England and Wales;

      • (v)

        an overseas company registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland; or

      • (vi)

        a societas Europaea;

    • (h)

      a list of the body's managers, and in respect of each manager, whether that manager is:

      • (i)

        a lawyer of England and Wales, and if so the nature of his or her qualification;

      • (ii)

        an REL, and if so his or her professional title and jurisdiction of qualification;

      • (iii)

        an exempt European lawyer registered with the Bar Standards Board, and if so his or her professional title and jurisdiction of qualification;

      • (iv)

        an exempt European lawyer based entirely at an office or offices outside England and Wales, and if so his or her professional title and jurisdiction of qualification;

      • (v)

        an RFL, and if so his or her professional title and jurisdiction of qualification;

      • (vi)

        an individual approved under regulation 3;

      • (vii)

        a company, and if so whether it is a recognised body, a European corporate practice or an authorised non-SRA firm;

      • (viii)

        an LLP, and if so whether it is a recognised body, a European corporate practice or an authorised non-SRA firm; and

      • (ix)

        a partnership with separate legal personality, and if so whether it is a recognised body, a European corporate practice or an authorised non-SRA firm;

    • (i)

      any condition to which the body's recognition is subject; and

    • (j)

      any other reasonable information, necessary for carrying out the SRA's statutory objectives, from time to time prescribed by the SRA.

  • 12.3
    • (a)

      Entries in the register must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may withhold an address in exceptional circumstances where the SRA considers that to do so would be in the public interest.

    • (b)

      The date on which, and the circumstances in which, a recognised body's recognition expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

Regulation 13 – Certificates of recognition

  • 13.1

    When a body is granted initial recognition or its recognition is renewed, the SRA must issue a certificate of recognition.

  • 13.2

    Each certificate of recognition must state, in respect of the recognised body:

    • (a)

      the name and number under which the body is recognised;

    • (b)

      its registered office, if it is an LLP or company;

    • (c)

      its principal practising address in England and Wales;

    • (d)

      whether it is a partnership, an LLP or a company; and if it is a company, whether it is:

      • (i)

        a company limited by shares;

      • (ii)

        a company limited by guarantee;

      • (iii)

        an unlimited company;

      • (iv)

        an overseas company registered in England and Wales;

      • (v)

        an overseas company registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland; or

      • (vi)

        a societas Europaea; or

      • (vii)

        an LLP;

    • (e)

      the date from which recognition is granted or renewed;

    • (f)

      the next renewal date; and

    • (g)

      any condition to which the body's recognition is subject.

PART 4 – INTERPRETATION, WAIVERS, RECONSIDERATION AND NOTIFYING THIRD PARTIES

Regulation 14 – Interpretation

In these regulations:

    • (a)

      commencing an application means submitting a completed application form, together with the prescribed fee and any Compensation Fund contribution required;

    • (b)

      all terms are to be interpreted in accordance with rule 24 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct;

    • (c)

      "prescribed form" means a form prescribed from time to time by the SRA;

    • (d)

      "prescribed fee" means the fee prescribed from time to time by the SRA;

    • (e)

      "Solicitors' Code of Conduct" means the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007; and

    • (f)

      "SRA Practising Regulations" means the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.; and

    • (ff)

      "turnover figure" means as prescribed from time to time by the SRA; and

    • (g)

      the date of any notification or notice given under these regulations is deemed to be:

      • (i)

        the date on which the communication is delivered to or left at the recipient’s address or is sent electronically to the recipient's e-mail or fax address; or

      • (ii)

        seven days after the communication has been sent by post or document exchange to the recipient’s last notified contact address.

Regulation 15 – Waivers

In any particular case or cases the SRA shall have power to waive in writing the provisions of these regulations for a particular purpose or purposes expressed in such waiver, and to revoke such waiver.

Regulation 16 – Reconsideration

  • 16.1

    The SRA may reconsider or rescind a decision made under these regulations when it appears that the decision maker:

    • (a)

      was not provided with material evidence that was available to the SRA;

    • (b)

      was materially misled;

    • (c)

      failed to take proper account of material facts or evidence;

    • (d)

      took into account immaterial facts or evidence;

    • (e)

      made a material error of law;

    • (f)

      made a decision which was otherwise irrational or procedurally unfair;

    • (g)

      made a decision which was otherwise ultra vires; or

    • (h)

      failed to give sufficient reasons.

  • 16.2
    • (a)

      A decision may be reconsidered under 16.1 only on the initiative of the SRA and if a person duly authorised by the SRA gives a direction to that effect.

    • (b)

      That person may also give directions:

      • (i)

        for further investigations to be undertaken;

      • (ii)

        for further information or explanation to be obtained; and

      • (iii)

        for the reconsideration to be undertaken by the original decision maker or by a different decision maker or panel.

Regulation 17 – Notifying third parties of decisions

The SRA may, if it considers it in the public interest to do so, notify any or all of the following persons of a decision made under these regulations:

  • (a)

    a recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm of which the body or individual concerned is a manager or has an ownership interest;

  • (b)

    a recognised sole practitioner, recognised body or authorised non-SRA firm of which the individual concerned is an employee;

  • (c)

    any approved regulator;

  • (d)

    the Legal Services Board;

  • (e)

    the Legal Complaints Service or the Office for Legal Complaints;

  • (f)

    the regulatory body for any profession of which the individual concerned is a member or which regulates the body concerned;

  • (g)

    any law enforcement agency.

Regulation 18 – Commencement and Repeal

These regulations come into force on 31 March 2009 and repeal the Solicitors' Recognised Bodies Regulations 2007.