Version 16 of the Handbook was published on 1 April 2016. For more information, please click "History" above.
The following persons must be "qualified to supervise":
a sole practitioner;
one of the lawyer managers of an authorised body or of a body corporate which is a legally qualified body and which is a manager of the authorised body;
one of the solicitors or RELs employed by a law centre in England and Wales, unless the law centre is licensed under Part 5 of the LSA in which case the provisions in Rule 12.1(b) will apply; or
one in-house solicitor or in-house REL in any department in England and Wales where solicitors and/or RELs, as part of their employment:
do publicly funded work; or
do or supervise advocacy or the conduct of proceedings for members of the public before a court or immigration tribunal.
To be "qualified to supervise" for the purpose of 12.1 a person must:
have completed the training specified from time to time by the SRA for this purpose; and
be a practising lawyer, and have been entitled to practise as a lawyer for at least 36 months within the last ten years; and
must be able to demonstrate this if asked by the SRA.
The following persons must ensure that their firm has at least one manager who is practising as a lawyer and has been entitled to practise as a lawyer for a minimum of 36 months within the last 10 years:
a solicitor manager of a firm which is not an authorised body and which is practising from an office outside England and Wales, and solicitors control the firm, either directly as partners, members or interest holders, or indirectly by their ownership of bodies corporate which are partners, members or interest holders; and
a solicitor or REL manager of a firm which is not an authorised body and which is practising from an office in Scotland or Northern Ireland, and solicitors and/or RELs control the firm, either directly as partners, members or interest holders, or indirectly by their ownership of bodies corporate which are partners, members or interest holders.
You must not set up as a solicitor sole practitioner outside England and Wales, or as an REL sole practitioner in Scotland or Northern Ireland, unless you have been entitled to practise as a lawyer for a minimum of 36 months within the last 10 years.
The person "qualified to supervise" under Rule 12.2 does not have to be personally entitled by law to supervise all work undertaken by the firm. Responsibility for the overall supervision framework, including compliance with legal supervisory requirements, rests with the authorised body and its managers, or the recognised sole practitioner.
In satisfying the requirement for 36 months entitlement to practise you can for example rely on a period as a lawyer of another jurisdiction. In calculating the 36 months, any period of entitlement to practise as a lawyer of another jurisdiction can be taken into account in addition to your time entitled to practise as a solicitor.
Waivers may be granted in individual cases. See Rule 21.
The training presently specified by the SRA is attendance at or participation in any course(s), or programme(s) of learning, on management skills involving attendance or participation for a minimum of 12 hours. The courses or programmes do not have to be CPD accredited in order to satisfy the requirement. It is not normally necessary to check with the SRA before undertaking a course or programme unless the course is unusual and outside the mainstream of management training. Advice may be sought from the Professional Ethics Guidance Team.
Controlling the firm in Rule 12.3 means constituting the largest (or equal largest) share of control of the firm either as individual managers or by their share in the control of bodies which are managers.