Reserved work and immigration work

Version 10 of the Handbook was published on 1 July 2014. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 8: Reserved work and immigration work

Solicitors

8.1

As a solicitor, provided that you comply with Rule 9.1, you are authorised by the SRA:

(a)

to undertake the following reserved work:

(i)

the exercise of any right of audience which solicitors had immediately before 7 December 1989;

(ii)

the exercise of any additional right of audience if you have a relevant higher courts advocacy qualification awarded by the SRA or another approved regulator;

(iii)

the conduct of, and the preparation of documents in, court and immigration tribunal proceedings;

(iv)

the preparation of instruments and the lodging of documents relating to the transfer or charge of land;

(v)

the preparation of trust deeds disposing of capital;

(vi)

the preparation of papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration;

(vii)

the administration of oaths and statutory declarations; and

(b)

to undertake immigration work not included under (a) above.

RELs

8.2

As an REL, you are authorised by the SRA:

(a)

to undertake the following reserved work:

(i)

the exercise of any right of audience which solicitors had immediately before 7 December 1989;

(ii)

the exercise of any additional right of audience provided that you have a relevant higher courts advocacy qualification awarded by the SRA or another approved regulator;

(iii)

the conduct of, and the preparation of documents in, court and immigration tribunal proceedings;

(iv)

the preparation of instruments and the lodging of documents relating to the transfer or charge of land, provided you are a member of a profession listed under regulation 12 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000;

(v)

the preparation of trust deeds disposing of capital;

(vi)

the preparation of papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration, provided you are a member of a profession listed under regulation 13 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000;

(vii)

the administration of oaths and statutory declarations; and

(b)

to undertake immigration work not included under (a) above.

8.3

When as an REL you exercise a right of audience before a court under 8.2(a)(i) or (ii), conduct court litigation under 8.2(a)(iii) or prepare court documents under 8.2(a)(iii) you must act in conjunction with a solicitor or barrister authorised to do that work.

RFLs

8.4

As an RFL working within Rule 3 you are authorised by the SRA:

(a)

to undertake the following reserved work:

(i)

advocacy before immigration tribunals; and

(ii)

the conduct of, and the preparation of documents in, immigration tribunal proceedings; and

(b)

to undertake immigration services which are not reserved work and are not included under (a) above, and to provide immigration advice.

Recognised bodies

8.5

Recognised bodies

(a)

A recognised body is authorised by the SRA to undertake the following reserved work:

(i)

advocacy before a court or immigration tribunal provided the manager or employee exercising the right of audience is authorised by the SRA, or otherwise entitled, to do so;

(ii)

the conduct of proceedings in a court or immigration tribunal;

(iii)

the preparation of documents in proceedings before a court or immigration tribunal;

(iv)

the preparation of instruments and the lodging of documents relating to the transfer or charge of land, provided the body has a manager who is:

(A)

an individual who is authorised to do that work, or

(B)

a body corporate which has a manager who is authorised to do that work;

(v)

the preparation of trust deeds disposing of capital;

(vi)

the preparation of papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration, provided the body has a manager who is an individual authorised to do that work, or a body corporate with a manager who is authorised to do that work; and

(vii)

the administration of oaths and statutory declarations.

(b)

A recognised body is authorised to undertake immigration services which are not within (a) above, and to provide immigration advice.

Licensed bodies

8.6

A licensed body is authorised by the SRA to undertake the reserved legal activities and immigration work specified in the authorisation granted to the body under Rule 6 of the SRA Authorisation Rules.

Sole practitioner firms

8.7

Sole practitioner firms

(a)

A recognised sole practitioner who is a solicitor is authorised by the SRA:

(i)

to provide any reserved work which the solicitor is authorised to provide under Rule 8.1 above, and any other advocacy service through an employee of the sole practitioner's firm exercising a right of audience as authorised by the SRA, or otherwise entitled, to do; and

(ii)

to undertake immigration services which are not within (i) above, and provide immigration advice.

(b)

A recognised sole practitioner who is an REL is authorised by the SRA:

(i)

to provide any reserved work which the REL is authorised to provide under Rule 8.2 above, and any other advocacy service through an employee of the sole practitioner's firm exercising a right of audience as authorised by the SRA, or otherwise entitled, to do; and

(ii)

to undertake immigration work which is not within (i) above.

Guidance notes

(i)

Reserved work is work that is defined in Schedule 2 to the LSA as a "reserved legal activity". Certain categories of reserved work (rights of audience in chambers, reserved instrument activities and probate activities) can be done by an unqualified person under the supervision of a manager or fellow employee qualified to do that work - see Schedule 3 to the LSA.

(ii)

Immigration work (immigration advice and immigration services) is restricted to certain persons under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Immigration services relating to courts or immigration tribunals are reserved work - advocacy, the conduct of cases, and the preparation of papers. The court work is subject to the normal restriction on court work. Immigration Tribunal work can be done by RFLs who are practising as such. Other immigration work is not reserved work, but can only be done by an authorised person such as a solicitor, a barrister, a legal executive, a member of an Establishment Directive profession, or an RFL practising as such, or under the supervision of an authorised person, or under an exemption given by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

(iii)

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 reserves the provision of "regulated activities" to persons authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Certain "regulated activities", ancillary to the provision of a professional service, are exempt from regulation by the FCA when carried out by firms authorised by the SRA - see the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules. For the definition of "regulated activity" see the activities specified in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (SI 2001/544).

(iv)

From 31 March 2012 or the date on which an order made pursuant to section 69 of the LSA relating to the status of sole practitioners comes into force, whichever is the later, a sole practitioner's firm will be regulated as a type of authorised body and will be authorised under the SRA Authorisation Rules.

(v)

The SRA does not authorise notarial activities. This does not prevent individuals, in an SRA authorised firm, providing notarial services where personally authorised to do so by the Master of the Faculties within paragraph 7 of Schedule 2 to the LSA.

(vi)

See also Rule 8.4 of the SRA Authorisation Rules which provides that an authorised body may not carry on an activity unless through a body and individual who is authorised to carry on that activity.

(vii)

In the case of solicitors and RELs who undertake criminal advocacy, see also the SRA QASA Regulations.