SRA Practising Regulations 2011

Version 9 of the Handbook was published on 1 April 2014. For more information, please click "History" above.

SRA Practising Regulations 2011

Regulations and rules about:

  • applications for practising certificates by solicitors and for registration by European lawyers and foreign lawyers;
  • applications for authorisation to practise as sole practitioners (until superseded by provisions in the SRA Authorisation Rules), by solicitors and registered European lawyers;
  • applications for renewal of practising certificates and registration;
  • the issue of practising certificates to solicitors and the issue of certificates of registration to European lawyers and foreign lawyers; and
  • the keeping of the register of solicitors who hold practising certificates, the register of European lawyers and the register of foreign lawyers,

dated 17 June 2011 commencing on 6 October 2011

made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board under sections 13, 13ZA, 31, 79 and 80 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and paragraphs 2 and 3 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990

with the approval of the Legal Services Board under paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Legal Services Act 2007.

Part 1: Applications, conditions and appeals

Regulation 1: General requirements for applications under these regulations
1.1

An application under these regulations must comprise:

(a)

the prescribed form, correctly completed;

(b)

the prescribed fee or fees;

(c)

if the application is for a practising certificate, for replacement of a practising certificate, for registration or for renewal of registration, 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

Every applicant must:

(a)

ensure that all details relating to him or her given on any form prescribed under these regulations are correct and complete;

(b)

notify the SRA as soon as he or she becomes aware that any information provided in an application under these regulations has changed.

1.3

Every form submitted under these regulations must be personally signed by the applicant unless:

(a)

a solicitor or REL has been given written permission by the SRA, in exceptional circumstances, to sign on the applicant's behalf; or

(b)

the application is made wholly or partly on a prescribed form which is designed to be completed and signed on behalf of a number of applicants in one firm or organisation. In that case, the form must be signed by a solicitor or REL who:

(i)

is authorised to sign the form by the firm or organisation;

(ii)

has the consent of all the persons named in the form to sign the form on their behalf; and

(iii)

has taken reasonable steps to ensure that all details given on the form are correct and complete.

1.4

The SRA must notify its decision and reasons in writing to the applicant when it:

(a)

refuses an application;

(b)

grants an application subject to a condition; or

(c)

refuses a permission required under a condition on a practising certificate or registration.

1.5

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

1.6

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

Guidance notes

(i)

Please refer to the forms and notes.

(ii)

"In writing" includes any form of written electronic communication normally used for business purposes, such as emails.

(iii)

Fees prescribed for the purposes of these regulations are prescribed:

(a)

under section 11 of the SA for a practising certificate or registration in the register of European lawyers;

(b)

under section 13ZB of the SA for authorisation as a sole practitioner; or

(c)

under paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 or section 11 of the SA for registration in the register of foreign lawyers.

Regulation 2: Applications for practising certificates and registration
2.1

The following applications may be made under regulation 2:

(a)

unless regulation 3 applies, initial applications for practising certificates and applications for replacement of practising certificates under section 9 of the SA;

(b)

unless regulation 3 applies, initial applications for registration in the register of European lawyers and applications for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers under regulation 17 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000; and

(c)

initial applications for registration in the register of foreign lawyers and applications for renewal of registration in the register of foreign lawyers under section 89 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

2.2

Where application is made under regulation 2 for a practising certificate or for replacement of a practising certificate the SRA must grant the application if:

(a)

the applicant's name is on the roll of solicitors;

(b)

the applicant is not suspended from practice as a solicitor;

(c)

the applicant has supplied satisfactory evidence that he or she will comply with or be exempt from the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules; and

(d)

the application is made in accordance with these regulations,

and the SRA must not grant the application unless conditions (a) to (c) are met.

2.3

Applications for initial registration or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers

(a)

Where application is made under regulation 2 for initial registration or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers the SRA must grant the application if:

(i)

the applicant is not (subject to (c) below) a solicitor, barrister or advocate of any of the UK jurisdictions, a barrister of the Irish Republic, or registered under the Establishment Directive with the BSB, the Faculty of Advocates or the Bar Council of Northern Ireland;

(ii)

the applicant is a member, and entitled to practise as such, of an Establishment Directive profession;

(iii)

the applicant is a national of an Establishment Directive state;

(iv)

the applicant applies with the intention of practising on a permanent basis in the UK and is legally entitled to do so;

(v)

the applicant is not struck off the register, suspended from the register, or subject to a direction of the Tribunal prohibiting his or her restoration to the register;

(vi)

the applicant has supplied satisfactory evidence that he or she will comply with or be exempt from the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules; and

(vii)

the application is made in accordance with these regulations,

except that if the SRA has reasonable cause to believe that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to practise in the UK it may refuse an application for initial registration.

(b)

The SRA must not grant the application unless the conditions in (a)(i) to (vi) are met.

(c)

The provisions of (a)(i) above will not apply to prevent the renewal of the registration of a European lawyer who has become a solicitor of Scotland or Northern Ireland at a time when he or she was registered both with the SRA and with the Law Society of Scotland and/or the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

2.4

Where application is made under regulation 2 for initial registration or for renewal of registration in the register of foreign lawyers, the following provisions apply.

(a)

The SRA may grant the application (subject to such conditions as it may think fit) if:

(i)

the applicant is not a solicitor, REL or barrister;

(ii)

the applicant is a member, and entitled to practise as such, of a legal profession which is regulated within a jurisdiction outside England and Wales and is approved by the SRA in accordance with paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

(iii)

the applicant is not struck off the register, subject to an order of the Tribunal suspending his or her registration or subject to a direction of the Tribunal prohibiting his or her restoration to the register; and

(iv)

the application is made in accordance with these regulations.

(b)

The SRA may (without prejudice to its general discretion under paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990) reject the application if:

(i)

the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant is eligible for registration;

(ii)

the applicant is prohibited by the rules of his or her profession from practising as a manager of a recognised body;

(iii)

the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant will be in compliance with the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules;

(iv)

the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant intends to practise in the capacity of an RFL in accordance with Rule 3 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules; or

(v)

the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to practise as an RFL.

(c)

A person who has been reinstated to the register under paragraph 12 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 is to be treated as entitled to practise as a member of his or her home legal profession.

2.5

The granting of a practising certificate or registration free of conditions under regulation 2 does not prevent the SRA subsequently imposing a condition in accordance with regulation 7.

Regulation 3: Application following certain events
3.1

Regulation 3 applies to an initial application for a practising certificate, an application for replacement of a practising certificate, an initial application for registration in the register of European lawyers and an application for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers, in any of the following circumstances, subject to the exceptions set out in 3.3 below, relating for example to a previously declared event.

(a)

The applicant has been:

(i)

reprimanded, made the subject of disciplinary sanction or made the subject of an order under section 43 of the SA, ordered to pay costs or made the subject of a recommendation to the Society or the SRA to consider imposing a condition, by the Tribunal, or struck off or suspended by the court;

(ii)

made the subject of an order under section 43 of the SA by the Society or the SRA or rebuked or fined under section 44D of that Act by the SRA;

(iii)

made the subject of an intervention by the Society, the SRA or by any other approved regulator, or been:

(A)

a manager, interest holder or compliance officer, of a recognised body;

(B)

a compliance officer of a sole practitioner firm;

(C)

a manager, owner or compliance officer of a licensed body;

(D)

a manager or interest holder of an authorised non-SRA firm which is not licensed under Part 5 of the LSA; or

(E)

a manager, material interest holder, HOLP or HOFA of an authorised non-SRA firm licensed under Part 5 of the LSA;

which has been the subject of an intervention by the Society, the SRA or by any other approved regulator;

(iv)

made the subject of a 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;

(v)

disqualified from acting as a HOLP or a HOFA or from being a manager of, or being employed by, a licensed body or an authorised non-SRA firm;

(vi)

refused authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner or approval as a compliance officer of such a firm or had such authorisation revoked under regulation 10.2(b)(i), (iii), (iv) or (vi);

(vii)

refused approval to be a manager, owner or compliance officer of an authorised body or had such approval withdrawn;

(viii)

refused approval to be a manager, material interest holder, HOLP or HOFA of an authorised non-SRA firm or had such approval withdrawn;

(ix)

a manager, owner or compliance officer of an authorised body the authorisation of which has been suspended or revoked by the SRA under Rule 22 of the SRA Authorisation Rules, except under 22.1(a)(vii);

(x)

a manager, material interest holder, HOLP or HOFA of an authorised non-SRA firm the authorisation of which has been suspended or revoked by another approved regulator; or

(xi)

made subject to a revocation of his or her practising certificate or registration under regulation 10.2(a)(i) or (v) or of his or her authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner under regulation 10.2(b)(i), (iv) or (vi).

(b)

The SRA (or previously the Society) has requested an explanation from the applicant in respect of a matter relating to the applicant's conduct and has notified the applicant in writing that it does not regard the applicant's response, or lack of response, as satisfactory.

(c)

The applicant has failed to deliver within the period allowed an accountant's report required by rules made under section 34 of the SA.

(d)

The applicant's practising certificate or registration has been suspended and the suspension:

(i)

has come to an end;

(ii)

was continuing when the applicant's last practising certificate or previous registration expired or was revoked; or

(iii)

is continuing.

(e)

The applicant has been suspended from practice (or suspended from the register, if the applicant is a European lawyer), and the suspension has come to an end.

(f)

The applicant's last practising certificate or previous registration expired or was revoked whilst subject to a condition.

(g)

The applicant's practising certificate or registration is currently subject to a condition.

(h)

The applicant's right to practise as a lawyer of another jurisdiction or as a lawyer of England and Wales (other than as a solicitor) is subject to a condition or restriction.

(i)

The applicant has been restored to the roll or register, having previously been struck off.

(j)

The applicant is an undischarged bankrupt.

(k)

The applicant:

(i)

has been adjudged bankrupt and discharged;

(ii)

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

(iii)

has at any time during the last 36 months of trading of a recognised body, a licensed body or an authorised non-SRA firm which has entered into a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986, been a manager of that recognised body, licensed body or authorised non-SRA firm;

(iv)

has at any time during the last 36 months of trading of a company or 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 voluntarily wound up in circumstances of insolvency, been a director of that company or a member of that LLP.

(l)

The applicant 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 the applicant.

(m)

The applicant has been committed to prison in civil or criminal proceedings and:

(i)

has been released; or

(ii)

has not been released.

(n)

The applicant has been made subject to a judgment which involves the payment of money, other than one:

(i)

which is limited to the payment of costs; or

(ii)

in respect of which the applicant is entitled to indemnity or relief from another person as to the whole sum; or

(iii)

which the applicant has paid, and supplied evidence of payment to the SRA (or previously to the Society).

(o)

The applicant is currently charged with an indictable offence.

(p)

The applicant has been convicted of an indictable offence or any offence under the SA, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or the Compensation Act 2006.

(q)

The applicant has been disqualified from being a company director.

(r)

The applicant 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.

(s)

The applicant has been the subject in another jurisdiction of any circumstance equivalent to those listed in (j) to (r).

3.2

If regulation 3 applies, the SRA:

(a)

has no discretion under regulation 3 to grant the application if the applicant does not meet the conditions in regulation 2.2(a) to (c) or 2.3(a)(i) to (vi);

(b)

has discretion to impose a condition or conditions in accordance with regulation 7; and

(c)

has discretion to refuse the application.

3.3

The provisions of 3.1 and 3.2 above are subject to the following exceptions.

(a)

Regulation 3 does not apply by virtue of 3.1(a), (b), (c), (d)(i), (e), (j), (k), (m)(i), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r) or (s) if the applicant has previously applied for and obtained a practising certificate or registration, provided that:

(i)

the applicant's practising certificate or registration is not subject to a condition relating to any of those provisions;

(ii)

the SRA (or previously the Society) was aware, when granting that application, of all the relevant facts; and

(iii)

no new circumstances have arisen which would bring the application within any of those provisions.

(b)

If regulation 3 applies only by virtue of 3.1(j), (m), (n) or (p) and an appeal has been made to the appropriate court against the order or judgment in question, the following provisions apply.

(i)

The application must not be refused before the determination of that 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.

(ii)

The SRA may in the meantime postpone a decision on the application and may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration.

(c)

If regulation 3 applies only by virtue of 3.1(o), the application may not be refused unless the applicant is convicted, but the SRA may postpone a decision on the application and may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration.

Guidance notes

(i)

"In writing" includes any form of written electronic communication normally used for business purposes, such as emails.

(ii)

Exceptions to the application of Regulation 3 are set out at 3.3. An applicant is not, for example, subject to Regulation 3 in respect of a previously declared event where the SRA was aware of all the relevant facts and issued a practising certificate or registered the applicant as a European lawyer free from conditions, and where no new circumstances have arisen to bring the application within Regulation 3.

Regulation 4: Requirements for sole practitioners
4.1

An application may be made under regulation 4 by a solicitor or European lawyer:

(a)

for initial authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner:

(i)

when making an initial application for a practising certificate or for registration in the register of European lawyers;

(ii)

when applying for replacement of a practising certificate or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers; or

(iii)

at any time during the currency of a solicitor's practising certificate or an REL's registration; or

(b)

for renewal of an existing authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner when applying for replacement of a practising certificate or for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers.

4.2

When the SRA may grant an application

(a)

The SRA may grant an application under regulation 4 if the applicant:

(i)

will be practising as a sole practitioner from an office in England and Wales;

(ii)

is not, and is not about to be made, subject to a condition on his or her practising certificate or registration which would prohibit practice as a sole practitioner;

(iii)

has adopted a name under which his or her firm is to be recognised, and which will comply with Chapter 8 of the SRA Code of Conduct (Publicity);

(iv)

will comply with (or has a waiver of) Rule 12 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules (Persons who must be qualified to supervise);

(v)

will comply with the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules in respect of his or her firm; and

(vi)

will comply with regulation 4.8 (Compliance officers).

(b)

The SRA may refuse an application under regulation 4 if it is not satisfied that the applicant is suitable to run and manage a business providing regulated legal services or if for any other reason the SRA reasonably considers that it would be against the public interest to grant recognition.

(c)

In reaching a decision on an application under regulation 4 the SRA may take into account:

(i)

any event listed in regulation 3.1 applying to the applicant;

(ii)

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

(iii)

failure or refusal to disclose, or an attempt to conceal, any matter within (i) or (ii) above in relation to the application; or

(iv)

that the SRA is not satisfied that the applicant has sufficient skills or knowledge in relation to the running and management of a business which provides regulated legal services.

(d)

When granting an application under regulation 4 the SRA may impose a condition on the applicant's practising certificate or registration in accordance with regulation 7.

4.3

If a change to the composition of a recognised body or a licensed body which was a partnership results in a solicitor or REL becoming its sole principal:

(a)

the SRA must be notified within seven days; and

(b)

temporary emergency recognition may be granted, subject to 4.4 below, so as to enable that sole principal to continue in practice without breach of Rule 1 or Rule 2, as appropriate, of the SRA Practice Framework Rules.

4.4

Application for temporary emergency recognition

(a)

An application for temporary emergency recognition must be made on the prescribed form within seven days of the change and accompanied by all information and documentation the SRA reasonably requires.

(b)

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

(i)

the SRA must be satisfied that the applicant could not reasonably have commenced an application for recognition as a sole practitioner in advance of the change; and

(ii)

the sole practitioner:

(A)

must be practising from an office in England and Wales;

(B)

is not, and is not about to be made, subject to a condition on his or her practising certificate or registration which would prohibit practice as a sole practitioner;

(C)

must have adopted a name under which the firm is to be recognised, and which complies with Chapter 8 of the SRA Code of Conduct (Publicity);

(D)

must comply with or have a waiver of Rule 12 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules (Persons who must be qualified to supervise);

(E)

must comply with the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules in respect of his or her firm; and

(F)

will comply with regulation 4.8 (Compliance officers).

(c)

Temporary emergency recognition:

(i)

may be granted initially for 28 days;

(ii)

may be granted to have effect from the date of the partnership split or any other appropriate subsequent date;

(iii)

may be extended for a further specified period or periods in response to a reasonable request by the applicant;

(iv)

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

(v)

may be granted or extended subject to such conditions as the SRA thinks fit, in circumstances falling within regulation 7;

(vi)

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

(vii)

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

(viii)

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

4.5

If a recognised sole practitioner dies:

(a)

the SRA must be notified within seven days;

(b)

within 28 days of the death an emergency application may be made, on the prescribed form, for recognition in the capacity of personal representative, practice manager or employee by a solicitor or an REL who is:

(i)

the sole practitioner's executor;

(ii)

a practice manager appointed by the sole practitioner's personal representatives;

(iii)

an employee of the firm.

4.6

If the application for recognition in the capacity of personal representative, practice manager or employee is granted:

(a)

recognition will be deemed to run from the date of death;

(b)

recognition will not be renewed for any period after the winding up of the estate or 12 months from the date of death, whichever is the earlier.

4.7

Regulatory compliance and suitable arrangements for compliance

(a)

A recognised sole practitioner must ensure that:

(i)

any obligations imposed from time to time on the firm or its employees by or under the SRA's regulatory arrangements are complied with; and

(ii)

any other statutory obligations imposed on the firm or its employees, in relation to the firm's carrying on of authorised activities, are complied with.

(b)

A recognised sole practitioner must at all times have suitable arrangements in place to ensure that:

(i)

the firm and its employees comply with the SRA's regulatory arrangements as they apply to them, as required under section 176 of the LSA and regulation 4.7(a); and

(ii)

the firm and its employees who are authorised persons maintain the professional principles.

4.8

Compliance officers

(a)

A recognised sole practitioner must have suitable arrangements in place to ensure that the firm's compliance officers are able to discharge their duties in accordance with these regulations.

(b)

Subject to regulation 4.8(h) a recognised sole practitioner's firm must at all times have an individual:

(i)

who is:

(A)

the sole practitioner; or

(B)

an employee of the firm of sufficient seniority and in a position of sufficient responsibility to fulfil the role;

(ii)

who is designated as its COLP; and

(iii)

whose designation is approved by the SRA.

(c)

The COLP must:

(i)

take all reasonable steps to:

(A)

ensure compliance with the SRA's regulatory arrangements except any obligation imposed under the SRA Accounts Rules;

(B)

ensure compliance with any statutory obligations of the recognised sole practitioner and any employees of the firm; and

(C)

record any failure so to comply and make such records available to the SRA on request; and

(ii)

as soon as reasonably practicable, report to the SRA any material failure so to comply (a failure may be material either taken on its own or as part of a pattern of failure so to comply).

(d)

Subject to regulation 4.8(i) a recognised sole practitioner's firm must at all times have an individual:

(i)

who is:

(A)

the sole practitioner; or

(B)

an employee of the firm of sufficient seniority and in a position of sufficient responsibility to fulfil the role;

(ii)

who is designated as its COFA; and

(iii)

whose designation is approved by the SRA.

(e)

The COFA must:

(i)

take all reasonable steps to:

(A)

ensure compliance with any obligations imposed upon the recognised sole practitioner or any employees of the firm under the SRA Accounts Rules; and

(B)

record any failure so to comply and make such records available to the SRA on request; and

(ii)

as soon as reasonably practicable, report to the SRA any material failure so to comply (a failure may be material either taken on its own or as part of a pattern of failure so to comply).

(f)

The SRA may approve an individual's designation as a COLP or COFA if it is satisfied that the individual is a suitable person to carry out his or her duties. When considering whether a candidate should be approved under regulation 4.9, the SRA will take into account the criteria set out in the SRA Suitability Test and any other relevant information.

(g)

A designation of an individual as COLP or COFA has effect only while the individual:

(i)

is authorised as a recognised sole practitioner, where the compliance officer is the recognised sole practitioner;

(ii)

consents to the designation and continues to be an employee of the firm, where the compliance officer is an employee;

(iii)

in the case of a COLP:

(A)

is not disqualified from acting as a HOLP;

(B)

is:

(I)

a lawyer of England and Wales;

(II)

an REL; or

(III)

registered with the BSB under Regulation 17 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1119);

and is an authorised person in relation to one or more of the reserved legal activities which the body is authorised to carry on; and

(iv)

in the case of a COFA, is not disqualified from acting as a HOFA.

(h)

A recognised sole practitioner's firm is not required to comply with regulation 4.8(b)(i) where the individual designated as its COLP:

(i)

has been approved by the SRA as a COLP for a related authorised body; and

(ii)

is a manager or employee of that related authorised body.

(i)

A recognised sole practitioner's firm is not required to comply with regulation 4.8(d)(i) where the individual designated as its COFA:

(i)

has been approved by the SRA as a COFA for a related authorised body; and

(ii)

is a manager or employee of that related authorised body.

4.9

Approval of compliance officers

(a)

An application for approval of a compliance officer may be made by a recognised sole practitioner or a solicitor or REL applying under regulation 4.1 to be a recognised sole practitioner (in regulation 4.9, the person applying for approval of a compliance officer is referred to as "the applicant").

(b)

The application must include evidence to satisfy the SRA that the person to be approved (in regulations 4.8 to 4.10 referred to as "the candidate") is suitable to be a compliance officer of the firm.

(c)

The applicant must:

(i)

secure the co-operation of a candidate who is an employee, to assist the SRA to obtain all information and documentation the SRA requires in order to determine the application for approval;

(ii)

obtain all other information and documentation in relation to the candidate which the prescribed form requires the applicant 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 compliance officer of the firm.

(d)

Where the candidate is an employee, he or she must declare in writing on the face of the application that the information supplied about them is correct and complete.

(e)

The SRA's decision to approve or refuse approval must be notified in writing to the applicant and, where the candidate is an employee, separately to the candidate.

(f)

In accordance with regulation 7, the SRA may at the time of granting its approval or at any time subsequently, make its approval of a person to be a compliance officer subject to such conditions as it considers appropriate on the practising certificate or registration of:

(i)

the recognised sole practitioner; and

(ii)

if applicable, the compliance officer.

4.10

Effect of approval of compliance officers

(a)

Approval takes effect from the date of the decision unless otherwise stated, and remains effective only if the candidate takes up the position for which he or she has been approved within the period specified in the notice of approval.

(b)

Subject to regulation 4.10(a), approval continues until:

(i)

it is withdrawn by the SRA; or

(ii)

the approved person ceases to be a compliance officer of the firm.

4.11

Withdrawal of approval of compliance officers

(a)

Where the SRA has granted an approval under regulation 4.9, it may subsequently withdraw its approval of a person to be a compliance officer if:

(i)

it is not satisfied that the person met or meets the criteria for approval;

(ii)

it is satisfied that a condition imposed on the practising certificate or registration of the recognised sole practitioner or the compliance officer has not been, or is not being, complied with;

(iii)

it is satisfied that the person has breached a duty or obligation imposed upon them in or under the SRA's regulatory arrangements or any enactments; or

(iv)

information or documentation is not promptly supplied in response to a request made under regulation 4.13(d).

4.12

Temporary emergency approvals for compliance officers

(a)

If the firm ceases to have a COLP or COFA whose designation has been approved by the SRA, the recognised sole practitioner must immediately and in any event within seven days:

(i)

notify the SRA;

(ii)

designate another individual to replace the firm's previous COLP or COFA, as appropriate; and

(iii)

make an application to the SRA for temporary approval of the new COLP or COFA, as appropriate.

(b)

The SRA may grant a temporary approval under this regulation if:

(i)

it is satisfied that the recognised sole practitioner could not reasonably have commenced an application for approval of designation in advance of the non-compliance; and

(ii)

on the face of the application and any other information immediately before the SRA, there is no evidence suggesting that the new compliance officer is not suitable to carry out the duties imposed on them under these regulations.

(c)

Temporary approval under this regulation:

(i)

may be granted initially for 28 days;

(ii)

may be granted to have effect from the date the firm ceases to have a COLP or COFA whose designation has been approved;

(iii)

may be extended in response to a reasonable request by the recognised sole practitioner;

(iv)

must be extended pending determination of a substantive application for approval commenced in accordance with regulation 4.9;

(v)

may be granted or extended subject to such conditions as it considers appropriate on the practising certificate or registration of:

(A)

the recognised sole practitioner; and

(B)

if applicable, the compliance officer;

(vi)

has effect only while the criteria in regulation 4.8(g) are met;

(vii)

if granted, cannot prejudice the discretion of the SRA to refuse a substantive application for approval of designation or to impose any conditions on that approval; and

(viii)

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

(d)

If granted temporary approval under regulation 4.12(c) above for the designation of a new COLP or COFA, the recognised sole practitioner must:

(i)

designate a permanent COLP or COFA, as appropriate; and

(ii)

submit a substantive application for approval of that designation under regulation 4.9;

before the expiry of the temporary approval or any extension of that approval by the SRA.

4.13

Information requirements

(a)

A recognised sole practitioner must properly complete and provide to the SRA an information report on an annual basis or such other period as specified by the SRA in the prescribed form and by the prescribed date.

(b)

A recognised sole practitioner must provide any necessary permissions for information to be given to the SRA so as to enable it to:

(i)

use and prepare a report on the documents produced under (a) above; and

(ii)

seek verification from clients, employees or any other body including banks, building societies or other financial institutions.

(c)

A recognised sole practitioner must notify the SRA as soon as he or she:

(i)

becomes aware of any changes to relevant information about himself or herself, the firm or any employees of the firm including any non-compliance with these regulations and any conditions on the recognised sole practitioner's practising certificate or registration; or

(ii)

becomes aware of or has information that reasonably suggests that he or she has or may have provided the SRA with information which was or may have been false, misleading, incomplete or inaccurate, or has or may have changed in a materially significant way.

(d)

The SRA may at any time require the production of information or documentation from a recognised sole practitioner or a person approved as a compliance officer of the firm in order to satisfy the SRA that that person met, meets, or continues to meet the criteria for approval as suitable to be a compliance officer.

4.14

Waivers

(a)

Subject to provisions in any statutory obligations or the SRA's regulatory arrangements affecting its ability to waive any requirements, the SRA shall have power to waive in writing the provisions of regulations 4.8, 4.9, 4.12 and 4.13 for a particular purpose or purposes expressed in such waiver, and to attach conditions to or revoke such waiver, at its own discretion.

4.15

Condition relating to the cessation period for indemnity purposes

(a)

When a recognised sole practitioner's firm becomes subject to cover under the cessation period, it must immediately, and for the duration of the cessation period, desist from carrying out any legal activities, save that it may undertake work required to discharge its obligations within the scope of existing instructions, or which is necessary in connection with the discharge of such obligations.

Guidance notes

(i)

The approval process for authorisation under regulation 4 will cease when recognised sole practitioners are passported to become recognised bodies and are transitioned to be regulated under the SRA Authorisation Rules. The SRA will establish a process for those practising as recognised sole practitioners at that time to be deemed approved as managers and owners for the purpose of Rule 8.6 of the SRA Authorisation Rules.

(ii)

The SRA's outcomes focused approach to regulation means that the SRA will take into account all of the circumstances relevant to any issue of compliance, whether in relation to the regulatory arrangements or in respect of statutory obligations on firms and those in them. This will include taking into account the evidence that firms and individuals can produce to demonstrate their efforts to ensure compliance (by themselves or others).

(iii)

Regulation 4.7(b) deals with the need for recognised sole practitioners to have suitable arrangements for compliance (see also Chapter 7 of the SRA Code of Conduct (Management of your business)). What needs to be covered by a firm's compliance plan will depend on factors such as the size and nature of the firm, its work and its areas of risk. Solicitors and RELs will need to analyse the effectiveness of their proposed compliance arrangements before applying for authorisation as a sole practitioner and monitor effectiveness on an on-going basis once authorised. Common areas for consideration will include:

(a)

clearly defined governance arrangements providing a transparent framework for responsibilities within the firm;

(b)

appropriate accounting procedures;

(c)

a system for ensuring that only the appropriate people authorise payments from client account;

(d)

a system for ensuring that undertakings are given only when intended, and compliance with them is monitored and enforced;

(e)

appropriate checks on new staff or contractors;

(f)

a system for ensuring that basic regulatory deadlines are not missed e.g. submission of the firm's accountant's report, arranging indemnity cover, renewal of practising certificates and registrations, renewal of all lawyers' licences to practise and provision of regulatory information;

(g)

a system for monitoring, reviewing and managing risks;

(h)

ensuring that issues of conduct are given appropriate weight in decisions the firm takes, whether on client matters or firm-based issues such as funding;

(i)

file reviews;

(j)

appropriate systems for supporting the development and training of staff;

(k)

obtaining the necessary approvals of COLP/COFA;

(l)

arrangements to ensure that any duties to clients and others are fully met even when staff are absent.

(iv)

The roles of COLP and COFA are a fundamental part of a firm's compliance and governance arrangements. COLPs' and COFAs' ability to take the steps they need to ensure compliance is dependent on the firm having suitable arrangements in place under regulation 4.7. So, for example, the recognised sole practitioner must therefore ensure that any employee designated as the firm's COLP or COFA is of sufficient seniority, in a position of sufficient power and responsibility and has clear reporting lines to enable them to have access to all management systems and arrangements and all other relevant information including client files and business information. The existence of compliance officers in a firm who are employees and the requirements on them to ensure that the firm, as well as its employees, are complying with the regulatory arrangements (COLP) and the SRA Accounts Rules (COFA) is not a substitute for the recognised sole practitioner's responsibilities and their obligations to comply with regulation 4.7 (Regulatory compliance and suitable arrangements for compliance). Recognised sole practitioners need to take care not to obstruct, whether intentionally or unwittingly, a COLP or COFA employee in fulfilling their role.

(v)

COLPs and COFAs are responsible for ensuring that the firm has systems and controls in place to enable the firm, as well as its employees, to comply with the requirements on them. Recognised sole practitioners are not absolved from any of their own obligations and remain fully responsible for compliance (see regulation 4.7).

(vi)

Those designated as COLP will need to be in a position to be able to discharge the role. They will need to consider whether they are in a position to, for example:

(a)

take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the SRA's regulatory arrangements by the firm and its employees; and with relevant statutory obligations e.g.

(A)

that authorised persons and other employees comply with the duty imposed by section 176 of the LSA (duty to comply with the SRA's regulatory arrangements);

(B)

under the LSA and the SA in respect of practice matters;

(b)

as soon as reasonably practicable, report to the SRA any material failure to comply, whether such failure is material either on its own or because it forms part of a pattern of non-compliance. The immediacy of the report will depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the breach.

(vii)

Those designated as COFA will need to be in a position to be able to discharge the role. They will need to consider whether they are in a position to, for example:

(a)

ensure that they have access to all accounting records;

(b)

carry out regular checks on the accounting systems;

(c)

carry out file and ledger reviews;

(d)

ensure that the reporting accountant has prompt access to all the information needed to complete the accountant's report;

(e)

take steps to ensure that breaches of the SRA Accounts Rules are remedied promptly;

(f)

monitor, review and manage risks to compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules;

(g)

as soon as reasonably practicable, report to the SRA any material failure to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules, whether such failure is material either on its own or because it forms part of a pattern of non-compliance. The immediacy of the report will depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the breach.

(viii)

In considering whether a failure is "material", the COLP or COFA, as appropriate, will need to take account of various factors, such as:

(a)

the detriment, or risk of detriment, to clients;

(b)

the extent of any risk of loss of confidence in the firm or in the provision of legal services;

(c)

the scale of the issue;

(d)

the overall impact on the firm, its clients and third parties.

In addition, the COLP/COFA will need to keep appropriate records of failures in compliance to:

(e)

monitor overall compliance with obligations;

(f)

assess the effectiveness of the firm's systems;

(g)

be able to decide when the need has arisen to report breaches which are material because they form a pattern.

(ix)

In developing their governance and administrative arrangements recognised sole practitioners will need to consider how they approach unexpected risks such as the absence of key staff, including COLP and COFA, and whether the nature of the absence will trigger the need to notify the SRA (see regulation 4.12) and to obtain approval for a replacement.

(x)

Approval of compliance officers under regulation 4.9 relates only to the role for which it is granted. Any change from one role that requires approval to another, will require a further approval and firms need to ensure that they notify the SRA of any changes and apply for fresh approvals, as necessary.

(xi)

The period specified in the notice of approval in regulation 4.10(a) will normally be 90 days although may be varied in individual cases.

(xii)

Regulation 4.13 imposes information requirements on recognised sole practitioners. As well as the annual information report, firms must update the SRA by giving details of general changes that occur in respect of the firm. Other reporting and information requirements that apply to individuals or firms include:

(a)

SRA requirements

(A)

Regulations 1.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.8, 4.12 and 15 of these regulations;

(B)

Rule 18 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules;

(C)

Rule 32 of the SRA Accounts Rules;

(D)

Chapter 10 of the Code of Conduct;

(E)

Rule 17.3 of the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2013 or any subsequent rules thereto;

(F)

Rule 3 of the SRA Overseas Rules.

(b)

Statutory requirements

(A)

Section 84 of the SA (notification of a solicitor's place of business).

Regulation 5: Fee determinations for acquisitions, mergers and splits

The turnover of a recognised sole practitioner for the purpose of determining the fee for renewal of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is based on a historic turnover figure submitted to the SRA. Where in the 12 months following the submission of that figure a recognised sole practitioner merges or splits, a notice of succession identifying all recognised bodies, licensed bodies and recognised sole practitioners affected by the merger or split and any resulting apportionment of 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.

5.1

A recognised sole practitioner who has succeeded to the whole or a part of one or more recognised bodies, licensed 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.

5.2

For the purposes of regulation 5.1, "succeeded" includes any taking over of the whole or any part of a recognised body, licensed body or recognised sole practitioner, for value or otherwise.

5.3

A recognised sole practitioner who:

(a)

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

(b)

wishes this change to be considered by the SRA when determining the recognised sole practitioner's next fee for renewal of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner

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

5.4

A notice of succession delivered under these regulations must:

(a)

identify all recognised bodies, licensed 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, licensed bodies and recognised sole practitioners.

5.5

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

5.6

Where a notice of succession is delivered to the SRA which has not been agreed by all affected recognised bodies, licensed bodies or recognised sole practitioners, the recognised sole practitioner 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, licensed bodies or recognised sole practitioners for the purposes of determining the fee for renewal of recognition.

5.7

Before apportioning the turnover figures under regulation 5.6, the SRA will contact any affected recognised body, licensed 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.

5.8

A turnover figure submitted to the SRA under this regulation shall be calculated in accordance with the SRA's prescribed method of calculation.

Guidance note

(i)

Regulation 5 will be repealed when Rule 8.3 of the SRA Authorisation Rules (which contains equivalent provisions) comes into force for sole practitioners.

Regulation 6: Applications for reinstatement
6.1

The following applications are to be treated as made under these regulations:

(a)

an application for reinstatement of a suspended practising certificate or suspended registration in the register of European lawyers under section 16(3) of the SA; and

(b)

an application for reinstatement of a suspended registration in the register of foreign lawyers under paragraph 12(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 or under section 16(3)(b) of the SA.

Regulation 7: Conditions
7.1

The SRA may impose one or more conditions on a practising certificate or on the registration of a European lawyer when granting an application under regulation 3 to 6, or at any time during the practising year, for the following purposes.

(a)

The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to undertake certain activities in relation to a legal practice, either at all or save as specified in the condition, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the involvement of the individual concerned in those activities.

(b)

The SRA considers that the individual concerned is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients, third parties or the public by taking certain steps in relation to a legal practice, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the taking of such steps by the individual concerned.

(c)

The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to engage in certain business agreements, business associations or practising arrangements and that imposing a condition requiring the applicant to obtain the SRA's written approval before taking certain steps will, in the public interest, limit, halt or prevent a risk to clients, third parties or the public.

(d)

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

(e)

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

(f)

The SRA considers that it would be in the public interest to impose the condition in any other case during the currency of a practising certificate or registration.

7.2

Without prejudice to the powers of the SRA under paragraph 2A, 12 or 13 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, the SRA may when granting an application under regulation 2.1(c) or at any time during the currency of a registration, impose such conditions on a foreign lawyer's registration as it sees fit:

(a)

if any event listed in regulation 3.1 applies to the individual concerned;

(b)

for a purpose within regulation 7.1(a) to (f); or

(c)

where the SRA considers in any other case that imposing the condition would be in the public interest.

7.3

When the SRA decides, on an initial application for a practising certificate or registration or on an application for replacement of a practising certificate or renewal of registration, to grant the application subject to a condition:

(a)

the SRA may postpone the issue of the certificate or the registration pending determination or discontinuance of any appeal; but

(b)

the postponement may be rescinded if in the SRA's opinion proceedings on appeal have been unduly protracted by an appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

7.4

Notice and effective date of conditions

(a)

The SRA must, subject to (b) below, give 28 days written notice, with reasons, to the individual concerned, when the SRA decides to impose a condition on a practising certificate or registration, except when conditions are imposed in the following applications:

(i)

initial application for a practising certificate;

(ii)

initial application for registration in the register of European lawyers or in the register of foreign lawyers;

(iii)

application for replacement of a practising certificate;

(iv)

application for renewal of registration in the register of European lawyers or in the register of foreign lawyers;

(v)

application for reinstatement under regulation 6.

(b)

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

(c)

A condition is effective from the date on which the condition is imposed unless a later date is specified in the condition.

Regulation 8: Appeals
8.1

The rights of appeal conferred by regulation 8 supplement the statutory rights of appeal referred to in 8.4.

8.2

A person who is the subject of any of the following decisions has a right of appeal to the High Court against:

(a)

revocation , under regulation 10.2(a)(i), (iii), (iv) or (v), of a solicitor's practising certificate;

(b)

revocation , under regulation 10.2(b), of a solicitor's or European lawyer's authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner.

8.3

A solicitor, REL or RFL who is the subject of any decision in (a)-(d) below and/or the person who is the subject of a decision in (c) or (d) below may appeal under the SRA's own appeals procedure against:

(a)

refusal to revoke a practising certificate or registration under regulation 10.2(c);

(b)

refusal to withhold a solicitor's, European lawyer's or foreign lawyer's place of business from the relevant register under regulation 11, 12 or 13;

(c)

refusal to approve a person as suitable to be a compliance officer under regulation 4.9;

(d)

withdrawal of approval of a person as suitable to be a compliance officer under regulation 4.11.

8.4

A solicitor, European lawyer or foreign lawyer may invoke the SRA's own appeals procedure before exercising a right of appeal to the High Court:

(a)

under section 13(1) of the SA, against refusal to issue or replace a practising certificate or refusal to renew registration in the register of European lawyers;

(b)

under regulation 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/1119), against refusal to grant initial registration in the register of European lawyers;

(c)

under paragraph 14 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, against refusal to grant or renew registration in the register of foreign lawyers, or against a decision of the SRA to revoke his or her registration;

(d)

under section 13(1) or 13ZA(6) of the SA or regulation 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000, against refusal to grant or renew authorisation of a solicitor or REL as a recognised sole practitioner;

(e)

under section 13(1), 13ZA(6), 13A(6) or 16(5) of the SA, regulation 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 or paragraph 14 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, against the imposition of a condition on a practising certificate or the registration of a European lawyer or foreign lawyer;

(f)

under section 13(2) or 13A(9) of the SA, against refusal of permission to take a step for which the SRA's permission is required under a condition on a practising certificate or the registration of a European lawyer or foreign lawyer;

(g)

under section 13B(7) of the SA, against suspension of a practising certificate or suspension of registration in the register of foreign lawyers;

(h)

under regulation 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000, against suspension of registration in the register of European lawyers;

(i)

under section 13B(7) of the SA, against extension of suspension of a practising certificate or suspension of the registration of a European lawyer or foreign lawyer;

(j)

under section 13B(7) of the SA, against suspension of authorisation of a solicitor or REL as a recognised sole practitioner;

(k)

under section 16(5) of the SA or paragraph 14 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, against refusal to reinstate a suspended practising certificate or the suspended registration of a European lawyer or foreign lawyer;

(l)

under section 16(5) of the SA, against refusal to reinstate a suspended authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner;

(m)

under regulation 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 against revocation of registration in the register of European lawyers;

(n)

under regulations 19 and 20 of the European Communities (Lawyer's Practice) Regulations 2000 against failure to determine, within four months, an application for initial registration in the register of European lawyers;

(o)

under paragraph 14 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, against failure to determine, within a reasonable time, an application for registration, renewal of registration or reinstatement of a suspended registration in the register of foreign lawyers;

(p)

against a decision mentioned in regulation 8.2(a) or (b).

8.5

Deemed refusal

(a)

If an application is made in accordance with regulation 1.1, and the SRA has not notified the applicant of its decision:

(i)

by the end of the 90th day, in the case of any application except an application for renewal of a practising certificate or registration which is made under regulation 3; or

(ii)

by the end of the 180th day, in the case of an application for renewal of a practising certificate or registration including, where applicable, the renewal of an existing authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner endorsed on the practising certificate or registration, which is made under regulation 3,

the application is to be treated as having been refused and the refusal having been duly notified to the applicant on that day for the purpose of an appeal. For the avoidance of doubt, the fact that an application is treated as refused under regulation 8.5 does not prevent the application being granted or refused with reasons after expiry of the time limits above.

(b)

The provisions of (a) above do not apply to an application from which an appeal lies under 8.4(n) or (o).

8.6

Appeal time limits

(a)

Appeals under the SRA's own appeals procedure must be commenced within 28 days of notification of the relevant decision.

(b)

Unless otherwise provided in the relevant statute, regulations or rules of Court or in the relevant decision, an appeal to the High Court must be commenced:

(i)

within the period of 28 days from the date of notification of the decision that is subject to appeal;

(ii)

within a period of 28 days from the date of notification of the refusal of an appeal under the SRA's own appeals procedure; or

(iii)

within a period of 28 days from the date of notification of the decision to impose a condition under the SRA's own appeals procedure,

as appropriate.

Part 2: Duration, expiry and revocation of practising certificates and registrations

Regulation 9: Commencement, replacement and renewal dates
9.1

Commencement

(a)

The commencement date for a practising certificate is the day on which it is entered in the register of holders of practising certificates as having commenced.

(b)

The commencement date for registration in the register of European lawyers is the day on which the lawyer's name is entered in the register as having commenced.

(c)

The commencement date for registration in the register of foreign lawyers is the day on which the lawyer's name is entered in the register as having commenced.

(d)

The commencement date for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is the day on which the authorisation is entered in the register of holders of practising certificates or the register of European lawyers as having commenced.

9.2

Replacement and renewal

(a)

The replacement date for a practising certificate is the 31 October following the issue of the certificate.

(b)

The renewal date for registration in the register of European lawyers is the first 31 October following initial registration, and 31 October in each successive year.

(c)

The renewal date for registration in the register of foreign lawyers is the first 31 October following initial registration, and 31 October in each successive year.

(d)

The renewal date for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner is the first 31 October following the initial authorisation, and 31 October in each successive year.

Guidance note

(i)

When recognised sole practitioners are passported to become recognised bodies and transitioned to be regulated under the SRA Authorisation Rules, their recognition will become a lifetime recognition and annual renewal of recognition will not be necessary. Other requirements will apply annually to the firm, including Rule 8.3 (Payment of periodical fees) and 8.7 (Information requirements) of the SRA Authorisation Rules rather than those in regulation 4 above.

Regulation 10: Expiry and revocation
10.1

Expiry

(a)

A practising certificate expires:

(i)

when a replacement certificate is issued;

(ii)

on the death of the solicitor;

(iii)

if the solicitor is removed from or struck off the roll;

(iv)

in the case of a practising certificate which is suspended, on its replacement date, or if its replacement date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect.

(b)

The registration of an REL expires:

(i)

if the lawyer becomes a solicitor, barrister or advocate of any of the UK jurisdictions or a barrister of the Irish Republic;

(ii)

if the lawyer ceases to be a member, and entitled to practise as such, of an Establishment Directive profession;

(iii)

if the lawyer ceases to be a national of an Establishment Directive state;

(iv)

on the death of the lawyer;

(v)

if the lawyer is removed from or struck off the register; or

(vi)

in the case of a registration which is suspended, on its renewal date, or if its renewal date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect,

except that the registration of a European lawyer will not expire by virtue of the lawyer becoming a solicitor of Scotland or Northern Ireland at a time when he or she is registered both with the SRA and with the Law Society of Scotland and/or the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

(c)

The registration of an RFL expires:

(i)

if the lawyer becomes a solicitor, REL or barrister;

(ii)

if the lawyer ceases to be a member, and entitled to practise as such, of a legal profession which is regulated within a jurisdiction outside England and Wales and is approved by the SRA in accordance with paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990;

(iii)

on the death of the lawyer;

(iv)

if the lawyer is removed from or struck off the register; or

(v)

in the case of a registration which is suspended, on its renewal date or if its renewal date has passed, 14 days after the suspension took effect.

(d)

Authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expires on:

(i)

the expiry or revocation of the solicitor's practising certificate or the European lawyer's registration;

(ii)

the imposition of a condition on the solicitor's practising certificate or the European lawyer's registration which prohibits practice as a sole practitioner; or

(iii)

the date on which recognised sole practitioners are passported to become recognised bodies under Rule 28.2 of the SRA Authorisation Rules.

10.2

Revocation

(a)

The SRA may revoke a practising certificate, registration in the register of European lawyers or registration in the register of foreign lawyers:

(i)

at any time, if the SRA is satisfied that the practising certificate or registration was granted as a result of error or fraud;

(ii)

on a date chosen by the SRA, if the replacement or renewal date has passed and the SRA has not received an application for replacement of the practising certificate or renewal of the registration made in accordance with regulation 1;

(iii)

at any time, if the SRA is satisfied, in the case of an REL, that the lawyer has no intention of practising on a permanent basis in the UK;

(iv)

at any time, if the SRA is satisfied, in the case of an RFL, that the lawyer has no intention of practising in the capacity of an RFL in accordance with Rule 3 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules; or

(v)

on refusing, under regulation 2 or 3, to replace a practising certificate or to renew a registration.

(b)

The SRA may revoke authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner at any time if:

(i)

the authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner was granted as a result of error or fraud;

(ii)

the solicitor or REL is not practising from an office in England and Wales;

(iii)

the SRA is not satisfied that the recognised sole practitioner continues to meet the criteria for authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner;

(iv)

the recognised sole practitioner or any employee of the firm fails to comply with the duties imposed under the SRA's regulatory arrangements or any statutory obligations, including failure to pay any fine or other financial penalty imposed by the SRA, the Tribunal or the High Court;

(v)

the recognised sole practitioner 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; or

(vi)

the SRA has decided under regulation 4 not to renew authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner.

(c)

The SRA may revoke a practising certificate, registration, or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner on the application of the person concerned but:

(i)

there is no discretion to refund any part of the fee paid for that practising year; and

(ii)

the SRA may refuse the application if there is an outstanding complaint against the applicant or for any other reason relating to the public interest.

10.3

Notice of revocation

(a)

When the SRA decides to revoke a practising certificate, registration, or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner under 10.2(a)(i), (iii), (iv) or (v) or 10.2(b) it must give the person concerned 28 days notice, with reasons. The notice may be given together with notification of refusal of an application to replace a practising certificate, renew a registration or renew an authorisation.

(b)

Revocation takes effect on expiry of the notice under (a), or on such later date as may be stated in the notice, except that if an appeal is made during the period of notice the revocation does not take effect until determination or discontinuance of any appeal, whether under the SRA's own procedure, or to the High Court under statutory provisions, or to the High Court under regulation 8.6(b).

Guidance note

(i)

The authorisation of solicitors and RELs as recognised sole practitioners will cease when they are passported to become recognised bodies with recognition under the SRA Authorisation Rules. See also the guidance note to regulation 9.

Part 3: The registers, practising certificates and certificates of registration

Regulation 11: The register of holders of practising certificates
11.1

The SRA must keep a register of solicitors who hold practising certificates, which may be kept in electronic form.

11.2

The register must contain, in respect of each solicitor who holds a practising certificate, the following information:

(a)

full name as shown on the roll;

(b)

date of birth;

(c)

registration number;

(d)

any other legal profession of which the solicitor is a member and whether the solicitor is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

(e)

date of admission as a solicitor;

(f)

the commencement and replacement dates for the solicitor's current practising certificate;

(g)

whether the solicitor is a recognised sole practitioner, and if so:

(i)

the registered name of the solicitor's sole practice; and

(ii)

any other practising styles used by the solicitor as a sole practitioner;

(h)

the solicitor's place or places of business, except in the case of a non-practising solicitor;

(i)

an address for correspondence in the case of a non-practising solicitor;

(j)

any condition to which the solicitor's practising certificate is subject;

(k)

a note about any suspension of the solicitor from practice, or suspension of the solicitor's practising certificate, or suspension of the solicitor from practice as a sole practitioner, or suspension of the solicitor's authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner, or the termination of any such suspension;

(l)

a note of any order of the Tribunal under section 47 of the SA in respect of the solicitor (or former solicitor), and a note of any order of the High Court or the Court of Appeal striking the solicitor off the roll; and

(m)

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

11.3

Public information

(a)

Entries in the register under 11.2(a), (c) to (h) and (j) to (m) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

(i)

the address of any or all a solicitor's places of business; or

(ii)

all information about a condition to which a solicitor's practising certificate is subject, or details of the condition.

(b)

The date on which a solicitor's practising certificate or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

Guidance note

(i)

Because sole practitioners are not authorised by means of endorsement on their practising certificate after 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, the register shows only suspensions of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner occurring up to that date. For information on sole practitioner firms after that please refer to the register of authorised bodies (see Rule 34 of the SRA Authorisation Rules).

Regulation 12: The register of European lawyers
12.1

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

12.2

The register must contain, in respect of each REL, the following information:

(a)

full name;

(b)

date of birth;

(c)

registration number;

(d)

in relation to each Establishment Directive profession of which the lawyer is a member:

(i)

the professional title;

(ii)

the professional body; and

(iii)

whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

(e)

any other legal profession of which the lawyer is a member and whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

(f)

the date of initial registration;

(g)

the commencement and renewal dates for the current period of registration;

(h)

whether the lawyer is a recognised sole practitioner, and if so:

(i)

the registered name of the lawyer's sole practice; and

(ii)

any other practising styles used by the lawyer as a sole practitioner in the UK;

(i)

the lawyer's place or places of business in the UK;

(j)

any condition to which the lawyer's registration is subject;

(k)

a note about any suspension of the lawyer's registration, or suspension of the lawyer from practice as a sole practitioner, or suspension of the lawyer's authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner, or the termination of any such suspension;

(l)

a note of any order of the Tribunal under section 47 of the SA in respect of the lawyer, and a note of any order of the High Court or the Court of Appeal striking the lawyer off the register; and

(m)

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

12.3

Public information

(a)

Entries in the register under 12.2(a) and (c) to (m) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

(i)

the address of any or all an REL's places of business; or

(ii)

all information about a condition to which an REL's registration is subject or details of the condition.

(b)

The date on which an REL's registration or authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

12.4

An REL whose name has changed may apply to the SRA to change his or her name on the register.

Guidance note

(i)

Because sole practitioners are not authorised by means of endorsement on their registration after 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, the register shows only suspensions of authorisation as a recognised sole practitioner occurring up to that date. For information on sole practitioner firms after that please refer to the register of authorised bodies (see Rule 34 of the SRA Authorisation Rules).

Regulation 13: The register of foreign lawyers
13.1

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

13.2

The register must contain, in respect of each RFL, the following information:

(a)

full name;

(b)

date of birth;

(c)

registration number;

(d)

in relation to each legal profession of which the lawyer is a member:

(i)

the professional title;

(ii)

the professional body; and

(iii)

whether the lawyer is entitled to practise as a member of that profession;

(e)

the date of initial registration;

(f)

the commencement and renewal dates for the current period of registration;

(g)

the registered name and place or places of business of:

(i)

any recognised body, or authorised non-SRA firm which is not licensed under Part 5 of the LSA, of which the lawyer is a manager or interest holder;

(ii)

any licensed body of which the lawyer is a manager or owner; or

(iii)

any authorised non-SRA firm licensed under Part 5 of the LSA of which the lawyer is a manager or a material interest holder;

(h)

the registered name of any recognised sole practitioner, recognised body, licensed body or authorised non-SRA firm who or which is the lawyer's employer, and the address of the lawyer's place of employment;

(i)

any condition to which the lawyer's registration is subject;

(j)

a note about any suspension of the lawyer's registration, or the termination of such suspension;

(k)

a note of any order of the Tribunal in respect of the lawyer; and

(l)

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

13.3

Public information

(a)

Entries in the register under 13.2(a) and (c) to (l) must be available for inspection by any member of the public, except that the SRA may in exceptional circumstances and if it considers that to do so would be in the public interest, withhold:

(i)

the address of any or all an RFL's places of business; or

(ii)

all information about a condition to which an RFL's registration is subject or details of the condition.

(b)

The date on which an RFL's registration expired or was revoked must be made available to a member of the public on request.

13.4

An RFL whose name has changed may apply to the SRA to change his or her name on the register.

Regulation 14: Practising certificates and certificates of registration
14.1

Each practising certificate and each certificate of registration must specify:

(a)

the individual's full name;

(b)

its commencement date;

(c)

its replacement date;

(d)

in the case of a solicitor or REL who is authorised as a recognised sole practitioner, a statement to that effect; and

(e)

any condition to which the practising certificate or registration is subject, to the extent that it is public information under regulation 11, 12 or 13.

14.2

Every practising certificate or certificate of registration must be delivered to the applicant at the applicant's principal place of business or to such other address as may be specified by or on behalf of the applicant in writing, and may be delivered by post or electronically.

Part 4: Information requirements, notifying third parties and review of decisions

Regulation 15: Information requirements
15.1

In addition to any requirements under section 84 of the SA or any other rules applicable by virtue of that Act, a solicitor, REL or RFL must inform the SRA within seven days if he or she:

(a)

is committed to prison in civil or criminal proceedings;

(b)

is charged with or convicted of an indictable offence;

(c)

is made the subject of bankruptcy proceedings;

(d)

makes a proposal for an individual voluntary arrangement or is a manager of a firm which makes a proposal for a company voluntary arrangement or a partnership voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986;

(e)

is admitted as:

(i)

a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales;

(ii)

a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor;

(f)

is made subject to disciplinary proceedings as:

(i)

a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales; or

(ii)

a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor;

(g)

becomes:

(i)

a manager of or acquires any interest in a recognised body, or in an authorised non-SRA firm which is not licensed under Part 5 of the LSA;

(ii)

a manager or owner of a licensed body; or

(iii)

a manager of or acquires a material interest in an authorised non-SRA firm licensed under Part 5 of the LSA;

(h)

sets up a sole practice as:

(i)

a member of a legal profession of a jurisdiction other than England and Wales; or

(ii)

a lawyer of England and Wales other than a solicitor;

(i)

changes his or her name as shown on the register of holders of practising certificates, the register of European lawyers or the register of foreign lawyers, and must at the same time provide details of his or her new name.

15.2

A solicitor, REL or RFL who ceases to practise must inform the SRA within seven days and supply the SRA with a contact address.

Regulation 16: Notifying third parties of decisions
16.1

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, licensed body or an authorised non-SRA firm of which the solicitor, REL or RFL concerned is a manager, or in which he or she has any interest;

(b)

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

(c)

any approved regulator;

(d)

the Legal Services Board;

(e)

the Legal Ombudsman;

(f)

the regulatory body for any profession of which the solicitor, REL or RFL concerned is a member;

(g)

any law enforcement agency.

Regulation 17: Reconsideration
17.1

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.

17.2

A decision may be reconsidered under 17.1 only on the initiative of the SRA.

17.3

The SRA may also give directions:

(a)

for further investigations to be undertaken;

(b)

for further information or explanation to be obtained; and

(c)

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

Part 5: Interpretation and transitional provisions

Regulation 18: Interpretation
18.1

The SRA Handbook Glossary 2012 shall apply and, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a)

all italicised terms shall be defined; and

(b)

all terms shall be interpreted,

in accordance with the Glossary.

Regulation 19: Transitional provisions
19.1

In these regulations references to licensed bodies shall have no effect until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA and all definitions shall be construed accordingly.

19.2

Regulation 10.1(d)(iii) shall have no effect until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA.

19.3

Until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA, references in Regulation 3.1(a) to compliance officers of a licensed body (3.1(a)(iii)) or of an authorised body (3.1(a)(vii) and (viii)) shall have no effect.

19.4

Until such time as the Society is designated as a licensing authority under Part 1 of Schedule 10 to the LSA the reference in Regulation 3.1(a)(viii) to revocation or suspension under the SRA Authorisation Rules shall have no effect.

19.5

From 31 March 2012, a recognised sole practitioner who does not comply with regulation 4.8 above may be treated as being in compliance for the purposes of that regulation and the SRA's regulatory arrangements, until 31 December 2012, at which time the recognised sole practitioner shall be required to comply with regulation 4.8.