Duration, expiry and revocation of practising certificates and registrations

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

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.