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Applications in respect of Solicitors

The majority of applications are made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, on behalf of the Law Society.

The majority of applications are made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) on behalf of the Law Society and are conducted by in-house solicitors and barristers employed by the SRA or by solicitors in private practice selected from panels maintained by the SRA.

Sometimes the SRA authorises its solicitors to instruct barristers to appear on their behalf at the hearing. 

Each application together with its supporting statement and documents is considered strictly in accordance with Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019, Rule 12.

Lay Applications

Any person can make an application direct to the Tribunal. A person making such an application is called a “Lay Applicant”. 

It is essential to note that the Tribunal does not have any powers of investigation, nor does it collect evidence to support or oppose an application. The Tribunal cannot award compensation.  Ordinarily the Tribunal will expect a Lay Applicant to have first sent their complaint or to have made a report to the SRA, which does have powers of investigation and can collect evidence.

If an application by an individual is made direct to the Tribunal, it can refer the application to the SRA. In such a case the SRA will take whatever steps it considers to be appropriate, which might include investigation or submitting its own application to the Tribunal.

Time and expense will be saved for the Lay Applicant if the complaint is reported to the SRA and the SRA is given an opportunity to investigate and reach a decision on the complaint before making a Lay Application to the Tribunal.

Applications to the Tribunal must be made in the prescribed form supported by a statement setting out the allegations and the facts and matters supporting the application and each allegation made. Documents referred to in the statement should be exhibited to it.

If the application is being brought by more than one Lay Applicant, it is possible to use the same application form.  Each Applicant must sign the application form or provide confirmation in writing that they are making a joint application.  Each Applicant must also confirm that they consent to the Tribunal communicating with the lead Applicant(s) on their behalf.