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When the relevant provisions of the Access to Justice Act 1999 came into force, the Law Society as well as the Tribunal gained power to make an Order pursuant to Section 43 in respect of persons employed or remunerated by a solicitor in connection with his practice. 

The effect of a Section 43 Order is to vest in the Law Society control of the future employment of an individual clerk in a solicitor’s practice.

Whilst the Order remains in force, any solicitor wishing to employ the clerk must first obtain the written permission of the Law Society to do so. The Law Society delegates this role to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 

The Law Society alone can bring an application under Section 43 to obtain an Order in respect of persons employed or remunerated by a solicitor in connection with his practice; a lay applicant has no jurisdiction to do so.

Making an application

Where the Law Society or the Tribunal has made a Section 43 Order, the person in respect of whom that Order has been made or the Law Society may make an application to the Tribunal for review (Section 43(3)(a)) and whichever of the Law Society and Tribunal made the Section 43 Order may at any time revoke it (Section 43(3)(b)).

On review, the Tribunal has power to quash, vary or confirm the Order (Section 43(3A)). The Tribunal may also make an order as to the payment of costs by any party to the application (Section 43(4)).

When making an application to the Tribunal for review, please refer to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Guidance Note on Other Powers of the Tribunal (6th Edition) and the Judgment of Mr Justice Wilkie dated 26 June 2013 in R (on the application of the Solicitors Regulation Authority) v Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Solicitors Regulation Authority v Liaqat Ali [2013] EWHC 2584 (Admin.).

The Guidance Note applies to all cases heard after 25 November 2019.