Section 43 applications and orders

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has the power to regulate unqualified persons under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (s43 Order). On application to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) a s43 Order restricts the future employment of unqualified persons.

An unqualified person is anyone who is not a qualified solicitor and either has no legal qualification or a different legal qualification, for example a barrister, licensed conveyancer, legal executive, notary public or patent agent.

Following the introduction of the Legal Services Act, the power was extended to cover not only employees of solicitors but also owners and managers of legal disciplinary practices (LDPs) and alternative business structures (ABSs).

A decision to investigate the behaviour of an unqualified person usually triggers a linked investigation of the solicitors in the entity for failing to supervise.

Once a s43 Order has been made, applications may be made to review the order so that it may be revoked or amended.

Typically problems arise when solicitors either unwittingly employ someone who is subject to such an order or fail to recognise the requirement to seek the permission of the SRA to employ someone subject to a s43 Order.

We can assist in representing you if you are seeking to resist a s43 Order or if you wish to apply for a review. If you are a solicitor we have the expertise to assist in any disciplinary action contemplated in respect of your connection with someone who is likely to be or is already subject to a s43 Order.

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