Solicitors Act 1974

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1974 c. 47


Solicitors Act 1974

1974 CHAPTER 47

An Act to consolidate the Solicitors Acts 1957 to 1974 and certain other enactments relating to solicitors.

[31st July 1974]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Right to Practise as Solicitor

Part I

Right to Practise as Solicitor

Qualifications and training

Qualifications and training

S-1 Qualifications for practising as solicitor.

1 Qualifications for practising as solicitor.

No person shall be qualified to act as a solicitor unless—

a ) he has been admitted as a solicitor, and
b ) his name is on the roll, and
c ) he has in force a certificate issued by the Society in accordance with the provisions of this Part authorising him to practise as a solicitor (in this Act referred to as a ‘practising certificate’)
S-2 Training regulations.

2 Training regulations.

(1) The Society, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, may make regulations (in this Act referred to as ‘training regulations’) about education and training for persons seeking to be admitted or to practise as solicitors.

(2) It shall be the Society's duty, before submitting training regulations to the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls for their concurrence under subsection (1), to consult the Secretary of State or, if he so directs, any person or body of persons specified in the direction.

(3) Training regulations—

( a ) may prescribe—

(i) the education and training, whether by service under articles or otherwise, to be undergone by persons seeking admission as solicitors;

(ii) any education or training to be undergone by persons who have been admitted as solicitors;

(iii) the examinations or other tests to be undergone by persons seeking admission as solicitors or who have been admitted;

(iv) the qualifications and reciprocal duties and responsibilities of persons undertaking to give education or training for the purposes of the regulations or undergoing such education or training; and

(v) the circumstances in which articles may be discharged or education or training under the regulations may be terminated;

( b ) may require persons who have been admitted as solicitors to hold practising certificates while they are undergoing education or training under the regulations;

( c ) may include provision for the charging of fees by the Society and the application of fees which the Society receives;

( d ) may make different provision for different classes of persons and different circumstances.

Admission

Admission

S-3 Admission as solicitor.

3 Admission as solicitor.

(1) Subject to section 4 and to section 20(3) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1949 (which relates to the admission as solicitors of certain persons who have served as assistant to a justices' clerk), no person shall be admitted as a solicitor unless he has obtained a certificate from the Society that the Society—

( a ) is satisfied that he has complied with training regulations, and

( b ) is satisfied as to his character and his suitability to be a solicitor.

(2) Any person who has obtained a certificate that the Society is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1) may apply to the Master of the Rolls to be admitted as a solicitor; and if any such person so applies, the Master of the Rolls, or a judge appointed under subsection (3) to act on his behalf for the time being, shall, unless cause to the contrary is shown to his satisfaction, in writing, and in such manner and form as the Master of the Rolls may from time to time think fit, admit that person to be a solicitor.

(3) The Master of the Rolls may in writing appoint any judge of the High Court to act on his behalf for the purpose of admitting persons to be solicitors under subsection (2).

S-4 Admission of certain overseas solicitors.

4 Admission of certain overseas solicitors.

(1) Subject to section 5(1), a solicitor of a superior court in any territory to which this subsection for the time being applies who has been in practice before that court for not less than three years may, and a solicitor of such a court who has for not less than three years served bona fide as a clerk to a solicitor in England and Wales may with the consent of the Council of the Society, be admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court—

( a ) after giving due notice and the prescribed proof of his qualifications and good character; and

( b ) after passing the prescribed examination or, in the prescribed cases, without examination; and

( c ) after service under articles during the prescribed period or, in the prescribed cases, without such service; and

( d ) on payment of the prescribed amount in respect of fees.

(2) Where, as respects a superior court in any territory (including a part of a territory) which is part of the Commonwealth outside the United Kingdom, Her Majesty in Council is satisfied—

( a ) that the regulations respecting the admission of solicitors of that court are such as to secure that those solicitors possess proper qualifications and competency; and

( b ) that by the law of that territory solicitors of the Supreme Court will be admitted as solicitors of the superior court in that territory on terms as favourable as those on which it is proposed to admit solicitors of that superior court in pursuance of subsection (1) as solicitors of the Supreme Court,

Her Majesty may by Order in Council apply subsection (1) to that superior court and that territory subject to any exceptions, conditions and modifications specified in the Order, and by the same or any subsequent Order in Council may, as respects that court and territory, provide for all matters authorised by this section to be prescribed and for all matters appearing to Her Majesty to be necessary or proper for giving effect to the Order and to this section.

(3) Her Majesty may by Order in Council revoke or vary any Order previously made under this section.

(4) An Order in Council applying subsection (1) to any court and providing for the admission of solicitors of that court as solicitors of the Supreme Court, and an Order in Council applying the Colonial Solicitors Act 1900 to the same court and providing for the admission of solicitors of that court as solicitors in Scotland, may, if convenient, be made together as one Order.

(5) In this section, ‘superior court’ and ‘solicitor’ mean respectively, as respects any territory, such court in that territory and such solicitor, attorney, law agent or other person entitled to practise as agent in a court of law in that territory as may be prescribed.

S-5 Restrictions on admission of overseas solicitors.

5 Restrictions on admission of overseas solicitors.

(1) A person admitted under the Colonial Solicitors Act 1900, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, as a solicitor in Scotland or in Northern Ireland shall not, while remaining such a solicitor, be admitted under section 4(1) as a solicitor of the Supreme Court.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a person who before 1st October 1921 was admitted under the said Act of 1900 as a solicitor in Ireland shall be deemed to have been admitted under that Act as a solicitor in Northern Ireland.

(3) For the purposes of section 6(2) of the said Act of 1900 (which makes for Scotland and Northern Ireland provision corresponding to subsection (1)) a person admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court under section 4(1) shall be deemed to have been admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales under that Act.

The roll

The roll

S-6 Keeping of the roll.

6 Keeping of the roll.

(1) The Society shall continue to keep a list of all solicitors of the Supreme Court, called ‘the roll’.

(2) The roll may be kept by means of a computer.

(3) If the roll is kept by means of a computer, the Society shall make any entry available for inspection in legible form during office hours, without payment, by any person who applies to inspect it.

(4) If the roll is not kept by means of a computer, any person may inspect it during office hours without payment.

S-7 Entry of name and restoration of name struck off.

7 Entry of name and restoration of name struck off.

On production—

a ) of an admission of any person as a solicitor signed by the Master of the Rolls or a judge acting for him under section 3(2), or
b ) of an order for the restoration to the roll of the name of a person whose name has been struck off it

and on payment to the Society of such fee not exceeding 15 as the Council may from time to time determine, the Society shall enter the name of that person on the roll.

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