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Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

354

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

( )    

if the application included an application for a sole solicitor

 

endorsement, a decision to refuse the application for the

 

endorsement’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 45. It enables persons who have been refused endorse­

 

ment as a sole solicitor to appeal against that decision.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

50

 

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  6,  leave out ‘for a practising certificate’ and insert

 

‘under section 9’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is consequential on amendment 45. It ensures that the Law Society’s rule making

 

powers under section 13(3) in relation to appeal procedures for applications neither granted nor

 

refused, extend to applications for endorsements, in addition to applications for practising certif­

 

icates.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

51

 

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  11,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

direct the Society to make a sole solicitor endorsement on the

 

applicant’s practising certificate and to issue that certificate

 

subject to such conditions (if any) as the High Court may think

 

fit,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 49. It allows the High Court to direct the Law Society to

 

endorse the solicitor’s practising certificate, on an appeal under section 13, subject to any such

 

conditions (if any) as it thinks fit.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

52

 

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  16,  after ‘it,’, insert—

 

‘( )    

if the certificate has been endorsed with a sole solicitor

 

endorsement, by order suspend the endorsement,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 49. It provides the High Court with the power to suspend

 

a sole solicitor endorsement, on an appeal under section 13.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

53

 

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  26,  at end insert—

 

            

‘After section 13 insert—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

355

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

“13ZA

  Application to practise as sole practitioner while practising

 

certificate in force

 

(1)    

A solicitor whose practising certificate for the time being in force (his

 

“current certificate”) does not have a sole solicitor endorsement, may

 

apply to the Society for such an endorsement.

 

(2)    

For the purposes of subsection (1) a practising certificate with a sole

 

solicitor endorsement which is suspended is to be treated as having

 

such an endorsement.

 

(3)    

A solicitor may not apply under subsection (1) if he is suspended from

 

practice as a sole solicitor.

 

(4)    

An application must be—

 

(a)    

made in accordance with regulations under section 28, and

 

(b)    

accompanied by any fee payable under section 13ZB in

 

respect of the endorsement applied for.

 

(5)    

Where a sole solicitor endorsement is granted to an applicant of a

 

prescribed description, the applicant’s practising certificate shall have

 

effect subject to any conditions prescribed in relation to applicants of

 

that description.

 

    

“Prescribed” means prescribed by regulations under section

 

28(3B)(ea).

 

(6)    

A person who makes an application under this section may appeal to

 

the High Court against—

 

(a)    

a decision to refuse the application, or

 

(b)    

a decision to impose a condition on a practising certificate in

 

accordance with subsection (5).

 

(7)    

The Society may by rules make provision, as respects any application

 

under this section that is neither granted nor refused by the Society

 

within such period as may be specified in the rules, for enabling an

 

appeal to be brought under this section in relation to the application as

 

if it had been refused by the Society.

 

(8)    

On an appeal under this section the High Court may—

 

(a)    

affirm the decision of the Society,

 

(b)    

direct the Society to grant a sole solicitor endorsement,

 

(c)    

direct that the applicant’s practising certificate is to have

 

effect subject to such conditions (if any) as the High Court

 

thinks fit, or

 

(d)    

make such other order as the High Court thinks fit.

 

(9)    

In relation to an appeal under this section the High Court may make

 

such order as it thinks fit as to payment of costs.

 

(10)    

The decision of the High Court on an appeal under this section shall

 

be final.

 

13ZB  

Fee payable on making of sole solicitor endorsement

 

(1)    

Before a sole solicitor endorsement is granted under section 13ZA,

 

there must be paid to the Society in respect of the endorsement a fee

 

of such amount as the Society may from time to time determine.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

356

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

(2)    

Different fees may be specified for different categories of applicant

 

and in different circumstances.

 

(3)    

If a fee payable under this section would not otherwise be a practising

 

fee for the purposes of section 51 of the Legal Services Act 2007, it is

 

to be treated for the purposes of that section as such a fee.

 

(4)    

In subsection (3) “practising fee” has the meaning given by that

 

section.”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that a person may apply for a sole solicitor endorsement at any time

 

while that person’s practising certificate is in force. It also makes provision as to applicable cri­

 

teria and procedures for such applications, including imposition of conditions, fees payable and

 

appeal procedures.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

54

 

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  32,  after ‘if’, insert—

 

‘(a)    

under section 13ZA the Society grants a sole solicitor

 

endorsement, or

 

(b)    

’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 53. It ensures that the Law Society’s power to impose

 

conditions on practising certificates at any time while they are in force is exercisable on the grant

 

of a sole solicitor endorsement under section 13ZA.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

305

 

Parliamentary Star    

Schedule  16,  page  232,  line  41,  leave out sub-paragraph (5).

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

306

 

Parliamentary Star    

Schedule  16,  page  233,  line  18,  at end insert—

 

  ‘(12)  

The decision of the High Court on an appeal under subsection (6) or (9) shall

 

be final.’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

55

 

Schedule  16,  page  233,  line  22,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

in subsection (1), after “practising certificate” insert “or sole solicitor

 

endorsement”,

 

( )    

in subsection (6), after “practice” insert “or from practice as a sole

 

solicitor”,’.

 

.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment ensures that the Law Society may suspend a person’s sole solicitor endorsement,


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

357

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

where applicable, (as well as his practising certificate), where that person has been convicted of

 

fraud or serious crime, or is the subject of an application to the Tribunal under section 47.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

307

 

Parliamentary Star    

Schedule  16,  page  233,  line  22,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

in subsection (2) for “six” substitute “9”,

 

( )    

in subsection (4) for “six” substitute “9”,’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

56

 

Schedule  16,  page  233,  line  26,  after ‘Court”,’ insert—

 

‘( )    

in paragraph (b), for “shall not be suspended but” substitute

 

“or sole solicitor endorsement shall not be suspended, but that

 

the appellant’s certificate”,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment allows the High Court, on an appeal from a direction of the Law Society suspend­

 

ing a person’s sole solicitor endorsement, to direct that the endorsement shall not be suspended.

 

The Court may also direct that his practising certificate shall be subject to such conditions as it

 

thinks fit.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

57

 

Schedule  16,  page  234,  line  12,  at end insert—

 

            

‘After section 17 insert—

 

“17A  

Suspension of sole solicitor endorsement

 

(1)    

The making by the Tribunal or by the court of an order suspending a

 

solicitor from practice as a sole solicitor shall operate to suspend any

 

sole solicitor endorsement of that solicitor for the time being in force.

 

(2)    

For the purposes of this Act, a sole solicitor endorsement shall be

 

deemed not to be in force at any time while it is suspended.

 

(3)    

Subsection (2) is subject to section 13ZA(2).

 

17B    

Duration and publicity of suspension of sole solicitor endorsement

 

(1)    

Where a sole solicitor endorsement is suspended, it expires on such

 

date as may be prescribed by regulations under section 28.

 

(2)    

Where a solicitor’s sole solicitor endorsement is suspended—

 

(a)    

by an order under section 13(4), or

 

(b)    

by virtue of section 17A(1) in circumstances where the period

 

of that suspension expires before the date on which his

 

endorsement will expire,

 

    

the solicitor may at any time before the endorsement expires apply to

 

the Society to terminate the suspension.

 

(3)    

Section 16(4) to (7) apply in relation to an application under

 

subsection (2) as they apply in relation to an application under section

 

16(3).


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

358

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

(4)    

Where a solicitor’s sole solicitor endorsement is suspended by an

 

order under section 13(4) or by virtue of section 17A(1), the Society

 

shall forthwith cause notice of that suspension to be published and a

 

note of it to be entered against the name of the solicitor on the roll.

 

(5)    

Where any suspension is terminated by virtue of section 16(4) or (5),

 

as applied by subsection (3) of this section, the Society shall forthwith

 

cause a note of that termination to be entered against the name of the

 

solicitor on the roll and, if so requested in writing by the solicitor, a

 

notice of it to be published.”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that Tribunal orders to suspend a solicitor from practice as a sole solic­

 

itor operate to suspend his sole solicitor endorsement. It also makes provision for the duration of

 

the suspension, and for publicity of the suspension.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

58

 

Schedule  16,  page  235,  line  6,  after ‘them”,’ insert—

 

‘( )    

after that paragraph insert—

 

“(ca)    

sole solicitor endorsements and applications for

 

them,”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It provides that the Law Society’s power to make reg­

 

ulations under section 28 extends to sole solicitor endorsements and applications for them.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

59

 

Schedule  16,  page  235,  line  22,  after ‘certificates’, insert ‘or sole solicitor

 

endorsements’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It provides that the regulations powers under section

 

28(3B) extend to sole solicitor endorsements.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

60

 

Schedule  16,  page  235,  line  24,  after ‘certificates’, insert ‘or sole solicitor

 

endorsements’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendments 44, 45 and 53. It provides that regulations may pre­

 

scribe the manner and form of applications for sole solicitor endorsements.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

61

 

Schedule  16,  page  235,  line  36,  at end insert—

 

‘(ea)    

prescribe descriptions of applicants, and conditions in relation

 

to them, for the purposes of section 13ZA(5) (circumstances

 

in which a practising certificate endorsed with a sole solicitor


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

359

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

endorsement after it was issued must be made subject to

 

prescribed conditions);’.

 

.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendments 44 and 53. It enables the Law Society to make regula­

 

tions prescribing descriptions of applicants and conditions that will apply to any applicants of pre­

 

scribed descriptions, for the purposes of 13ZA(5).

 

Bridget Prentice

 

62

 

Schedule  16,  page  235,  line  47,  after ‘certificates’, insert ‘or sole solicitor

 

endorsements’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It enables the Law Society to make regulations about

 

the commencement, duration, replacement, withdrawal and expiry of sole solicitor endorsements.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

63

 

Schedule  16,  page  237,  line  33,  at end insert ‘, and

 

(c)    

after “solicitor” (in both places) insert “or any of his employees”.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment allows the Law Society to disclose a report or information about a solicitor’s ac­

 

counts for use in investigating the possible commission of an offence by the solicitor’s employees.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

308

 

Parliamentary Star    

Schedule  16,  page  238,  line  28,  at end insert—

 

    ‘(3)  

The rules may make different provision for different categories of solicitors

 

and for different circumstances.’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

64

 

Schedule  16,  page  239,  line  7,  at end insert—

 

            

‘After section 34 insert—

 

“Sole solicitors

 

34A    

Employees of solicitors

 

(1)    

Rules made by the Society may provide for any rules made under

 

section 31, 32, 33A or 34 to have effect in relation to employees of

 

solicitors with such additions, omissions or other modifications as

 

appear to the Society to be necessary or expedient.

 

(2)    

If any employee of a solicitor fails to comply with rules made under

 

section 31 or 32, as they have effect in relation to the employee by

 

virtue of subsection (1), any person may make a complaint in respect

 

of that failure to the Tribunal.

 

(3)    

If any employee of a solicitor fails to comply with rules made under

 

section 34, as they have effect in relation to the employee by virtue of


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 19th June 2007                  

360

 

Legal Services Bill-[Lords], continued

 
 

subsection (1), a complaint in respect of that failure may be made to

 

the Tribunal by or on behalf of the Society.

 

34B    

Employees of solicitors: accounts rules etc

 

(1)    

Where rules made under section 32(1) have effect in relation to

 

employees of solicitors by virtue of section 34A(1), section 85 applies

 

in relation to an employee to whom the rules have effect who keeps an

 

account with a bank or building society in pursuance of such rules as

 

it applies in relation to a solicitor who keeps such an account in

 

pursuance of rules under section 32.

 

(2)    

Subsection (3) applies where rules made under section 32—

 

(a)    

contain any such provision as is referred to in section 33(1),

 

and

 

(b)    

have effect in relation to employees of solicitors by virtue of

 

section 34A(1).

 

(3)    

Except as provided by the rules, an employee to whom the rules are

 

applied is not liable to account to any client, other person or trust for

 

interest received by the employee on money held at a bank or building

 

society in an account which is for money received or held for, or on

 

account of—

 

(a)    

clients of the solicitor, other persons or trusts, generally, or

 

(b)    

that client, person or trust, separately.

 

(4)    

Subsection (5) applies where rules made under section 33A(1) have

 

effect in relation to employees of solicitors by virtue of section

 

34A(1).

 

(5)    

The Society may disclose a report on or information about the

 

accounts of any employee of a solicitor obtained in pursuance of such

 

rules for use—

 

(a)    

in investigating the possible commission of an offence by the

 

solicitor or any employees of the solicitor, and

 

(b)    

in connection with any prosecution of the solicitor or any

 

employees of the solicitor consequent on the investigation.

 

(6)    

Where rules made under section 34 have effect in relation to

 

employees of solicitors by virtue of subsection (1), section 34(9) and

 

(10) apply in relation to such an employee as they apply in relation to

 

a solicitor.”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment gives the Law Society certain rule-making powers in relation to employees of sole

 

solicitors; adapts certain accounts rules provisions in relation to such employees; provides for

 

complaints to the Tribunal for certain breaches of these rules; and provides for disclosure of em­

 

ployees’ accounts information in certain circumstances.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

65

 

Schedule  16,  page  242,  line  45,  at end insert—

 

‘(ia)    

no employee of a solicitor shall employ or

 

remunerate, in connection with the solicitor’s

 

practice, the person with respect to whom the order is


 
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