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Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

486

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

(a)    

the extent to which any resulting increase in the regulatory fees of a

 

Regulator will be reasonable and proportionate in comparison to the fees

 

already levied on relevant regulated persons;

 

(b)    

the extent to which the levy might discourage entry to or retention in the

 

regulated sector;

 

(c)    

the extent to which the number of persons regulated by a regulator might

 

be reduced in consequence of the amount of the levy;

 

(d)    

the extent to which the regulator might be disadvantaged and another

 

regulator might derive an advantage, in particular through the movement

 

between regulators of regulated persons as a consequence of any

 

differences in the levy imposed;

 

(e)    

the likely ability of the Regulator to raise the levy from Regulated

 

Persons;

 

(f)    

the impact of the levy on the Regulator’s viability.’.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

237

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  14,  after ‘means’, insert ‘two-thirds of’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

To ensure that the Government meets one-third of the running costs of the Legal Services Board.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

17

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  16,  leave out ‘the Compensation Act 2006’ and insert

 

‘any other enactment’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the “leviable Board expenditure” to include expenditure for the purposes

 

of the Board’s functions under “any other enactment”. This ensures that the levy can recover

 

amounts in respect of Board expenditure resulting from functions it has under other Acts by virtue

 

of amendments of those Acts made by the Bill.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

238

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  16,  leave out ‘including’ and insert ‘excluding’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment, together with amendments 239 to 241, is designed to ensure that the start up costs

 

of the new arrangements are borne by the Government, rather than being transferred to the legal

 

profession.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

487

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

239

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  17,  leave out ‘and’ and insert ‘but including’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

240

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  26,  leave out ‘including’ and insert ‘excluding’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.

 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

241

 

Clause  174,  page  92,  line  33,  leave out ‘means’ and insert ‘excludes’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 238.

 


 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

302

 

Clause  175,  page  93,  line  13,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

A debt recovered under subsection (5) may only be recovered from practising

 

fees held by a regulator.’.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

John Hemming

 

242

 

Clause  177,  page  94,  line  33,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

The duty to comply with regulatory arrangements overrides any obligations

 

which a person may have, including to shareholders (otherwise than under the


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

488

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

criminal law), if those obligations are inconsistent with the duty to comply with

 

the regulatory arrangements.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is intended to put beyond doubt that for all those within the regulated sector, the

 

duty to comply with regulatory arrangements is paramount—irrespective of any other obligations

 

which would otherwise apply, except for those under the criminal law.

 


 

Bridget Prentice

 

44

 

Schedule  16,  page  229,  line  17,  at end insert—

 

            

‘After section 1A insert—

 

“1B    

Restriction on practice as sole solicitor

 

(1)    

Rules under section 31 (rules as to professional practice etc) must

 

provide that a solicitor may not practise as a sole solicitor unless he has

 

in force—

 

(a)    

a practising certificate, and

 

(b)    

an endorsement of that certificate by the Society authorising

 

him to practise as a sole solicitor (a “sole solicitor

 

endorsement”).

 

(2)    

The rules may provide that, for the purposes of the rules and this Act,

 

a solicitor is not to be regarded as practising as a sole solicitor in such

 

circumstances as may be prescribed by the rules.

 

(3)    

The rules must prescribe the circumstances in which a solicitor may be

 

regarded by the Society as suitable to be authorised to practise as a sole

 

solicitor.”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that Law Society rules must provide that a person may not practise as a

 

sole solicitor without having a practising certificate and without a sole solicitor endorsement of

 

that certificate. Rules must prescribe the circumstances in which a solicitor will be suitable for

 

such authorisation.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

45

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  12,  at end insert—

 

‘(1A)    

An application under this section may include an application for a sole

 

solicitor endorsement.’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It ensures that applications for practising certificates

 

under section 9 may include applications for a sole solicitor endorsement.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

46

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  13,  after ‘application’, insert ‘under this section’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

489

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment clarifies that the requirements which must be complied with in section 9(2) relate

 

specifically to applications under section 9.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

47

 

Schedule  16,  page  230,  line  41,  at end insert ‘(including, if the certificate has a sole

 

solicitor endorsement, an efficient practice as a sole solicitor);’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It gives the Law Society the power to impose

 

conditions, where a solicitor has a sole solicitor endorsement, requiring specific steps which will

 

be conducive to efficient practise as a sole solicitor.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

48

 

Schedule  16,  page  231,  line  11,  after ‘certificate,’, insert—

 

‘( )    

in relation to each solicitor who holds a practising certificate,

 

a statement as to whether there is in force a sole solicitor

 

endorsement,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 44. It provides that the register of solicitors holding

 

practising certificates must state whether the practising certificate has a sole solicitor

 

endorsement.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

299

 

Schedule  16,  page  231,  line  22,  leave out from ‘if’ to end of line 27 and insert ‘he

 

has been required by rules made under section 35(1) to provide an accountant’s report and

 

has failed to provide such a report within the time period prescribed under those rules,’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

49

 

Schedule  16,  page  231,  line  40,  after ‘application’, insert ‘for a practising

 

certificate,

 

( )    

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

 

endorsement 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


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

490

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

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

 

certificates.

 

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—

 

“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


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 26th June 2007                  

491

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

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.

 

(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

 

criteria 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—


 
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