The Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal is independent of the Law Society and is established by virtue of Section 46 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended). The SDT is funded in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding dated 6 August 2016 made between the Legal Services Board, the SDT, SDTAL, and The Law Society. Neither the SDT nor SDTAL are registered for VAT purposes.
Tribunal members are appointed by the Master of the Rolls and are either solicitors of not less than ten years' standing or lay people who are not either solicitors or barristers. There is no statutory limit on the total number of members of the Tribunal. As at 26 January 2018, the total membership was 46, comprised of 32 solicitor members and 14 lay members.
For the purpose of hearing and determining applications, Tribunal members sit in Divisions of three, comprising two solicitor members and one lay member. A solicitor member sits as the Chairman of the Division.
The Tribunal is empowered, with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls, to make rules governing its procedure and this power is exercisable by statutory instrument. Rules are subject to the approval of the Legal Services Board following a period of consultation.