The principal function of the Tribunal is to hear and determine applications in respect of solicitors concerning allegations of professional misconduct or breaches of the Rules, Regulations and/or Code relating to professional practice. The majority of applications to the Tribunal are made on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority but, subject to a few instances under the Act where applications are limited to the Law Society alone, it is open to anyone to make a direct application to the Tribunal. It is important to note that the Tribunal does not investigate cases or collect evidence in support of applications. The Tribunal decides the application solely on the evidence put before it by the parties.
The Tribunal's jurisdiction currently extends to Recognised Bodies, Registered European Lawyers and Registered Foreign Lawyers. The Tribunal also has jurisdiction in respect of individuals who are not qualified solicitors, but who are employed or remunerated by solicitors.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is always legally represented before the Tribunal. Respondents are entitled, but not required, to be legally represented.
Applications to the Tribunal must be made in the prescribed form, supported by a statement setting out the allegations which the respondent to the application is required to answer and the facts and matters in support of the application and each allegation contained in it. Documents referred to in the statement should be exhibited to it.
The application, statement and documents exhibited must be sent to the Clerk to the Tribunal. The Tribunal's first duty is to determine whether there is a case for the respondent to answer. Each application together with its supporting statement and documents is considered strictly in accordance with Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019, Rule 12.
For First Instance Proceedings Certified As Showing A Case To Answer on or before 24 November 2019
For all first instance proceedings certified as showing a case to answer on or before 24 November 2019, Practice Direction No. 6 "Practice Direction On Case Management For First Instance Proceedings" dated 22 October 2013 applies and Standard Directions or limited Standard Directions and Case Management Hearing Date will be issued and served with the proceedings. Please click here to be taken to Practice Direction No. 6.
For First Instance Proceedings Certified As Showing A Case to Answer After 25 November 2019
For all first instance proceedings certified as showing a case to answer on or after 25 November 2019 the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019 apply and Standard Directions will be issued and served with the proceedings in accordance with those Rules.
It is open to any person to make an application under Rule 12 of the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019 direct to the Tribunal. It is however more usual for a person with a complaint or concern about a solicitor, firm, recognised body etc to approach the Legal Ombudsman for assistance first. If an application under Rule 12 is made to the Tribunal by an individual, the Tribunal may refer the application to an appropriate body for investigation. That body may in some cases decide to pursue the individual's original application on his/her behalf. Links to websites that may be of assistance when considering making an application under Rule 12 can be found on this page.