Preparations for the coming into force of the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019

The Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019 (“SDPR 2019”) come into force on 25 November 2019, and will apply to all cases certified as showing a case to answer on or after 25 November 2019. In preparation for the SDPR 2019 the Tribunal has published updated guidance (see below) and is in the process of updating its application forms. The new forms will appear on our website as soon as possible.

The SDT's Policy Committee, led by the President of the Tribunal, Edward Nally, has published the 7th Edition of its Guidance Note on Sanctions. This edition replaces all previous editions of the Guidance and will apply to all cases heard by the Tribunal after 25 November 2019. The Policy Committee has also published the 3rd Edition of its Guidance Note on Other Powers of the Tribunal which again replaces all previous editions and will apply to all cases heard after 25 November 2019. The Policy Committee is currently finalising the 3rd Edition of the Guidance Note on Appeals and this will be published as soon as possible.

The Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2007 (“SDPR 2007”) will apply to cases certified as showing a case to answer on or before 24 November 2019. The existing Practice Directions 1 to 6 and the Policy and Practice Note on Adjournments will apply to these proceedings but not to proceedings under the SDPR 2019.

The SDPR 2019 will apply to cases certified as showing a case to answer on or after 25 November 2019 and on 6 November 2019 the Policy Committee published Practice Direction 1: Agreed Outcomes (which relates to Agreed Outcome applications under the SDPR 2019) and Guidance Rule 23 (Adjournments) (which relates to adjournment applications under the SDPR 2019). These documents do not apply to proceedings under the SDPR 2007.

The Policy Committee has also published Guidance for Persons Assisting a Party dated 6 November 2019. This Guidance applies to any proceedings before the Tribunal.

If you are intending to make an application to the Tribunal under the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (Appeals and Amendment) Rules 2011 (“2011 Rules”) please note that Rule 49 of the SDPR makes minor amendments to the 2011 Rules which have not yet been updated in the version published on www.legislation.gov.uk and the SDT’s website.

If you have any queries about the implementation of the SDPR 2019 please contact us at Enquiries@solicitorsdt.com or on 0207 329 4808.