Can non-practising solicitors work in firms of licensed conveyancers ?

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority has recently issued following important information to the attention of all non-practising property solicitors working in licensed conveyancers practices .

Regulatory changes as from 31 March 2009 for Solicitors

Prior to  the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007 as they were up to 30 March 2009, a solicitor who wanted to work for a licensed conveyancing firm could not do so in their capacity as a solicitor. As from 31 March 2009 the rules are changed to reflect the provisions of the Legal Services Act 2007.

Solicitors with employee status in Licensed Conveyancing firms

As of 31st March 2009 a solicitor employed in connection with the provision of legal services by a firm of licensed conveyancers will no longer be a non-practising solicitor, and will therefore have to obtain a practising certificate from the SRA.

Solicitors who are Shareowners and Directors

The new rules permit  a solicitor be a "manager" or owner of a firm of licensed
conveyancers. If the conveyancing firm  is a partnership or LLP, a solicitor partner or  member has the choice of being a practising solicitor (with a practising certificate) or a practising lawyer authorised by another approved regulator ( e.g. a licensed conveyancer), or both. If the firm  is a company, a solicitor shareowner who is not a director or employee has a similar choice. However, a solicitor director must be a practising solicitor (with a practising certificate), even if he or she is also practising as a lawyer authorised by another approved regulator ( e.g. as a licensed conveyancer).