Rights of Audience in the court

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

Dear Legal Services Board,

I would like to know under the FOI Act who is qualified to exerciserights of Audience within the courts and what organisation or under whose authority these rights are granted.

Yours faithfully,

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

BoardSecretary, Legal Services Board

Dear Ms Stirling

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request was received on 22 March 2013 and I am dealing with it in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I will provide a substantive response within 20 working days – i.e. by not later than 23 April. This will be sent to the email address that you provided.

The reference for your request, which should be quoted in all correspondence, is: 20130322/01.

If you have any queries about this email, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Holly Perry

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

BoardSecretary, Legal Services Board

Dear Ms Sterling,

Thank you for your request for information received on 22 March. The LSB holds this information, and our response is set out here.

In order to provide a clear response to your request, the following background information may be helpful:

Details of entitlement to carry out reserved legal activities can be found at section 13 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (the "Act"). A person is entitled to carry on a reserved legal activity where the person is (a) an authorised person or (b) an exempt person in relation to the relevant activity.

s18(1) of the Act purports that an "authorised person" is either (a) a person who is authorised to carry on the reserved legal activity by an approved regulator or (b) a licensable body, which by virtue of its licence, is authorised to carry on the reserved legal activity by a licensing authority.

s19 of the Act states that an "exempt person" in relation to a reserved legal activity means a person who is exempt by virtue of (a) Schedule 3 (exempt persons) or (b) paragraph 13 or 18 of Schedule 5 (additional categories of exempt persons during transitional period).

s20(2) of the Act states that an "approved regulator" can include a body which is designated as an approved regulator by Part 1 of Schedule 4 or under Part 2 of that Schedule (or both) and whose regulatory arrangements are approved for the purposes of the Act.

Schedule 2 of the Act makes provision about what the reserved legal activities are, one of which is a "right of audience" as set out at paragraph 3 of that schedule.

Schedule 3 paragraph 1 of the Act determines whether a person is an exempt person for the purpose of exercising a right of audience before a court in relation to any proceedings.

Schedule 4 part 1 of the Act lists the bodies which are approved regulators as well as setting out the reserved legal activities in relation to which they are an approved regulator.

Accordingly, the following approved regulators can regulate authorised persons or those persons to be considered as exempt from authorisation for the reserved legal activity of "the exercise of a right of audience":

- The Law Society
- The General Council of the Bar
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
- The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
- The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys
- The Association of Law Costs Draftsmen (now known as the Association of Cost Lawyers)

In practice, the bodies above carry out a representative function as they have delegated their regulatory functions to a separate arm, which will include having in place arrangements for authorising persons to carry on reserved legal activities. For example:

- The Law Society has delegated its regulatory functions to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- The General Council of the Bar has delegated its regulatory functions to the Bar Standards Board
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives has delegated its regulatory functions to ILEX Professional Standards Limited
- The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys have delegated their regulatory functions to the Intellectual Property Regulation Board
- Association of Cost Lawyers has delegated its regulatory functions to the Costs Lawyer Standards Board

I hope this response is helpful.

If you are dissatisfied with this response to your request for information, you have the right to ask for an internal review / to submit a complaint (see LSB’s Freedom of information – Complaints procedure: http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/can... )

The reference for your request, which should be quoted in all correspondence, is 20130322/01.

Yours sincerely

Holly Perry
Legal Services Board

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

Dear BoardSecretary,

Thank you for your swift reply.
So would I be right in my assumption that only qualified solicitors or practicing barristers would be able to exercise a right of audience as this is a reserved legal activity.

Yours sincerely,

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

BoardSecretary, Legal Services Board

Dear Ms Stirling

Thank you for your email of 5 April.

That assumption is not entirely correct, I'm afraid. As set out in our first response, Schedule 4 part 1 of the Act lists the bodies which are approved regulators as well as setting out the reserved legal activities in relation to which they are an approved regulator.

So, the following approved regulators can regulate authorised persons or those persons to be considered as exempt from authorisation for the reserved legal activity of "the exercise of a right of audience":

- The Law Society
- The General Council of the Bar
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)
- The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
- The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA)
- The Association of Law Costs Draftsmen (now known as the Association of Cost Lawyers) (ACL)

This means that other approved regulators (ie beyond the Law Society for solicitors, and the General Council of the Bar for barristers) are entitled to regulate other authorised persons for the reserved legal activity of the exercise of a right of audience (e.g. CILEX; CIPA; ITMA; and ACL).

It is for each of the approved regulators to have in place arrangements for authorising persons to carry on reserved legal activities.

All I can suggest is that you contact each of the bodies above and explain that you need to look at the arrangements of each to understand the scope of their authorised persons' practice.

Sorry that we cannot be more helpful.

Kind regards

Holly Perry
Legal Services Board

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

Dear Board Secretary,

It is my understanding that if a person operating within the court, are not authorised to do so by being on the list of organisations you have kindly listed , they are operating outside of the law, which is a criminal offence, is this assumption correct.

Yours sincerely,

by:Theresa:Stirling UCC1-207

BoardSecretary, Legal Services Board

Dear Ms Stirling

I'm afraid that all I can do is refer you to my previous response - specifically, the Schedule 4 Part 1 categories, and sections 14 and 17 which set out the relevant provisions in terms of the offence to carry out a reserved legal activities when not authorised to do so (being authorised includes being an exempt person) and the offence of holding oneself out to be entitled.

If you require further clarification in relation to specific circumstances, you will need to seek independent legal advice.

Yours sincerely

Holly Perry

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir