Licensing of new firms

Ian Tyes made this Freedom of Information request to Solicitors Regulation Authority

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The request was successful.

Dear Solicitors Regulation Authority,

Please confirm for the latest 12 months for which figures are available:

How many applications for licenses to start new business were received.

Please identify how many of these were for sole practitioners
How many for 1-4 partner firms

Please confirm the average time from receiving the application to making a decision for each of the above groups;

Please confirm the percentage rejected for each of the above groups and classification of reasons for rejection.

Please identify gender breakdown of sole practitioner applications.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

Ian Tyes

Bob Stanley,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Tyes

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/1100       

 

Thank you for your email of 3 October 2013 requesting information. I am
treating this as an information request under the Law Society Freedom of
Information Code of Practice ("the Code").

 

You have requested access to the following information:

 

“Please confirm for the latest 12 months for which figures are available:

 

How many applications for licenses to start new business were received.

 

Please identify how many of these were for sole practitioners

How many for 1-4 partner firms

 

Please confirm the average time from receiving the application to making a
decision for each of the above groups;

 

Please confirm the percentage rejected for each of the above groups and
classification of reasons for rejection.

 

Please identify gender breakdown of sole practitioner applications.”

 

 

The SRA is a part of the Law Society but acts independently in carrying
out its regulatory functions.. The Law Society is not covered by the
Freedom of Information Act (the FOIA) as it is not a designated authority,
but has adopted its own voluntary Code of Practice which closely reflects
the FOIA. The Code may be found at:

[1]http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/documents/d...

 

I am currently dealing with your request and will aim to respond formally
by 1 November 2013 which is 20 working days from the receipt of your
request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[2]www.lawsociety.org.uk
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Bob Stanley,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Tyes

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/1100       

 

Further to my email of 4 October, it would be very helpful if you could
clarify your request as follows.

 

As you have requested information on applications for licenses to start a
new business, can you please confirm whether you  are referring to only
new Alternative Business Structures (as the SRA calls these  licenses) or
whether you require the information for all law firms?

 

I look forward to receiving this clarification.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

[2]18563-Email-Button-Table-Bookings-293x77

 

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Stanley,

I quote from your website:

"Before starting to practise, you need to apply for recognition of your new firm as a recognised body, whether it is a partnership or a corporate practice. If you want to be a sole principal, you need to apply to be authorised as a recognised sole practitioner. There are application forms (RB1, RB2, RB3) for new recognised bodies, and application form RSP1 for new recognised sole practitioners."

Please confirm how many applications on each of these forms RB1 RB2 RB3 and RSP1, what percentage were successful and how long on average did each type take from receipt to decision?

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Ian Tyes

Joao Curro,

Dear Mr Tyes

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/BS/1100       

 

Further to my email of 04 October 2013 , please find below the response to
your information request under the Law Society Freedom of Information Code
of Practice ("the Code").

 

You have requested access to the following information:

 

 

Please confirm for the latest 12 months for which figures are available:

 

How many applications for licenses to start new business were received.

               

            These are the numbers for applications received between 1^st
November 2012 and 29^th October 2013:

 

RB1 (application for a partnership): 64

            RB2 (application for a LLP): 169

            RB3 (applications for a company): 525

            RSP1 (application for a sole practice): 229

 

 

Please identify how many of these were for sole practitioners

How many for 1-4 partner firms

 

The SRA only records the number of partners once the applications have
been approved. When the application is received, no note is made of the
number of partners so the SRA would have to review every application
individually to pull these figures.  I have therefore given the
information based on the number of application licensed between 1^st
November 2012 and 29^th October 2013

 

             153 applications for sole practices have been approved

             545 applications for 1-4 partner firms have been approved

 

 

Please confirm the average time from receiving the application to making a
decision for each of the above groups;

 

RB1 (application for a partnership)– 2.45 months

RB2 (application for a LLP) – 2.98 months

RB3 (application for a company) – 2.33 months

RSP1 (application for a sole practice) - 2.97 months

 

 

Please confirm the percentage rejected for each of the above groups and
classification of reasons for rejection.

 

Of the decisions made between 1^st November 2012 and 29^th October 2013,
the following percentage have been rejected:

 

RB1 (application for a partnership): 1.6%

            RB2 (application for a LLP): 0%

            RB3 (applications for a company): 0%

            RSP1 (application for a sole practice): 0.4%

 

Reasons for rejection can be found here:
[1]http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/de...
The section on authorised bodies can be found about half-way down the page
and these links give examples on the types of reasons for refusal of an
application.

 

 

Please identify gender breakdown of sole practitioner applications.

 

The gender is only recorded once the application has been approved, so
this is the breakdown of gender for sole practitioner applications
approved between 1^st November 2012 and 29^th October 2013

 

Male – 65.8%

Female – 34.2%

 

I hope this information is of use.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[2]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

 

This e-mail is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient then
you must not copy it, forward it, use it for any purpose, or disclose it
to another person. Instead please return it to the sender immediately and
copy your communication to [email address]. Please then
delete your copy from your system. Please also note that the author of
this e-mail is not authorised to conclude any contract on behalf of the
Law Society by e-mail.

Stay up to date by registering for the Society’s e-newsletters at
[3]www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletters.law

To help us improve our service, calls may be monitored or recorded for
quality and training purposes.
Thank you.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/de...
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3. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandeven...

Dear Joao Curro,

Further to my recent enquiry, for which I thank you for the prompt answers, could you confirm how many 'extension notices' you served and on which of the above groups, in accordance with your powers under Rule 5, where an application could not be completed within 6 months?

Yours sincerely,

Ian Tyes

Bob Stanley,

Dear Mr Tyes

Thank you for your email of 4 November to my colleague, Joao Curro.

No extension notices have been granted to date. This is because the
statutory time limit allows the SRA six months to make a decision (which
can be extended to nine months) on receipt of a completed application. For
those applications that have been with the SRA for longer than 6 months
from being received, none of these applications were completed from the
day received and therefore an extension had not yet been required. As a
result of this, the SRA tracks applications through the process from the
received and completed dates to ensure decisions are made within the
statutory timeframes.

I hope the above information is of use.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk
Go green – keep it on screen

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