Defending applications under Section 43

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S.43 Solicitors Act 1974

You do not have to be a solicitor for the SRA to take action against you.

The SRA is entitled to investigate allegations of misconduct by anybody employed at the relevant time by an SRA authorised body.

If the SRA feels that there has been misconduct, they may make an application under s.43 for an order to be imposed against an individual. This is usually by way of an application to the SDT but can be imposed by an adjudicator or under a Regulatory Settlement Agreement.

A s.43 order will mean that an individual is not allowed to be employed or remunerated by an SRA authorised body without the express written permission of the SRA.


How can I defend SRA proposals to make a section 43 order?

If you deny the misconduct alleged, you will have to defend yourself robustly.

The SDT or adjudicator will consider your case in the same way they would consider one against a solicitor. Our expert lawyers have significant experience of defending allegations made by the SRA before the SDT.


How can I apply for permission to work if an s.43 order has already been made?

If an SRA authorised body is willing to offer you a job where a section 43 order has been made, the application for permission to employ will need to be made by the practice itself rather than by the individual who is the subject of the order.

Permission will only be granted if the SRA considers that sufficient protections are in place in order to ensure the public are protected and to ensure that the reputation of the profession is also upheld.

The type of protection required will vary depending on the original misconduct but will often include provisions such as ensuring that the individual concerned is not able to access client money, is not in a position of management, and will be robustly supervised.

The permission is valid only for the firm specified. It is serious misconduct for both parties if a firm employs, without permission, a person who is subject to s43.


How can I apply for an S.43 order to be removed?

A person who has been made the subject of an s.43 order may make an application to the SDT for its review at any time.

The appropriate test to be applied when applying for a revocation of a section43 order was set out by Wilkie J in the High Court case of SRA v Ali (2013) EWHC 2584:

“The right question (is) whether the s43 order remained necessary to protect the public interest and/or the reputation of the Society …. The s43 order has a regulatory function, not a penal function…. The purpose of the order is to safeguard the public and the Society’s reputation by ensuring that a person is currently only employed where a satisfactory level of supervision has been organised and for as long as that person requires such a level of supervision”


It is important to note that any application for a revocation of an s.43 order will not involve a rehearing of the initial facts of the case by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. They will simply be concerned with whether the s43 order is still required to safeguard the public and to protect the reputation of the profession.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to one of our SRA solicitors in strict confidentiality regarding any aspect of a section 43 order, please:

  • Request a free call back using the form on this page
  • Phone us during office hours on 0333 888 4040
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What we do...

Our experienced solicitors can help you where the SRA is seeking to impose a section 43 order. Our services include:

  • Defending SRA proposals to impose a s.43 order;

  • Applying for permission to employ an individual subject to a s.43 order;

  • Applying to remove or vary a s.43 order;

  • Representing parties before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT)

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