Every person who applies for admission to the Roll of Solicitors must be of satisfactory character and suitability.
When considering your character and suitability, the SRA will take into account the overriding need to:
- protect the public and the public interest; and
- maintain public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
In doing so, the SRA will consider the nature of your role, and your individual circumstances, on a case by case basis.
The SRA will consider any information available to it, taking into account all relevant matters. These will include (but are not limited to) any criminal record and other relevant conduct or behaviour, for example:
- If you have behaved in a way:
- which is dishonest
- which is violent
- which is threatening or harassing
- where there is evidence of discrimination towards others
- You have misused your position to obtain pecuniary advantage
- You have misused your position of trust in relation to vulnerable people
- You have committed an SQE assessment offence
The SRA have also confirmed that unauthorised use of course materials of an SQE training provider, infringement of intellectual property rights, and reselling course materials which contravenes the terms and conditions of an SQE training provider, may raise a potential character and suitability issue which could lead to a candidate being refused admission as a solicitor of England and Wales.
Once the SRA has received satisfactory results from the pre-admission screening checks and the character and suitability assessment, it will process your application for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales.
If you are a foreign qualified lawyer, you will also need to provide to the SRA a certificate or letter of good standing from your home professional body or regulator which must have been issued no more than three months before the SRA receives your application for admission.