The SRA have announced today that they will be amending the Handbook to remove the requirement on sole practitioners to have a "sole solicitor endorsement" on their PCs and to renew this annually. Sole practitioners will instead receive a lifetime authorisation from now on.
This seems a sensible step towards what will hopefully be a simpler system of authorisations and renewals across the board.
As a result of the changes, the endorsement procedure for sole practitioners will no longer be required. From October, when sole practitioners renew they will be issued with a practising certificate without an endorsement, as is already the case for managers (partners etc) at other type of firms. The same application form will be used to renew a practising certificate and pay a periodical fee. Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director of Policy, said: "These changes will harmonise and simplify regulatory arrangements for sole practitioners, moving away from an annual endorsement and replacing it with a lifetime authorisation which does not need to be renewed annually.