Legal Aid firms advised to apply for SRA authorisation as soon as possible
Firms that have applied for a criminal legal aid contract for 2017 need to ensure that they hold Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) authorisation by the relevant dates ahead of the contract start date in April 2017.
The SRA is advising new entities bidding for criminal legal aid contracts - but which are not yet authorised to practise - to make an application for authorisation as soon as possible.
Applicants for the duty solicitor scheme starting on 1 April 2017, must have passed the agency's verification process, which includes authorisation by a relevant professional body, by 12 December 2016.
Firms that want to join the duty solicitor scheme from 1 July 2017, or that will only be working under an own-client contract, have until 28 February 2017 to confirm that they are authorised.
More information can be found on the SRA website