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  6. Should our firm get new solicitors CRB checked?

Should our firm get new solicitors CRB checked?

We are taking on a new solicitor. Do we have to undertake CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks?

In December 2012, CRB checks were replaced with DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks. Firms taking on new members of staff who are admitted solicitors are not required to insist on them submitting to DBS checks.

All candidates for admission as solicitors or registered European/foreign lawyers are required to undergo such checks, a process that is managed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

So too are other persons needing SRA approval, such as COLPs, COFAs, owners or managers unless they are a solicitor holding a current practising certificate with no conditions.

CQS accredited firms on application to join the scheme must, however, ensure that all partners and qualified conveyancers have undergone DBS checks within the last 12 months and are advised that all other relevant members of staff also have up-to-date checks.

There are also other categories of employees who may be subject to DBS checks. Please consider the government's guidance on eligibility for standard DBS checks.

Firms may wish to consider whether they are putting themselves at risk by failing to carry out basic disclosure checks on their staff before employing them. See further an article published in the Law Society Gazette.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question? Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk

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