How do I check if a solicitor is registered?
It is important to ensure that before you enlist the services of a solicitor, that you check to see if they are registered. So how do you check if a solicitor is registered?
Anyone who holds themselves out to be a solicitor within England and Wales must hold a valid practicing certificate, showing that they are a member of the Law Society and therefore regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Entering into a legal transaction can be a daunting prospect for you, and so having the immediate peace of mind that your adviser is suitably qualified and regulated can be very important indeed. The quickest and easiest method is by searching on the Law Society website via the following link:
Here, the automatic method of searching is by location. Therefore, you can type in, say, ‘Wimbledon’ and then search down until you find ZGRP Limited, and click on our company name. Then by clicking on ‘People, offices and structure’, you will be presented with a list of the solicitors at that office. This is a very long winded way to check if a solicitor is registered or not.
The better method is to use the ‘pro search’ method, which will allow you to search by a solicitor’s name or the name of an organization. If you were to type in the solicitor’s name, it will provide a list of all registered solicitors with that name (including middle names) but also show the firm that they work for. You can then click on that solicitor’s name for their full profile to check a specific solicitor.
Alternatively, by searching for a law firm’s name, it should provide results for that firm’s official name as well as trading name. For example, we will be found for searches under Z group and ZGRP Limited.
Of course, if you have done this and no search results have been forthcoming, this can send you into a panic as to who is overseeing your transaction. There can be a number of issues for this. One reason is that the person is registered under their official name, but in day-to-day business is known by a nickname that they are more comfortable with. If you believe that this may be the case, you can ask for the solicitor’s SRA ID number, and search by this method in the Pro Search.
Alternatively, the person acting for you may be a Trainee Solicitor, a Paralegal or a Conveyancer. Paralegal’s do not tend to be individually regulated, and so you would not be able to locate them with such a tool. Trainee Solicitors would not appear in a law society search, but will still have an SRA ID number should you wish to contact the SRA over any issue, or just for peace of mind.
Licensed Conveyancers, however, are not regulated by the SRA, but instead members of and regulated by the Council of Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) who have a CLC ID much like the solicitors have SRA ID numbers. Always check the job title of the fee earner to check whether they are referred to as a ‘conveyancer’ or ‘licensed conveyancer’ in their email sign off or on the Client Care Letter.
Again, members of the CLC can be found via an online search, using their tool ‘Find a CLC Lawyer’, via the following link:
Should you not be able to locate where your solicitor or conveyancer is registered and regulated, then go straight to the fee earner or their supervisor to clarify where these details are found, and clarify why you are not able to find them via your searches. If you have any concern about whether a person is holding out to be a regulated solicitor when they are not, this is an offence, and their supervisor or supposed regulator should be notified immediately so that the situation can be resolved.
If you have any questions about any legal services whatsoever, do not hesitate to contact the Z group legal team on 020 8944 1180 or email@example.com. And don’t forget, in addition to our legal services, Z group also provides accountancy and architectural services by qualified and regulated professionals.