Law Society of Scotland
This information reflects the Society's web site at the date you downloaded or printed it and you should check at www.lawscot.org.uk to see if it is still current.

PC FAQs

Can I renew online?

Is a practising certificate required? - statutory liability (pdf document)

Who has to pay to the Guarantee Fund and Accounts Fee?

Is the Guarantee Fund and Accounts Fee pro rata?

Do I require a new application form if my details have changed?

What are my choices if I decide not to renew my practising certificate?

Why are my fees for a practising certificate not still at half rate?

What are my payment options?

If I have not held a practising certificate for some time, what are the implications?

What is a section 15?

What happens if I don't comply with a section 15?

If l move firms in October/November, what do I have to do to renew my practising certificate?

If I have not completed all my hours for CPD, is a practising certificate withheld?

What is an ARTL practice manager or ARTL local registration authority?

Can I renew online?

Online renewal is only available to members renewing Practising Certificates expiring October 31.  For members whose employer pays their fees the employer requires to opt in to online renewal for all staff.  Other members who are not associated with any employer in our records can opt in to online renewal as individuals.

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Who has to pay to the Guarantee Fund and Accounts Fee?

Only principals pay to the Guarantee Fund and Accounts fee. However, some solicitors who are principals outwith Scotland may or may not require to pay this fee.

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Is the Guarantee Fund and Accounts Fee pro rata?

The Guarantee Fund and Accounts fee are not pro rata. Full payment is due regardless of month assumed as partner.

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Do I require a new application form if my details have changed?

No, please just amend the form to show your new employer's name and address.

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What are my choices if I decide not to renew my practising certificate?

There are two membership fees which only maintain your name on the roll of solicitors - retention and non-practising membership (NPM). Both simply retain your name on the roll. However NPM (which is more expensive) entitles you to a Journal each month and all other correspondence issued by the Society.

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Why are my fees for a practising certificate not still at half rate?

Solicitors who have been admitted to the roll of solicitors, whether they take a practising certificate out or not, have the first three years of membership at a half rate. This is practice years and not calendar years.

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What are my payment options?

Payment may be made by cheque, to "Law Society of Scotland", or via BACS payment by contacting the Society's Registrar'sDepartment on 0131 226 7411. Regrettably, the Society is not in a position to accept debit or credit card payments, other than for those renewing online.

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If I have not held a practising certificate for some time, what are the implications?

Any solicitor not having held a certificate for more than 12 months may have a restriction imposed, as their application form will have to go to the Practising Certificate Committee for consideration. In this case, a restriction may last anything from 12 months to 24 months.

Any solicitor not having held a certificate for more than 12 months would also be subject to Disclosure Scotland procedure and compliance which involves a further fee and can take up to 6 weeks. Practising certificates will not be issued until satisfactory completion of this process. Any issues disclosed on the Disclosure Scotland report may require to be considered by the Practising Certificate Committee.

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What is a section 15?

Section 15 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 (which relate to a discretion to the registrar in special cases to refuse a practising certificate or to issue a certificate subject to conditions).

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What happens if I don't comply with a section 15?

If a solicitor does not comply by giving six weeks notice of his/her intention to apply for a practising certificate, he/she may end up not being covered to practise as a solicitor.

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If l move firms in October/November, what do I have to do to renew my practising certificate?

If leaving one firm and starting with a new firm within October/November, please make sure you get your application form from your former firm and take it with you to your new firm and amend the application form accordingly. If however you start with your new firm during the month of November, you should pass your application to your new firms as soon as possible, so that they can send your form in to ensure you are covered for the month of November.

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If I have not completed all my hours for CPD, is a practising certificate withheld?

No, a practising certificate is not withheld if you do not complete your CPD by 30 November. However, if you know you are going to be short of hours please e-mail the registrar team at registrar@lawscot.org.uk or write to the registrar at 26 Drumsheugh Gardens Edinburgh EH3 7YR.

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What is an ARTL practice manager or ARTL local registration authority?

These two titles relate to the ARTL (Automated Registration of Title to Land) system. Each firm operating ARTL will have to appoint one or several people to these positions. If you are unsure as to the position do not tick either of these boxes.

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