The Society has revised its rules for applying for specialist accreditation

Solicitors who have held an unrestricted practising certificate for five years are now eligible to apply for specialist accreditation.

The Society introduced the accreditation scheme in 1990 to recognise solicitors who have developed specialist knowledge during their careers. It can also help members of the public or businesses choose a solicitor with necessary expertise, particularly in more complex cases. There are now more than 500 accredited specialists.

Following a review of the operation of the scheme, changes have been made to the eligibility for applying. They are:

  • The requirement to have held an unrestricted practising certificate for seven years has been removed.
  • Applicants must still hold an unrestricted practising certificate and be able to show “significant experience” in the area of law they are applying to be accredited in for each of the five years preceding their application.
  • Experience counted towards accreditation should still be post-qualification, that is after the completion and discharge of a solicitor’s training contract.

Fees for specialist accreditation are also set to change from 1 November 2017, the first increase since 1990. For all accreditation applications the fee will be £300 (plus VAT) for both first applications and applications to be re-accredited. For family and commercial mediation, the fee will be £200 (plus VAT) for first applications and re-accreditation. This reflects that the period of accreditation is shorter for mediation, at three years.
More information, and application forms, are available on the Society’s website.

For any queries, please contact the secretary to the accreditation panel, Elaine MacGlone at; t: 0131 226 8887.
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