Practising certificate renewal for Scottish solicitors opens in September and must be completed online by 31 October. Online PC renewal for 2020/21 is now open.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, back in April, we announced a £2.2m package of financial support for the solicitor profession which was approved by members at the AGM in May. This package sees the practising certificate fee for 2020/21 reduced by 20%, as well as the accounts fee to be paid by law firm partners reduced by 20%, and the client protection fund contribution for law firm partners being reduced to zero.
For private practice firms, please note that the renewal documents for professional indemnity insurance cover under the Master Policy were emailed out by Lockton on 6 August 2020.
It’s important that the Society's record of you and your career status is accurate. If there are any inaccuracies in the online renewal form, please edit them by clicking the pencil icon where possible, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t edit the information on screen. Applicants are referred to the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and the Society's Rules.
Our record of your principal address, telephone number and email address will appear on the renewal form if we already have details. Please provide an email address specific to you, rather than a generic address for the firm such as email@example.com. This will assist us in our communications with you. Email is our primary method of communication with members and is essential for your Smartcard so it’s important we have an appropriate address for you.
If you are involved in more than one firm details will be shown here.
If you hold a practising certificate details will be shown here.
Your status with your employer is shown here. Options which can apply are: manager, associate, consultant, employee.
Every private practice firm requires a Client Relations Manager, Designated Cashroom Manager, and Money Laundering Reporting Officer (otherwise known as the Nominated Officer). If you hold any of these positions it will be shown here. This information helps us communicate with the correct individuals.
We offer a range of membership benefits through approved partners who may send you information and offers by post on a restricted basis. Ticking the box in the "My Profile" section or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org will ensure that your information is not passed to third parties (See Data Protection Act below).
See our categories and fees page
Members should ensure all details given are correct and note the importance of the declaration they make by clicking ‘Submit’.
Place of business
Changes to your employment/place of business: members are obliged to keep the Society informed as to their status in terms of section 8 (2) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980. The Society regard it as reasonable to allow 28 days for such intimations following changes. Failure to intimate changes in status promptly, may breach your statutory obligations.
It is essential that you renew before 31 October. Failure to do so may result in you/your business no longer being visible on ‘Find a Solicitor’ and you will not be entitled to practise from 1 November.
Data Protection Act 1998
Information provided by you during PC renewal will be processed by the Society, which as data controller is responsible for it.
That information will be processed to help the Society perform its functions including:
(1) those under the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and other legislation
(2) discharging its professional obligations such as administering the Master Policy for Professional Indemnity
(3) formulating and implementing professional practice rules
(4) developing and offering training
(5) providing members' services
(6) carrying out its public affairs programme, representing the interests of the profession and the public.
Visit www.lawscot.org.uk for more on these functions and the purposes for which that information may be processed. The Society may contact you by post, telephone, fax or email in connection with these purposes. The Society may pass your name and address to third parties for marketing purposes. Third parties’ applications are assessed on the basis of their interest and benefit to members, in accordance with the Society’s licensing scheme. They pay a fee to the Society in return, the proceeds of which are used to support the Society’s activities. If you do not wish your details to be passed to third parties for this purpose please contact us at email@example.com. Note: This will not exempt you from Society communications connected with the Society functions outlined above.
The Society will continue to provide information as a service to members, to certain other organisations including Butterworths (to allow the production of the White Book), Crown Office, SLAB and other third parties carefully selected by the Society. If you do not wish your details to be used for this purpose please contact the Data Protection Officer detailed below.
Note: You cannot opt out where the Society has a statutory obligation to provide information.
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 0131 476 8367
You can renew as an individual if you are working outwith private practice in Scotland and are not renewing along with others in your organisation.
If you are in private practice in Scotland or will be renewing as part of an organisation, please review the steps for “Renewing with a business.”
4 step process:
- complete the PC renewal form
- view/download an invoice
- make online payment
- view/download a receipt
Anyone connected to a Scottish practice or renewing as part of an organisation should follow the steps below. If you are connected to a Scottish practice but wish to pay as an individual, please contact email@example.com.
1. Each individual solicitor completes PC renewal form
- view status of individual's form completion
- all solicitors complete renewal forms
- view/download invoice
- complete business renewal form and payment page
- arrange payment and view status of renewal
- payment processed
Checklist for business administrators
- all solicitors in your business need to complete their renewal form first
- have PI insurance and have the certificate details to hand
- have your payment details to hand – you will need to tell us how you are paying
Online renewal opens in mid September each year and must be completed by 31 October. We’re encouraging members to renew as early as possible to ensure everything can be processed in good time.
An online renewal process is much more efficient for everyone. It takes less time to complete and cuts down on the amount of paperwork involved (around 60,000 sheets a year). It also saves money which can be better used on other services and resources for members.
There is still be a paper option for anyone who can’t renew online due to a disability. Anyone wishing to use this option should contact us on 0131 476 8367.
Once you have completed the online renewal form and your payment has been processed, you will receive an email confirming that your practising certificate has been approved.
From 1 November, all solicitors who have renewed will be able to access a PDF of their practising certificate by logging into the member login section. This is subject to any material change in circumstances since the time the renewal form and payment were completed such as sequestration, suspension or removal from the Roll.
If you wish to check the current status of your practising certificate application during renewal it can be viewed on the ‘my PC renewal status’ page in the member login section.
If you need to vouch your right to practice to third parties, your current practising certificate can always be accessed as above.
In order to be able to complete the practising certificate renewal process, you'll need to access the login section of the website. If you don't know what your login details are, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment can be made by BACS or credit/debit card (visa or mastercard). Bank details can be found on the business payment page and on the invoice online once you are logged in. We are not able to process cheques.
If you work at a firm, the cashroom partner is automatically the business admin for the purpose of renewing PCs. If you work in-house, a business admin will be appointed and sent a letter explaining what they need to do.
If leaving one firm and starting with a new firm during October or November, please contact our Registrar team at email@example.com who will update your record accordingly. This will then allow you to go forward with your online renewal as usual.
If you miss the 31 October deadline, you won’t be registered to practise as a solicitor on 1 November and your name won’t appear on the roll of solicitors or on the Find a Solicitor search tool.
Section 15 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 relates to a discretion to the registrar in special cases to refuse a practising certificate or to issue a certificate subject to conditions.
If a solicitor does not comply by giving six weeks notice of their intention to apply for a practising certificate, they may end up not being covered to practise as a solicitor.
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 email the registrar team at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Registrar at Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EX.