Self-employed member

What can I do as a self-employed member without obtaining further practice rights?

Fellows may act as Commissioners for Oaths.

You are able to provide non-reserved legal services which include, for example, general legal advice, employment law, wills, trusts and estate administration.

However, you must be able to demonstrate that you are competent to offer such services. This is particularly important if you are self-employed, and therefore not supervised.

You should seek legal advice if you are working independently and undertaking any type of work which may fall within the scope of any of the reserved legal activities.

Working in a field closely related to litigation, you may provide services such as, for example, taking witness statements. You must ensure you do not perform any functions which may be considered to be “ancillary” to the conduct of litigation. This is specifically prohibited by the Legal Services Act 2007, but unfortunately it is not defined within the Act. If you are considering offering any litigation-related business independently (without applying for litigation practice rights), you should seek independent legal advice to ensure you do not fall foul of the provisions in the Legal Services Act, particularly as there is no definition in the Act, and case law which may suggest what it includes, has not been tested.

You may only carry out the regulated activities of providing claims management services or immigration services if you are appropriately authorised or exempt from authorisation.

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