Voluntary Practice Closure

Voluntary Practice Closure

There may come a point where you need to consider retiring from practice. If you are in a partnership, or you operate in a company with other members, then this may not be a problem as your colleagues will simply continue after you have left. However, if you are a sole practitioner, or you have colleagues who do not want to continue to run the practice, and you cannot find a successor to your practice, then you may be left with no option but to close down.

There are a number of reasons why it may be necessary to close down a practice. These include:

  • the death of a sole principal,
  • the ill health of a sole principal,
  • a partnership dispute, where no simple resolution can be achieved,
  • to avoid an intervention,
  • as the result of prohibitive conditions being placed on a partner’s practising certificate,
  • retirement,
  • difficulties in securing working capital,
  • cash-flow problems,
  • difficulties in obtaining professional indemnity insurance, or
  • bankruptcy or insolvency of a sole practitioner.

The introduction of more stringent successor practice rules has meant that for many firms it is no longer possible to dispose of a practice by way of sale on the open market or even to give it away. Despite that, it remains vital to ensure that the correct steps to close a practice are followed and that all of the appropriate rules and regulations which apply to it are followed.

Even if you have no intention to continue to practise as a solicitor, failure to follow the correct steps could still lead to disciplinary action and financial loss and leave you with a problem potentially as great as any you experienced prior to the practice closure. In serious cases, you may even be intervened in before you have the opportunity to close the practice, leading to potential fines and the costs of the intervention itself.

If you have any concerns about the closure of your practice, or have any worries that you may be about to be intervened in, then you should contact the Lawyers Defence Group as a matter of urgency and we will assist you. We may even be able to negotiate with the SRA on your behalf and avoid an intervention from taking place.

For further information, contact the Lawyers Defence Group by:

  • telephoning during office hours – 0845 216 2000,
  • requesting a call-back using the call-back request form to the right,
  • telephoning our out of hours number (but please only in an emergency – for example when someone has been arrested or you believe that your firm might be about to be intervened in) 07952 861 868,
  • emailing us at help@lawyersdefencegroup.org.uk, or
  • writing to us at one of the addresses at the bottom of this web page.

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