Clients frequently ask us to explain the difference between a ‘solicitor’ and a ‘lawyer’.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors outlines the importance of ensuring that the correct choice is made when seeking legal guidance.
Identification | Kangs National Team Of Solicitors
The word ‘lawyer’ is a generic term encompassing many descriptions of those practising the law, legally or otherwise, including such terms frequently heard during TV programmes as brief, legal advisor or, the predominantly American, attorney.
‘Lawyer’ as a generic term includes ‘solicitor’ but ‘solicitor’ is a specific description only attaching to those who meet the strict requirements necessary to receive an annual Practising Certificate issued under strict control by the The Law Society, which is a Solicitor’s Practising Certificate and never a ‘Lawyer’s Practising Certificate’.
Such Solicitor’s Practising Certificate evidences that:
- a solicitor is a highly qualified legal professional
- who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and
- who is admitted on to the Roll to practice as a solicitor by the Law Society and
- from whom adherence to highest ethical standards can be expected as laid down in a strict Code of Conduct.
The title of ‘solicitor’ is protected by the Solicitor’s Act 1974 in which Section 21 states:
‘Any unqualified person who wilfully pretends to be, or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is, qualified or recognised by law as qualified to act as a solicitor shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the fourth level on the standard scale.’
and Section 20 states:
‘No unqualified person is to act as a solicitor.’
An offence under section 20 carries up to two years imprisonment and custodial sentences are usual, underlying the seriousness of attempting to pose as a solicitor.
Insurance Indemnity | Kangs National Crime Team
Crucially, in order to be able to practice, a solicitor will be required to have indemnity insurance in place to the satisfaction of The Law Society which will:
- cover all the areas of the solicitor’s practice.
- provide full protection.
- cover all work conducted by the solicitor’s firm.
How Can We Assist? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Our team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for five consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners.
Other members of the team are ranked in the Legal 500 and also ranked in Chambers & Partners.
If you are in need of our expert help and advice please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following.