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Going on and returning from extended leave

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Going on extended leave

Usually if you are going on leave, you don’t need to do anything with your practising certificate. However, if you are taking an extended period of leave and will not return to practise before your certificate expires at 30 June, you could consider surrendering your practising certificate. This can have advantages for you.

For example, by surrendering your practising certificate you no longer have to comply with the continuing professional development (’CPD’) requirements for the period when you don’t hold a certificate. If you decide to keep your certificate while on leave, you must still meet your CPD requirements, although some exemptions may apply. You can find more information about exemptions from CPD here.

We recommend that you don’t surrender your practising certificate if you expect to return to practise before your current certificate expires. If you do, you would need to apply for a new certificate (including pay new fees) upon your return.

What to do if you are surrendering your practising certificate

You must notify us of the date you will cease engaging in legal practice. You can do this via our lawyer enquiry form here.

If you are ceasing practise during the months of April to June (the annual renewal period), please notify our office that you don’t intend to renew your certificate before 30 June. You can do this by completing the ‘Not renewing practising certificate’ section via LSB Online. We’ll then take you off our reminder email list.

Returning from extended leave

When you return to practice you must ensure your details with our office are up to date and that you are appropriately licensed.

If you surrendered your practising certificate before going on leave, you would need to apply for a new certificate via LSB Online. You cannot resume practise until we issue your certificate. If you start to practice but don’t hold a current certificate, you will be committing the criminal offence of unqualified legal practice which carries serious penalties.

If you kept your practising certificate and are returning within the same practising year, please check your employment details are up to date through LSB Online. If you are returning to practice with a different employer, please make sure you update your employment details and practising certificate type, if necessary.

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