Rules

SFE Rules of Membership

SOLICITORS FOR THE ELDERLY LIMITED (the 'Company')

MEMBERSHIP RULES (the 'Rules')

Adopted by the directors of the Company under article 2.3 of the Company’s articles of association on 12th October 2005 and amended (latest) 25th March 2015 (latest 16th March 2017)

1  General

These rules apply to all members and Professional Members of the Company.

2  Professional Membership

2.1  Classes of Professional Membership

Article 2.3 of the Company’s articles of association sets out four classes of Professional Membership

  • Full Accredited Member
  • Full Member
  • Associate Member
  • Honorary Member

The directors have the power under article 2.3 of the Company’s articles of association to determine additional classes of Professional Member in the future.

2.2  Definitions of Professional Membership

2.2.1  New members from 1st October 2014

Full Accredited Members

All new Full Accredited Members are required to complete both SFE accredited Awards – the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award and the SFE Older Client Law in Practice Award.

They also need to continue to undertake relevant and sufficient ongoing training and education to be determined by the directors from time to time. They will need to certify that they spend at least 50% of their time working in the field of Elderly Client Law and will consent to random checks being undertaken to monitor compliance. All Full Accredited Members will have at least 3 years post qualification experience.

Associate Members 

All new Associate Members are required to complete the SFE accredited Award – the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award.

The period of Associate Membership cannot exceed 3 years from the date of joining. Associate Members must satisfy the training requirements to be determined by the directors from time to time and they must spend at least 50% of their time working in the field of Elderly Client Law during this period of membership.

To upgrade to Full Accredited Member

Associate Members will need to have at least 3 years’ experience working in the field of older client law and must pass the SFE Older Client Law in Practice Award.

2.2.2  Existing Full Members at 1st October 2014

In order to strengthen SFE’s position in the marketplace, SFE would like all existing Full Members to take the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award and upgrade their membership to a Full Accredited Member. Any existing Full Members who do not wish to do this can remain as Full Members, but will no longer be eligible to receive referrals from either SFE or its key partners after 1st October 2015.

All existing Full Members must continue to undertake relevant and sufficient ongoing training and education to be determined by the directors from time to time.  They will need to certify that they spend at least 50% of their time working in the field of Elderly Client Law and will consent to random checks being undertaken to monitor compliance. All Full Members will have at least 3 years post qualification experience.

Existing Associate Members at 1st October 2014

All Associate Members are expected to upgrade their membership within three years of joining SFE. Associate Members are expected to upgrade to Full Accredited Members. To do this, they will need to pass both the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award and SFE Older Client Law in Practice Award.

The period of Associate Membership cannot exceed 3 years from the date of joining. Associate Members must satisfy the training requirements to be determined by the directors from time to time and they must spend at least 50% of their time working in the field of Elderly Client Law during this period of membership

3  Eligibility criteria for Professional Membership

3.1  1st October 2013

As of 1st October 2013, only the following individuals will be eligible to apply to join SFE:

  1. Fully qualified solicitors holding a valid and current practising certificate and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Law Society of Scotland (LSS)
  2. Fully qualified barristers holding a valid and current practising certificate and regulated by the Bar Council
  3. *Fully qualified Chartered Legal Executives holding a valid and current practising certificate regulated by CILEx
  4. *Affiliate, Associate or Graduate member of CILEx who have studied specific CILEx units (see below)

    *NB: Chartered Legal Executives

    Affiliate, Associate or Graduate Members of CILEx are eligible to join as Associate Members if they have completed the following units: (or equivalent)

    • CILEx Level 3 Unit 1 Introduction to Law and Practice
    • CILEx Level 3 Unit 8 Law of Wills and Succession
    • CILEx Level 3 Unit 15 The Practice of Law for the Elderly Client
    • CILEx Level 3 Unit 16 Client Care Skills
    • CILEx Level 3 Unit 17 Legal Research Skills

    They will stay at the Associate level until they have become Fellows CILEx. Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives will need one further year of relevant experience after achieving Fellowship and before they are eligible to upgrade their membership to Full Accredited Members.

3.2  Pre 1st October 2013

For the members who joined before 1st October 2013, their eligibility criteria remains unchanged.

3.3  Retired members

Retired members can remain as members of SFE at the Associate Member level for a maximum period of 2 years.

3.4  Honorary Members

People who are invited by the directors for their contributions to the field of Elderly Client law.

4  Admission of Professional Members

  1. For the UK, applications must be online via the SFE website.
  2. Every applicant for SFE membership must read, understand and accept the SFE Code of Practice and the SFE Rules of Membership.
  3. For the Republic of Ireland applications must be online via the SFE ROI website. Applicants in the Republic of Ireland must follow the ROI Code of Practice and the ROI Rules of Membership.
  4. The Directors may decline to accept any application for Membership or renewal of Membership without assigning any reason for its decision.
  5. The applicant will only become a Member once his/her annual subscription is paid.
  6. Associate or Full Members must not hold themselves out to be Full Accredited Members

5  Subscription rates for Professional Membership

  1. The subscription is £120 per annum. There is a joining fee of £135.
  2. Subscription rates shall be reviewed and, if necessary, revised by the Directors annually.
  3. The joining fee is due when an application is made to join SFE. The SFE membership subscription fee is due once the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award has been successfully completed. The SFE renewal fee is due by 1st October each year.
  4. The Directors may cancel the membership of any Member whose subscription is three months or more in arrears.

6  Termination of Membership

  1. A Professional Member will automatically cease to be a Professional Member in the following circumstances:
    1. being struck off or suspended from legal practice;
    2. death;
    3. failure to pay the annual subscription fee within 3 months from the date from which it fell due;
    4. on giving written notice of resignation to the secretary;
    5. upon being expelled by the Directors due to the fact that in the Directors’ opinion it would not be in the interest of the Company for him/her to remain Professional Member so long as the relevant procedure has been followed as set out in section 7 below;
    6. being subject to any order imposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority that puts restrictions on the Professional Member unless he/she has the permission of the Directors as to whether he/she can continue to be a Professional Member;
    7. any Honorary Members can be revoked by a vote of the board of directors.
  2. A Professional Member who is bankrupt will automatically be suspended from being a Professional Member unless he/she has the permission of the Directors as to whether he/she can continue to be a Professional Member.
  3. Upon suspension, resignation or expulsion from membership the former Professional Member shall have no entitlement to any pro-rata refund or his/her annual subscription fee.

7  Expulsion of Professional Members

  1. A Professional Member shall not be expelled unless he/she is given written notice detailing the complaints made against him/her by the Director of Membership and Discipline and then be given a period of 14 days to appeal this decision (“Notice of Appeal”) to the Solicitors for the Elderly Administrator.
  2. Upon receiving the Notice of Appeal, the Solicitors for the Elderly Administrator shall pass the details of the case and appeal to the other Directors and the report from the Director of Membership and Discipline, who shall decide between them whether to expel the member or not and they shall, within 30 days, give their decision in writing to the Professional Member concerned.

8  Complaints

All complaints must be made in writing to the SFE Administrator who will submit them to the Directors, whose decision is final.

9  Conduct

All Professional Members shall abide by the codes of conduct as set out in the latest edition of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Code of Conduct or by the equivalent Guide to Professional Standards and SFE’s Code of Practice.

10  Meetings

All Professional Members shall be entitled to attend the Company’s AGM each year.  However, as Professional Members are not Companies Act members of the Company, they will not be entitled to vote at the Company’s AGM.

11  Regional Co-ordinators

Minimum standards which Regional Co-ordinators shall seek to attain shall be as follows:

  1. Hold a minimum of 2 meetings/training sessions per calendar year
  2. Set up of a committee to help run the region
  3. Produce an annual timetable of events
  4. Apply the standard charging structure for CPD accredited training sessions as agreed by the directors
  5. Set up and use a marketing database to facilitate record keeping and recruitment drives
  6. Hold recruitment drives per year to tie in with the training sessions
  7. Make contact with each new member and introduce them to the regional group
  8. Attend or send a deputy to the Regional Co-ordinators’ meetings
  9. Attend or send a deputy to the National Conference and AGM
  10. Act as the local SFE Ambassador for local Public Relations’

12  Amendments of the Rules

The Rules may be added to, amended or rescinded by a resolution of the Directors passed at a meeting convened in accordance with the provisions of the Company’s articles of association, provided that no such resolution shall be deemed to have been passed unless it is carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of the Directors present and voting, and is subsequently approved by at least two-thirds of the ‘B’ members of the Company present and voting at a general meeting.