Professional ethics and advising individuals living in the UK without leave
Produced in partnership with Ed Mynott
Professional ethics and advising individuals living in the UK without leave

The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Ed Mynott provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Professional ethics and advising individuals living in the UK without leave
  • The statutory regulation of immigration advice and services
  • Definition of those without leave to enter or remain in the UK
  • The criminal law—an issue for clients and their advisers
  • Professional ethics
  • Professional ethics when providing advice
  • Professional ethics when acting
  • Withdrawal from representation
  • Payment for legal services by a client who does not have leave

The statutory regulation of immigration advice and services

The provision of immigration advice is governed by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (IAA 1999) which requires that, with limited exceptions, any person providing immigration advice or immigration services to individuals must be a ‘qualified person’.

This Practice Note discusses issues of professional ethics and the regulatory frameworks applicable to the following categories of qualified person advising individuals living in the UK without leave:

  1. all those who provide legal advice and representation and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA). This category ranges from sole practitioners to transnational companies and includes owners of firms and employees supervised by a solicitor, even where the owners or employees are not themselves qualified solicitors. This category is referred to for the remainder of this Practice Note as ‘solicitors’, and

  2. advisers regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and those working under their supervision (referred to for the remainder of this Practice Note as ‘OISC advisers’)

Both solicitors and OISC advisers have codes which regulate their professional behaviour. Statute defines which persons are exempt from OISC regulation due to their authorisation:

  1. to practice by one of a list of ‘designated professional bodies’ (covering solicitors and advocates/barristers in Scotland and Northern Ireland), or

  2. to provide immigration advice or immigration services by one of a specified

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