Closing, selling or merging a practice

If you are a sole practitioner or operating a partnership, and you are ceasing or closing your practice, you need to meet the Law Society's requirements.

Notification/Home Address 

It is necessary to provide the Law Society in writing with your exact date of cessation and contact address going forward. That address may be provided to any third party seeking to correspond with you in relation to your former practice. 

Practice Files 

A solicitor who no longer holds a current practising certificate, or ceases practice, may not retain any clients’ files or other documentation, for instance in private storage or at home. Neither should you, the solicitor, hold any clients' monies.  

Sale/Transfer of Firm 

In the event that your firm is being sold or transferred, the following details should be furnished to the Law Society at 

  1. The date on which the firm is being sold/transferred; 
  2. Clarification on whether all files (including closed files) are being sold/transferred to one firm or if files are being distributed between various firms. The details relating to the distribution of files should be outlined in your notification; 
  3. Confirmation that all clients monies are being transferred as part of the sale/transfer. 

Winding up the Firm 

  1. In the event that your firm is being wound up, you are required to keep the Law Society informed of the progress being made on the distribution of live and closed files and, in due course, provide written confirmation that all live files have been forwarded to new solicitors nominated by clients; 
  2. You are required to notify the Law Society in writing as to the identity of the practising solicitor who will have access to your closed files in storage; 
  3. All wills in respect of your closed firm should be transferred to another firm or returned to clients. Solicitors often notify their Local Bar Association of their cessation from practice to inform them of arrangements being made in respect of wills. 


Buy Sell Merge 

Buy Sell Merge is an online Law Society facility developed for solicitors interested in: 

  • buying or selling a legal practice or block of business 

  • merging with another firm to form a partnership 

  • sharing premises or other facilities, or 

  • buying or selling equipment or anything else relevant to running a legal practice 

For more information, see Buy Sell Merge.

Guidance and information leaflets 

Useful links and resource tools may also be found at: 

Information sessions 

eZine articles 

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