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Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

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Sharing of profits or fees with unqualified personsN.I.

28.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), any solicitor who[F1 knowingly] shares any of his professional profits or fees with an unqualified person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding[F2 level 4 on the standard scale].

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply in any of the following cases, namely—

(a)where a person who has ceased to practise as a solicitor receives from any solicitor a share of the profits or fees of the latter as a price or value of the practice which he has transferred to the latter, or receives a share of such profits as a voluntary or other allowance out of the profits or fees of a practice in which he has been a partner; or

(b)where the widow, children or personal representatives of any deceased solicitor receive from any solicitor who has purchased or succeeded to the practice of the deceased solicitor, or from any firm of solicitors of which the deceased solicitor was a partner at his death, or from any solicitor acting by virtue of an appointment made pursuant to Article 32, any share of the profits of the practice of the deceased solicitor or such firm; or

(c)where professional profits or fees are received by a solicitor employed by a government department (including a department of the government of the United Kingdom), local authority, bank or trade union or statutory undertakers in respect of work done in the course of his duty, if the solicitor is in the whole time or exclusive employment of the government department, local authority, bank or trade union or statutory undertakers and does not engage in private practice as a solicitor; or

(d)where an agreement for sharing fees is made between a solicitor in Northern Ireland and a person carrying on the practice or profession of the law in some other part of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth or in the Republic of Ireland or in a foreign country; or

(e)where, for the purposes of making legal aid and advice more readily available to persons in need, the Council have directed in writing that paragraph (1) shall not apply in relation to a non-profit making organisation specified in the direction.

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