Senior Practitioners

A Solicitor holding a practising certificate who was admitted to the Roll for at least forty years as of the 31/12/20 is only obliged to undertake a minimum of three (3) hours (not 20) of CPD in 2021.

For a solicitor who is not a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner, these three hours can be of any category, i.e. General, Management or Regulatory.

A senior practitioner who is a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner, is required to undertake as his/her three hours minimum CPD requirement during 2021, at least three hours of regulatory matters, of which at least two hours shall be accounting and anti-money laundering compliance.

A senior practitioner may claim a maximum of 1.5 hours CPD (being 50% of the modified CPD requirement for a senior practitioner) for time spent writing relevant material during 2021.

However, a senior practitioner may complete their entire modified yearly CPD requirement (3 hours CPD) by eLearning during 2021.

Periods of not practising, or ceasing to practice, during 2021

You may have your minimum CPD requirement of 20 hours modified downwards in proportion to the number of weeks (out of 52) actually worked in 2021 if you do not practice or cease to practice as a solicitor in the course of 2021 for a period of:

  • not less than one week within the 2021 CPD cycle for reasons of being on maternity (maximum maternity leave: 42 weeks) or parental or carers or adoptive leave, and
  • not less than eight weeks (not necessarily continuous, and even if wholly or partly remunerated) during the practice year due to medically certified illness or unemployment/‘sabbatical’/a ’time out’/a ‘career break’/a ‘temporary retirement’ or the like, or other substantive reasons

Employed part-time

Also, if you work on a part-time basis during all or part of 2021, meaning that you are ‘remunerated only for practising less than five days a week, Monday to Friday’, you may also have your 20-hour CPD requirement reduced in proportion to the number of days worked.

Where a solicitor works less than 104 hours per year (i.e. on average 2 hours per week) s/he is only obliged to undergo the minimum Regulatory Matters CPD requirements and no more.

Part-year practice cases

If a solicitor either:

  1. holds a practising certificate for part only of the 2021 CPD cycle, or
  2. is in the full-time service of the State for part only of the 2021 cycle AND does/did not hold a practising certificate and practice otherwise than as a solicitor in the full-time service of the State for the remaining part of 2021

s/he may have his or her CPD requirement proportionately reduced to the number of weeks actually engaged in practice.

Consultants

The minimum CPD requirement for ‘consultant’ solicitors’ is modified downwards in proportion to the number of days in each week (Monday to Friday) throughout the 52 weeks of the CPD cycle that s/he actually engages in practice.

NB: The obligation to undertake the minimum Regulatory Matters CPD always applies (except for solicitors who permanently retire during the calendar year, or are in the full-time service of the State for the full calendar year) even where the annual 20-hour minimum requirement is permitted to be modified downwards. In other words:

(a) a solicitor (including a senior practitioner – see above) who is a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner, shall be required to undertake as all or part of his/ her modified CPD obligations during 2021, at least three hours of regulatory matters, of which at least two hours shall be accounting and anti-money laundering compliance

OR

(b) a solicitor (including a senior practitioner – see above) who is not a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner, shall be required to undertake as all or part of his/ her modified CPD obligations during 2021, at least two hours of regulatory matters.

Therefore, the minimum 3 hours Management CPD and, if any, General CPD can be proportionately modified downwards in qualifying cases, whereas the obligation to fulfill the above minimum Regulatory Matters hours/content remains regardless.

Newly qualified solicitors

A newly admitted solicitor has a 12 month exemption following his/her admission to the Roll of Solicitors, commencing on the first day of the month immediately following the date of his/her admission to the Roll. His/her requirement to undertake CPD during the CPD cycle in which such period of twelve months expires is then modified downwards in proportion to the number of weeks (out of 52) remaining in that CPD cycle.