Legal Services Board approves new Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme Regulations

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved the new Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) for introduction in September 2010.

The new regulations will apply to internationally qualified lawyers and lawyers qualified in the UK seeking admission as solicitors in England and Wales.

QLTS is designed to ensure, in the public interest, that all solicitors in England and Wales have achieved the same standards of skills and knowledge whether they have qualified through the QLTS or via the domestic route.

The scheme will be introduced from this September with the assessments available from January 2011. It will include a separate English language requirement for international applicants which has to be satisfied before an applicant is eligible to take the QLTS written and practical assessments.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Chief Executive, Antony Townsend, said: "We are delighted with the decision. The LSB have been constructive and helpful in giving their swift approval to the scheme. This means we can now move forward with every confidence in getting the new scheme in place by the Autumn with tests available in January 2011."

Clare Gilligan, the SRA's Head of Education and Training, said: "We have consulted extensively and worked with stakeholders on the changes we were making to the existing transfer scheme and are now in the final implementation stages of introducing the new regime."

"The public here need to be confident that all solicitors, however they qualify, are competent to practise. The QLTS will ensure that all candidates are assessed against the same set of standards using practical exercises, rather than relying on experience as in the past. QLTS will also allow lawyers to apply from a larger number and wider range of jurisdictions than at present. The new scheme is objective, transparent and fair so the profession will be able to recruit with confidence."

We have published FAQs on the new QLTS. You can read about the LSB's decision on their website.

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