News releases

SRA and Law Society say anyone can 'play' for England and Wales, irrespective of their heritage

Lawyers from some 84 different countries are able to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales under a special scheme aimed at reflecting the global nature of the economy.

The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) point out that the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS) is growing in popularity, with more jurisdictions signing up to it to allow lawyers to re-qualify in England and Wales as solicitors, including emerging new economies such as Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Egypt, Indonesia as well as Brazil, China, Russia and Japan, to name a few.

Next week (Thursday, 15 November) the SRA and The Law Society will jointly host a free one hour international webinar on the scheme to encourage more lawyers from other jurisdictions to apply.

SRA Policy Executive Jenny Crewe said: "This is the first time we've run an event to promote QLTS and we're anticipating a great deal of interest.

"Over the past year, we've seen increasing number of applications from jurisdictions from all over the world so this is opening up accessibility to lawyers wishing to practise in England and Wales. Initial uptake was rather slow because there were no 'known' training providers in the market but this situation has now dramatically changed."

Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: "Thankfully, the legal sector is not like football, cricket or other sports where you need to have a relative with English or Welsh blood to qualify. The global nature of the economy means there is a greater need from clients for multi-jurisdictional knowledge from their lawyers. The QLTS helps to provide for that. UK law firms can hugely benefit from lawyers with experience from other jurisdictions, while the UK remains the legal capital of the world thanks to its global make-up."

Since the QLTS launched in 2010, the number of solicitors qualifying in England and Wales through this method has increased and is expected to do so in the coming years.


Note to editors

The QLTS, administered by Kaplan on behalf of the SRA, was launched in September 2010 following the first revision of the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Regulations (QLTR) and Test for 20 years and was designed to be a much more robust test of English Law and practice. It comprises three parts:

  • The Multiple Choice Test (MCT)*
  • The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)* – a practical assessment method adapted from the medical professions
  • The Technical Legal Skills Test (TLST) which tests drafting, writing and research skills Candidates must pass all three parts within the five-year validity period of their certificate of eligibility. They have a maximum of three attempts at each of the three parts within that five-year period.
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