Application for qualified lawyer exemptions

This application is for SQE assessment exemption only. No exemptions will be granted from the other qualification requirements, such as a degree or equivalent and the English and Welsh language requirement (if this applies to you).

Scottish solicitors

If you are a solicitor qualified in  Scotland,  you are exempted from sitting the SQE2 assessment. If you only wish to apply for this exemption, please use the Apply for qualified lawyer exemptions – Pre-agreed exemptions for Intra UK form.

If you are applying for further SQE1 assessments exemptions, as well as the agreed SQE2 exemption, please use this form.

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Solicitors

Solicitors of Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from the SQE assessments. You do not need to apply for these exemptions.

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme exemptions

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) exemptions do not transfer over to the SQE. You must apply for a new exemption even if you have an existing one for either stage of the QLTS assessments.

Qualified lawyers with the Legal Practice Course (LPC)

The LPC does not give you an agreed exemption from any SQE assessment. This is because the SQE covers similar subject areas to the LPC but is assessed at a higher standard. If choose to qualify through the SQE, you could use your LPC as evidence if applying for any exemptions. Find out more about your options.

Who can apply?

A qualified lawyer who holds a legal professional qualification which allows them to practise in England and Wales or another jurisdiction.

You need to have one or more of these practising rights:

  • Criminal litigation (including advising clients at the police station) 
  • Civil litigation, which is referred to as dispute resolution on the form
  • Property practice 
  • Wills and intestacy, probate administration and practice 
  • Business organisations rules and procedures

We will check that your qualification gives you the right to practise when you apply for admission as a solicitor. You will need to give us a certificate of good standing from your law society or bar.

Please be aware that we cannot grant partial exemptions from any assessment.

Find out what exemptions have been agreed or are being considered.

If your qualification is not listed, please contact your law society or bar and ask them to submit a request for recognition of your qualification before you make your application. They will need to contact us to request the necessary form.

If a law society or bar wishes to make an exemptions request based on their legal professional qualification(s), then please contact us.

Which exemption are you applying for?

If you want to apply for agreed exemptions

If you are only applying for agreed exemptions for your qualification, please complete sections 1 to 4 on the application form. No additional information or evidence will be needed.

If you want to apply for new or additional exemptions

To be granted an exemption, your qualification or experience must be equivalent to the whole of a separate assessment within SQE, that is:

  • SQE1 Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) 1
  • SQE1 Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) 2
  • SQE2

We will not grant exemptions from part of an assessment.

You must show how your qualifications or experience are based on a legal system that is not substantially different from that in England and Wales. This means that that there is not a gap in your legal qualification content which is of such importance that you could not practise safely without a knowledge of it.

If you cannot show this, we will not be able to grant exemptions from the assessments.

Additionally, in order to gain exemptions, your qualification (or related jurisdiction) must require you to comply with a code of conduct or ethical obligations that are similar to those in the SRA Code of Conduct.

Exemptions from SQE1 (FLK1 and/or FLK2) assessments

You will need to show us that: 

  1. Your qualification(s) and/or experience cover the areas of law which are assessed in SQE1, FLK1 and/or FLK2 and
  2. The law of these qualifications or the law which you have practised in your work experience is not substantially different to the law of England and Wales in these areas. 

Your evidence will need to show how your knowledge, based on your qualifications and/or experience is not substantially different to the areas of English and Welsh law as set out in the SQE1 Assessment Specification.

Exemptions from SQE2 assessment

If you have the same practice rights as a solicitor of England and Wales (see below), and at least two years' professional legal work experience gained either as part of your professional legal qualification or after qualification, you may be exempt from the whole of SQE2. 

You need to have one or more of these practising rights:

  • Criminal litigation (including advising clients at the police station) 
  • Civil litigation, which is referred to as dispute resolution on the form
  • Property practice 
  • Wills and intestacy, probate administration and practice 
  • Business organisations rules and procedures

In most cases we will expect an applicant to have at least two years' professional legal work experience. Where a candidate does not have this, we will require evidence to be submitted to demonstrate how their qualification and experience is equivalent in content and standard to the SQE2 Assessment Specification.

The practical legal skills you need to demonstrate is equivalent to level three of our SRA Threshold Standard.

Other elements of qualification

To be admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales, you will also need to complete:

  • The degree equivalent validation
  • screening and suitability requirements. 

As you are a qualified lawyer, the two years' qualifying work experience usually needed for admission as a solicitor does not apply to you.

When to apply

If agreed exemptions are available, you can apply for these and additional exemptions if you wish through the same form.

If exemptions have not already been agreed for your qualification, you can apply for new exemptions based on your personal qualifications and experience.

Fee

 The application fee is £265. 

How to complete your application

Open all

Fill in your personal details. 

You need to provide details of the law society, bar or other authority you are qualified under, including your current professional title, date of qualification and registration number. You will also need to provide the contact details for the law society, bar or other authority.

You will then need to confirm whether you hold any of the following practice rights in your jurisdiction: 

  • Criminal litigation 
  • Civil litigation, which is referred to as dispute resolution on the form
  • Property practice 
  • Wills and intestacy, probate administration and practice 
  • Business organisations, rules and procedures 

Please tell us if your jurisdiction/qualification’s Code of Conduct or any ethical obligations include these requirements:

  • upholding the proper administration of justice and the constitutional principles of your jurisdiction or of the rule of law 
  • upholding public trust and confidence in your profession and in legal services provided by lawyers in your jurisdiction 
  • acting with independence 
  • acting with honesty and integrity 
  • acting in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion 
  • acting in the best interests of each of your clients 

The obligations set out above may be expressed differently in other jurisdiction/qualification’s Codes of Conduct or ethical obligations.

You will need to choose which exemptions you are applying for. These can be either agreed exemptions for your qualification or new/additional exemptions. 

4a – Agreed exemption(s) for your home qualification

Please choose this option if you are applying for exemptions already agreed for your home qualification. Find out what exemptions are available. 

4b – New exemptions 

Please complete this section to apply for any new exemptions for your qualification(s) and professional legal work experience.

This section can be used if one of following applies to you:

  • Your qualification does not appear on the agreed exemptions list (If this is the case, we suggest you first contact your law society or bar and ask them to submit a request for recognition of your qualification. They will need to contact us to request the necessary form)
  • Your home qualification does not have any agreed exemptions and you wish to apply based on your other qualifications and professional legal work experience.

Evidence you can use to support your application include: 

  • your professional legal qualification which gives you practise rights
  • a personal qualification (undergraduate or masters degree, diploma, CPD courses etc) 
  • your own professional legal work experience. 

If you are using work experience as evidence, you will need to tell us about the organisation where it was gained, including: 

  • organisation name 
  • organisation SRA number (if applicable) 
  • the length of the period of work experience 
  • your job title 
  • the name of any supervisor(s) and their SRA number(s) (if applicable) 
  • the legal qualification of your supervisor(s) 

4c – Additional exemptions 

Please complete this section if you are applying for an additional exemption. 

For example, if your professional legal qualification means you have an exemption from only the SQE2 assessment, you may wish to apply for an SQE1 exemption based on your additional qualifications and/or work experience. 

To grant an exemption, we must be satisfied that your qualifications and/or experience are not substantially different in content and standard to the SQE. 

Please be aware we cannot grant partial exemptions. 

When completing the table, you must:

  • set out specific, detailed examples showing how you achieved each of the areas of law
  • tell us how the law covered in your qualification(s) or experience is not substantially different to the law of England and Wales 
  • tell us what evidence you are supplying.

Supporting evidence

You must include the following evidence within your application:

  • other qualifications through certificates and transcripts
  • all work experience must be corroborated by detailed references from your supervisor(s)
  • redacted relevant samples of your work.

You can use evidence for more than one area of law or more than one skill.

Guidance for referees

Please make sure that your referee(s) have read this information.

All references must: 

  • be provided for each period of experience claimed 
  • be written for the purposes of this application and dated within the last 3 months 
  • be submitted on letterheaded paper. 

Referees must:

  • Have provided direct supervision and have made it clear in their reference what the supervision arrangements were
  • have read your application and reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference 
  • include examples from their direct observation of your work 
  • confirm the dates they supervised you. 

How to show your experience and provide work samples

Here is a suggestion for how you could complete the assessment table, using the Business Law and Practice section as an example.

Area of functioning legal knowledge Please tell us how these areas are covered by your qualification If these areas are covered by another qualification or experience, please tell us how Please tell us how the law covered by your qualification, which you have practiced in your work experience, is not substantially different to the law of England and Wales Evidence in support, eg academic qualifications or awards, reference, samples of work etc

1.

Business Law and Practice

Business organisations, rules and procedures

1.1  Business and organisational characteristics (sole trader / partnership / LLP / private and unlisted public limited companies) 

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain:

  • the scenario
  •  your involvement 
  • the skills you demonstrated the final outcome.

Example here 

Example here 

Evidence in support eg reference or work sample. 

For example, redacted emails to supervisor, page 16

Document 33 record of telephone call with client 

Document 35, page 4, letter to other parties’ solicitor

1.2  Legal personality and limited liability 

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain: 

  • the scenario 
  • your involvement
  • the skills you demonstrated the final outcome. 

Example 

Example 

Evidence in support eg reference, samples of work. 

For example, reference letter from J Bloggs & Co. 

1.3  Procedures and documentation required to incorporate a company / form a partnership / LLP and other steps required under companies and partnerships legislation to enable the entity to commence operating: 

constitutional documents 

Companies House filing requirements 

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain: 

  • the scenario 
  • your involvement 
  • the skills you demonstrated 
  • the final outcome. 

State which distinct area of law and practice you achieved the outcome. 

EG ABC & Co 

Evidence in support eg reference, appraisal document, samples of work 

Your evidence and work samples should support your examples. Please make sure you redact all samples to remove sensitive or identifying information. 

We will not accept non-redacted documents. 

To grant an exemption, we must be sure that your qualifications and/or experience are not substantially different to the law of England and Wales. 

Please be aware we cannot grant partial exemptions. 

When completing the table, you must:  

  • set out specific, detailed examples showing how you achieved each of the areas of law
  • tell us how the law covered in your qualification(s) or experience is not substantially different to the law of England and Wales 
  • tell us what evidence you have supplied.

Supporting evidence

You must include the following evidence within your application:

  • other qualifications through certificates and transcripts
  • all work experience must be corroborated by detailed references from your supervisor(s)
  • redacted relevant samples of your work.

You can use evidence for more than one area of law or more than one skill.  

Guidance for referees 

Please make sure that your referee(s) have read this information.

All references must: 

  • be provided for each period of experience claimed 
  • be written for the purposes of this application and dated within the last 3 months 
  • be submitted on letterheaded paper. 

Referees must: 

  • have supervised you directly and make it clear in their reference what the supervision arrangements were 
  • have read your application and reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference 
  • include examples from their direct observation of your work 
  • confirm the dates they supervised you. 

How to show your experience and provide work samples

Here is a suggestion for how you could complete the assessment table, using the Business Law and Practice section as an example.

Area of functioning legal knowledge Please tell us how these areas are covered by your qualification If these areas are covered by another qualification or experience, please tell us how Please tell us how the law covered by your qualification, which you have practiced in your work experience, is not substantially different to the law of England and Wales Evidence in support, eg academic qualifications or awards, reference, samples of work etc

1.

Property Practice

Core knowledge areas of freehold real estate law and practice

1.1 Investigation of a registered and unregistered freehold title:

  • key elements and structure of freehold property transactions
  • process of analysing Land Registry official copy entries
  • process of analysing an epitome of title and deducing ownership
  • issues that could arise from an investigation of title and further action required

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain: 

  • the scenario 
  • your involvement 
  • the skills you demonstrated 
  • the final outcome.

Example here 

Example here 

Evidence in support eg reference or work sample. 

For example, redacted emails to supervisor, page 16

Document 33 record of telephone call with client 

Document 35, page 4, letter to other parties’ solicitor

1.2 Pre-contract searches and enquiries:

  • range and purpose of making searches and raising enquiries
  • who would make the searches and raise enquiries
  • results of searches and enquiries.

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain: 

  • the scenario 
  • your involvement
  • the skills you demonstrated the final outcome. 

Example 

Example 

Evidence in support eg reference, samples of work. 

For example, reference letter from J Bloggs & Co. 

1.3 Law Society Conveyancing Protocol

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed, providing specific examples to illustrate. 

Make sure that you explain: 

  • the scenario 
  • your involvement 
  • the skills you demonstrated 
  • the final outcome. 

State which distinct area of law and practice you achieved the outcome. 

EG ABC & Co 

Evidence in support eg reference, appraisal document, samples of work 

Your evidence and work samples should support your examples. Please make sure you redact all samples to remove sensitive or identifying information. 

We will not accept non-redacted documents. 

Your qualification included two year's work experience

Please tick the box and return to mySRA to upload your form. We need no further information.

Your two years' work experience was completed post qualification.

Please tick the box and add the name and contact details of your referee confirming your experience.

You will need to upload a reference(s) from your referee(s) and their certificate(s) of good standing. Their certificate(s) needs to be dated in the last three months and we will need a translation if the certificate is not in English.

Your two years' work experience is a combination of that gained during qualification and post qualification

Please tick the box. You need to detail where your work experience was gained and the dates of your placement.

You will need to upload a reference(s) from your referee(s) and their certificate(s) of good standing. Their certificate(s) needs to be dated in the last three months and we will need a translation if the certificate is not in English.

Please tick the box and return to mySRA to upload your form. We need no further information.

Your two years' work experience was completed post qualification.

Please tick the box and add the name and contact details of your referee confirming your experience.

You will need to upload a reference(s) from your referee(s) and their certificate(s) of good standing. Their certificate(s) needs to be dated in the last three months and we will need a translation if the certificate is not in English.

Your two years' work experience is a combination of that gained during qualification and post qualification

Please tick the box. You need to detail where your work experience was gained and the dates of your placement.

You will need to upload a reference(s) from your referee(s) and their certificate(s) of good standing. Their certificate(s) needs to be dated in the last three months and we will need a translation if the certificate is not in English.

To grant an exemption, we must be satisfied that your qualifications and/or experience covers the standard and content of SQE2 and meet level three of our Threshold Statement.

Please be aware that we cannot grant partial exemptions from SQE2.

When completing the table, you must:

  • set out specific, detailed examples showing how you achieved each of the skills
  • tell us what evidence you are supplying.

Supporting evidence

You must include the following evidence within your application:

  • other qualifications through certificates and transcripts
  • all work experience must be corroborated by detailed references from your supervisor(s)
  • redacted relevant samples of your work.

You can use evidence for more than one area of law or more than one skill.

Guidance for referees

Please make sure that your referee(s) have read this information.

All references must:

  • be provided for each period of experience claimed
  • be written for the purposes of this application and dated within the last 3 months
  • be submitted on letterheaded paper.

Referees must:

  • have supervised you directly and make it clear in their reference what the supervision arrangements were
  • have read your application and reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference
  • include examples from their direct observation of your work
  • confirm the dates they supervised you.

How to show your experience and provide work samples

Here is a suggestion for how you could complete the assessment table, using the Business Law and Practice section as an example.

SQE2 skills Evidence that the skills meet the solicitor statement
of competence at level three of our Threshold Statement
Evidence in support, eg reference, samples of work etc

A Ethics

A1

Act honestly and with integrity, in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements and the SRA Standards and Regulations, including

  1. Recognising ethical issues and exercising effective judgment in addressing them
  2. Understanding and applying the ethical concepts which govern your role and behaviour as a lawyer
  3. Identifying the relevant SRA principles and rules of professional conduct and following them*
  4. Resisting pressure to condone, ignore or commit unethical behaviour
  5. Respecting diversity and acting fairly and inclusively

Example here

A2

Maintain the level of competence and legal knowledge needed to practise effectively, taking into account changes in your role and/or practice context and developments in the law, including

  1. Taking responsibility for personal learning and development
  2. Reflecting on and learning from practice and learning from other people
  3. Accurately evaluating your strengths and limitations in relation to the demands of their work
  4. Maintaining an adequate and up-to-date understanding of relevant law, policy and practice
  5. Adapting practice to address developments in the delivery of legal services

Example here

A3

Work within the limits of your competence and the supervision which they need, including

  1. Disclosing when work is beyond your personal capability
  2. Recognising when your have made mistakes or are experiencing difficulties and taking appropriate action
  3. Seeking and making effective use of feedback, guidance and support where needed
  4. Knowing when to seek expert advice

Example here

Your evidence and work samples should support your examples. Please make sure you redact all samples to remove sensitive or identifying information.

We will not accept non-redacted documents.

Making your application 

You may find it useful to have this guidance open in a separate device or browser window to help you complete the form.  

You will need to make your application by applying online in mySRA. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create an account to access the form.  

Once logged in, select 'Start new applications' and 'Qualified lawyers – application for recognition of professional qualifications and/or experience'. You will then need to download the form on the right-hand side of the 'Getting Started' page.  

Once completed, to upload your form go to 'Start new applications'. Once again, select 'Qualified lawyers – application for recognition of professional qualifications and/or experience' and click on 'Start Application' at the bottom of the page. You can then upload the form and click submit.   

If you cannot see 'Qualified lawyers – application for recognition of professional qualifications and/or experience' in this folder, please check in 'My individual applications and documents' instead.   

We aim to make decision on your application within 180 days.  

Log into mySRA – application for recognition of professional qualifications and/or experience