SQE assessment exemptions
Updated 26 November 2023
Do I have an exemption?
Answer a few questions to find out if you have an exemption.
Are you a qualified lawyer?
What is a qualified lawyer?
Exemption from the SQE assessments is only available to qualified lawyers. This is someone who holds a professional legal qualification which confers rights to practise in England and Wales or in another jurisdiction.
What is an exemption?
When a qualified lawyer does not have to sit one or more of the SQE assessments.
For an exemption, you must show that you have the skills and legal knowledge assessed and applied to the same standard as candidates taking the SQE. This is done through your qualifications or experience, or a combination of both.
The lists on the page represent some of the applications we have received and assessed. These will have been via either an individual's application or one from a jurisdiction's bar/law society.
Absence from any list could mean we have either not had an application for that specific qualification or we are currently considering one.
What exemption can you apply for?
The SQE is made up of two parts:
- SQE1 which tests legal knowledge through a multiple choice test. SQE1 comprises 2 separate tests – FLK1 and FLK2. Exemption may be granted from either FLK1 or FLK2 or both
- SQE2 which test practical skills through oral and written exams. SQE2 is a single assessment; it is not possible to obtain exemption from only part of SQE2.
This table lists our agreed exemptions for qualifications we have looked at and will be updated if we grant further exemptions.
It lists qualifications/titles that meet our requirements for an agreed exemption from SQE2. This means that all lawyers holding this qualification will be entitled to exemption from SQE2.
Agreed exemptions only apply to lawyers who have qualified through a jurisdiction's full legal qualification route and not cross qualified from another jurisdiction. Those who have qualified this way can still apply for exemptions, however the application will be assessed on an individual basis.
Please find your jurisdiction below, check for your qualification and make the relevant application.
|Jurisdiction||Qualification||Assessment exemption available|
|Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland||Advokat|
|Finland||Asianajaja / Advokat|
|Luxembourg||Avocat à la Cour|
Apply for the agreed SQE2 exemption only
These legal qualifications have been looked at and do not meet all our requirements for an agreed exemption.
However, if your qualification is shown below, you can apply for an individual SQE2 exemption. This is so long as you have at least two-years' legal work experience gained as part of your qualification or post (or a combination of these).
Some qualification in this list do not have all the required practising rights. If your qualification doesn’t, you will need to complete section 8 (B1-7) on the application form.
If you wish to you can also apply for an SQE1 exemption using the same form as SQE2. Find out how you can apply for this.
|Australia||Solicitor and/or Barrister (Australian legal practitioner)||SQE2|
|Canada (British Columbia)||Lawyer||SQE2|
|India (West Bengal)||Advocate||SQE2|
|Japan||Bengoshi (Attorney in Law)||SQE2|
|Korea||Attorney at Law||SQE2|
|Macau SAR, China||Lawyer||SQE2|
|Malaysia||Advocate and solicitor||SQE2|
|Mexico||Attorney at Law||SQE2|
|New Zealand||Barrister and Solicitor||SQE2|
|Nigeria||Barrister and Solicitor||SQE2|
|Singapore||Advocate or Solicitor of the Supreme Court||SQE2|
|Sri Lanka||Attorney at Law||SQE2|
|The People's Republic of China||Lawyer||SQE2|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Attorney at Law||SQE2|
|USA all states||Attorney||SQE2|
If your qualification is not in ether table, we have not looked at it for an exemption. If you wish to apply for exemption you can either:
If you have additional work experience and/or other qualifications over and above your England and Wales legal qualification, you can apply for an individual exemption.
This includes the following qualified lawyers:
- Barrister (who has completed pupillage)
- Chartered Legal Executive
- CILEx Practitioner
- Cost Lawyer
- Licensed Conveyancer
- Patent Attorney
- Trade Mark Attorney