More and more people are leaving their home countries and travelling abroad to work. Sometimes this can be a nerve-wracking business, where will you live, where will you work, will your skills/achievements be recognised and will any industry specific qualifications you have be transferred? This is particularly true for lawyers who may have qualified abroad but want to practice in the UK; it was launched in September 2010 to replace the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT).

What is the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme?

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, or QLTS as it is known, is a series of three tests that have been developed to allow lawyers who have qualified in other countries to be able to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales. It requires the candidate to be from a registered jurisdiction and to have a requisite number of years of legal practice.

Who is eligible for QLTS?

To be eligible to take part in the QLT Scheme you must fit the following criteria:

  • Have satisfied the English Language requirement – those from countries that are native English speakers, or lawyers from EEA or Switzerland are exempt).
  • Have followed the full route to qualification in the recognised jurisdiction – by which they mean you have not used any fast-track routes to qualify.
  • That you are entitled to practice as a qualified lawyer in your recognised jurisdiction.
  • That you are of the character and suitability to be admitted as a solicitor.
  • That you are a qualified lawyer in a recognised jurisdiction.

If you feel you may qualify, please see the SRA website to see a full list of recognised jurisdictions, and other requirements needed per jurisdiction. If your jurisdiction doesn’t appear on the list on the QLTS website, then you are unfortunately not eligible to apply, and must contact your home bar, or law society to ask them to apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for recognition.

What training/experience do I need for QLTS?

As mentioned in the above section, you need to be at a stated level of qualification in your home jurisdiction before applying for QLTS, but you may find it helpful to have some training before sitting the QLTS tests rather than trying to go into them “cold”.

The SRA may be able to give you guidance on the sort of areas you should be looking at, but the simpler option may be to go to a specialist legal training firm that can offer the whole package when it comes to training for your QLTS tests.

A good company should be able to offer you a specially tailored program of training which makes sure that you as a candidate are fully equipped for your QLTS assessment by supplying:

  • Clear and concise training tools – designed for lawyers who don’t want to be overwhelmed with extensive and often unnecessary information.
  • Unique and accessible training – allowing candidates to study from their PC in their own jurisdiction.
  • Competitive pricing – to ensure all training materials are assessment specific yet affordable.
  • Modern Technology – their training brings the lecturer to you wherever you are at the click of a button.
  • Flexibility of products – you can order your training materials either as hard copy or online formats depending on your needs, making them the most flexible on the market.

How much does it cost to apply to the QLTS?

The cost of the actual assessment is dependent on which assessment you need – you can work this out using the table on the SRA website, but the QLTS1 application costs £400, a QLTS2 application costs £200 – this is in addition to any costs that may be incurred for the training you require.

*Please note, all figures and requirements used in this article are correct at time of writing – Nov 2012 – but may be subject to change, so please always check with the relevant body.