What is the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS)?
The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) was launched by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) in September 2010, effectively replacing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT). Essentially, the QLTS is a conversion process, which allows qualified lawyers from certain jurisdictions to practise as solicitors in England and Wales.
Why do the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme?
Many lawyers from other jurisdictions undergo the transfer process so that they’re able to give a more comprehensive service to their clients and to make themselves more marketable when considering job opportunities with international law firms that have dealings in England and Wales. Other lawyers simply wish to come and live in the UK and continue to practise law.
There are some distinct advantages of going through the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme. It can be a good way of attracting new business and it can reduce costs and reliance on other people by providing in-house services, which would normally have to be outsourced. In that sense, it could be seen as a valuable investment.
Eligibility & requirements…
Qualified lawyers from other jurisdictions are no longer required to fulfil certain criteria pertaining to their level of experience; instead, candidates are assessed objectively through a series of practical tests.
In order to qualify, you will need to successfully pass three stages of assessment: a multiple choice-test, a practical test which tests advocacy and interviewing skills, and a technical legal skills test.
You will also need to pass the SRA Suitability test to ensure that you are of suitable character. This basically means that you must show that you are honest and trustworthy; willing to comply with regulatory requirements; and won’t pose a risk to the public or the profession.
Candidates can’t simply come from anywhere in the world; they must be qualified in a jurisdiction which is recognised by the SRA. To find out if your jurisdiction is recognised, click here. Candidates must also meet the SRA’s English language requirements.
If you pass all the required tests and meet the necessary English language criteria, then the Solicitors Regulatory Association (SRA) will admit you as a solicitor and you may practise in England and Wales.
You can find out more about the QLTS at the QLTS School website.