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Overview

An Opportunity for Foreign Lawyers to Qualify as English Solicitors

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme or QLTS is a fast-track route for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales for international lawyers. The programme is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.

The QLTS assessments comprise a written examination and a practical assessment. The purpose of the assessments is to ensure that all candidates who qualify as solicitors have the knowledge, skills and ability necessary to perform their role competently and ethically.

Watch this video presentation to learn more about the QLTS assessments:

Simple and Consistent Approach

The QLTS replaced the previous regime, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) exams, in September 2010. The QLTS scheme promotes much more simple and consistent approach for assessment and covers lawyers from a wider range of jurisdictions comparing to the previous QLTT.

  • EEA, Swiss and UK Qualified Lawyer applicants have their qualifications and experience individually assessed. On the basis of this assessment, the SRA decides which assessments will need to be passed.
  • All other international lawyers need to take all the assessments.

The SRA has published a statement of what all solicitors who follow the domestic route to qualification should know and be able to do at the point of qualification. This statement is described at the “Day One Outcomes”.

Using the Day One Outcomes as a starting point, all transferees are required to demonstrate that they have the equivalent knowledge and understanding of law and practice in England and Wales in the same areas as that required of individuals who qualify under the domestic route.

How are You Assessed on the QLTS?

The QLTS includes two separate assessments – the MCT (a written assessment) and the OSCE (a practical assessment). The flexibility of the programme enables you to complete the assessments in a short period of time and become a dual-qualified English solicitor in just a few months.

QLTS Assessments

QLTS Assessments – The Fast Track Route for Dual-Qualification as an English Solicitor

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) provides an opportunity for international lawyers to dual-qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. The QLTS is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Format

The QLTS consists of two assessments:

Part I – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) – tests the knowledge and understanding of Outcomes A1-A11. The MCT consists of 180 multiple choice questions, each with five possible answers. The assessment is divided into two periods of two hours and 45 minutes each, with 90 questions in each session.

Part II – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – tests the skills of Interviewing, Advocacy/Oral Presentation, Online Legal Research, Legal Drafting and Legal Writing in the context of three legal practice areas – Business Law and Practice, Litigation (Civil and Criminal) and Property Law. The OSCE runs across several consecutive days.

Assessment Rules

  • You must first pass the MCT before attempting the OSCE.
  • There is no restriction on the number of assessment attempts you may take, nor a time limit for completing the two assessments within a certain time period (this is subject to the introduction of the SQE in 2021 and the cut-off date to apply for admission with the SRA)
  • There is no experience requirement or training to complete under the QLTS
  • All assessment are closed-book – you cannot bring with you any supporting materials into the examination centre
  • EU and Intra-UK lawyers may be eligible to obtain exemptions from some of the elements of the assessments

Eligibility Criteria

While there are no formal steps you need take before taking the QLTS assessments, you must be a Qualified Lawyer in a Recognised Jurisdiction before you apply for admission as an English solicitor (after completion of the assessments). A list of Recognised Jurisdiction is published at the SRA website. The list includes among other countries most of the jurisdictions in the USA, Australia, all EU member states, South Africa, Nigeria, Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Canada, Russia, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil and Israel.

You also need to ensure that you are entitled to practise law in your jurisdiction, and have no criminal record, disciplinary actions or other issues related to your background.

There is no English language requirement under the QLTS although you should ensure that your standard of written, spoken, reading, and listening English is appropriate for the assessment otherwise you are unlikely to pass it.

Exemptions

Foreign lawyers may apply for exemptions from either the MCT or OSCE assessments (however not from only some elements of the QLTS). You will need to apply to the SRA with supporting evidence and pay a fee of £400 with the application. The threshold, however, is very high,  as you will need to show to the SRA that you have the necessary competences expected of a newly qualified solicitor based on the SRA Day One Outcomes.

Questions about your eligibility should be addressed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, UK Tel: + 44 (0) 121 329 6800 Email: contactcentre@sra.org.uk Web: http://www.sra.org.uk

Sitting the Assessments

The assessments are administered by a sole assessment provider, Kaplan QLTS, which has been appointed by the SRA. Kaplan is not authorised to offer preparatory courses for the assessments.

Exams dates and fees: MCT –  7 July 2021. The fees are £588 + VAT. OSCE – April, July and November 2021. The fees for the OSCE are £3,042 +VAT. All the assessments are held in London, UK. The MCT is also offered by computer-based assessment in London and other cities in the UK and Europe, India, Dubai, New York, UAE, Moscow, Beijing, Sydney, Istanbul, Tokyo, Singapore and Johannesburg. The availability of the MCT is each location may vary.

The registration for the July 2021 MCT is now open. Note that spaces are limited and subject to availability so candidates are advised to book early to guarantee a place.

Assessment results are normally released a few weeks after the date of each assessment. Once you have passed the two assessments and fulfilled any other outstanding requirements set by the SRA, you may apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales and get your practising certificate.

QLTS Training

QLTS School offers preparation courses for the assessments, which combine comprehensive textbooks, video tutorials, online resources and tutor support. Our course programmes will give you everything you need to complete the assessments successfully on your first attempt and become an English solicitor – in just a few months.

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