Fara Mohammad, Director of Islamic finance at Foot Anstey LLP, is a dual-qualified Malaysian lawyer and solicitor of England & Wales. She shares her experience of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) - the fast-track route by which qualified foreign lawyers can requalify as solicitors of England and Wales.
Tell us about your legal career – where did you qualify and start your legal career? Where do you work now?
I qualified in Malaysia in 1999 and began my legal career by completing my training at Malaysian firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co (Kuala Lumpur). I then joined a Malaysian project development company, involved in energy and telecommunications, as special assistant to the managing director. After several years of this and completing my MBA, I decided to re-enter the legal fraternity. I spent a number of years at Malaysian firm Shearn Dealmore & Co (Kuala Lumpur) specialising in corporate commercial work and subsequently returned to Zaid Ibrahim & Co (Kuala Lumpur) to specialise in Islamic finance. In 2006, I joined Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in London as an Islamic finance specialist. I am currently the Director of Islamic finance at Foot Anstey LLP in London.
Why did you decide to dual-qualify as a solicitor?
It was important for me to qualify as a solicitor of England and Wales in order to practise English law. The QLTS has given me more knowledge about English law, and the English legal system in which I am working in. It has also allowed me to have a more active role in the transactions I work on.
How did you find the QLTS experience?
I found the experience satisfying. I didn’t find the need to attend any college and did not find the experience too difficult or time consuming.
What advice do you have for other QLTS candidates?
It is advisable to take the qualification to add more value to oneself. I would suggest taking notes and being consistent in preparing for the exams. Study groups and discussions with friends and peers may help as well.
How has qualification as a solicitor via the QLTS helped your career as an international lawyer?
I find that I am able to provide comprehensive advice and, coupled with my international experience, it has added more value to my expertise and services.
The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS)
The QLTS is the fast-track route by which qualified foreign lawyers (and barristers of England and Wales) can be admitted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as solicitors of England and Wales. It ensures that a lawyer qualified in another jurisdiction has met the standard of knowledge and skill required of a newly qualified solicitor of England and Wales. This is done through two separate tests administered on the SRA’s behalf by Kaplan QLTS. Click here for more information.