Lawyers from Ukraine and Uruguay can now dual qualify as a solicitor of England and Wales through the ‘fast track’ Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS).
Businesses are increasingly international and they expect their lawyers to be too.
A second qualification as a solicitor will open up new opportunities for lawyers and their clients . English law is the global commercial law of choice by a significant margin, providing the legal framework for most international commercial transactions. Additionally, more international and commercial arbitrations take place in London under English law than in any other city in the world – with 90% of commercial cases handled by London firms involving an international party.
Lawyers dual qualify as a solicitor for a number of reasons: including corporate counsel working in multi-national businesses, lawyers with a background in civil law looking to widen the range of services they can offer clients, or lawyers wanting to develop a wider international practice. After re-qualification many lawyers will continue to work in their home jurisdiction and use their solicitor qualification to help service clients there. Others will come to London to practice, a global hub for legal services which is home to over 200 foreign law firms.
The QLTS does not require a degree in common law or even an LLM from a UK university. Qualifying via this route does not require a training contract or experience with a UK law firm. Eligibility for the QLTS has three main requirements: admission to practice in a ‘recognised jurisdiction’, satisfaction of the English language requirement, and confirmation that you have no outstanding disciplinary matters. It can take as little as eight months to complete the scheme which involves two tests held at locations in London.
The Scheme is managed by our regulatory arm, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and by Kaplan QLTS. There is no mandatory preparation for the tests but there are a growing number of providers offering by in class and distance preparatory courses. For more information on the QLTS and to start your application see www.sra.org.uk/qlts.
Once qualified and admitted as a solicitor you will be a member of the Law Society of England and Wales and will join our network of over 166,000 solicitors based all over the world – more than 10% of our membership is based outside of the UK.