The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed that there will be changes to the way foreign lawyers qualify through the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) in the event of a no -deal Brexit.
Under current legislation, EU lawyers are able to apply for exemptions on a topic by topic basis from the QLTS- the examinations all foreign qualified lawyers must pass in order to qualify in England and Wales. Generally speaking, such exemptions are currently not offered to lawyers who are from outside the EU.
These current arrangements will need to be changed in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
No – deal Brexit means that in accordance with the WTO Rules, EU lawyers will not be offered preferential treatment.
In future, all foreign lawyers will be able to apply for exemptions, but these would only be granted, if all parts of the QLTS compulsory subjects have been studied during previous studies.
Note however, that the question of whether exemptions will be granted will continue to be considered on a case by case basis and will ultimately depend on the applicant lawyer’s qualifications and experience.
Importantly, any EU based lawyers wishing to apply for exemptions under the current exemptions regimes must do so before any no -deal Brexit date becomes effective.
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