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SRA consultation on exemptions from QLTS - Law Society response

25 January 2019

In December 2018, the SRA issued a consultation seeking views on their recommended approach in relation to qualified lawyers from outside the UK and part-qualified EU candidates in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

At present, lawyers from other European Union (EU) states can requalify as solicitors of England and Wales through the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS).

The EU regulations, such as the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) allows for examining the candidates' competency and assessing whether they would need to pass an aptitude test or complete an adaptation period.

The SRA gives exemptions to EU lawyers in appropriate cases.

In the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit, this regime will need to change in order to comply with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, such as the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) principle, which does not allow for preferential treatment of one or more WTO members over others.

We are wholly supportive of the SRA putting in place contingency plans for the changes needed to comply with WTO rules.

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