as a solicitor in England and Wales
as a Solicitor in
England & Wales
Zealand lawyers who are
admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New
Zealand may be
eligible to transfer their qualification to become a Solicitor in the
It is desirable to be admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales if you wish to work here for more than 2 years and/or if you are seeking employment in areas outside of London or in smaller firms.
The process for qualifying as an English solicitor changed significantly in September 2010, so please be aware that advice you may have received from those who have qualified in the past may no longer be accurate.
planning to sit the
QLTS is advised to prepare (and save) for the process well in advance,
may mean applying for the Certificate of Eligibility before leaving New
average, it will take
around a year or more to get qualified, which is downtime if you
looking for work as an assistant solicitor in sectors reliant on legal
(where non-English qualified lawyers are paid at the same rate as a
non-qualified paralegal) or in private practice in areas outside
firms may be reluctant to take on lawyers who have not yet qualified as
solicitor in England and Wales.
under the Transfer
Transfer Scheme Regulations allow
New Zealand lawyers who
can satisfy certain requirements to be admitted as a solicitor in
Wales. The are three stages to admission. They are:
Certificate of Eligibility from the Solicitors Regulation Authority
the prescribed assessments.
of your character and suitability to practice.
the requirements have
been met, the lawyer can apply to be admitted as a solicitor of England
Authority has an excellent summary of the application procedure here.
you can apply to sit the QLTS assessments, it is necessary to apply
to the SRA for a
"Certificate of Eligibility."
application the SRA also requires a Certificate of Standing from your
society (see here),
the application to be countersigned by an appropriate person from your
current country of residence, and the appropriate fee (currently
£200). A law degree from a New Zealand University satisfies
the English language requirement.
While the SRA's target is to issue 95% of certificates within 30 days, it can take considerably longer, and you will not be able to enroll in the QLTS assessments until your certificate has been issued.
The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Assessments
QLTS assessments consist of three parts: a Multiple Choice Test,
an 'Objective Structured Clinical Examination' and a 'Technical Legal Skills
Test'. Details of each can be found
There is currently only one provider of the QLTS assessments
the QLTS results come
through (which can take some time, as they are externally moderated), the final
for admission to the roll can be made. For this, the SRA requires a
Certificate of Standing from the NZLS, criminal records checks in both
and New Zealand, and a set fee for admission and a practising
requires the original certificate of eligibility and evidence of
success in the
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