The Law Society has called for clarity over what provisions will be made for qualified lawyers from different jurisdictions once the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is rolled out.
In a briefing note published today the Society says questions remain over how foreign lawyers will qualify in England and Wales after the exam comes into force – expected to be 2020.
Chancery Lane has called on the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which will introduce the SQE, to publish further guidance on the issue and hold another consultation.
At the moment, Lawyers qualified in an EU member state can apply for exemptions from all or part of the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, based on their qualifications and work experience.
When the SQE is introduced, the SRA has proposed to recognise qualifications and experience gained in other countries, providing that the qualification or experience is equivalent in ‘both content and standard’ to what would be needed in England and Wales’. The SRA added that an English language test can also be required if necessary.
In its briefing note, Chancery Lane says it welcomed the fact that the SRA has made efforts to clarify the situation for other jurisdictions and that addressing it early in the process is helpful. However, it said there are still questions about how the SRA will apply the tests in practice.
The Society said it will respond to the SRA’s latest SQE consultation. Interested parties should send views to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In its latest consultation paper, published last month, the SRA sought feedback on the regulations needed to put the exam into place. Little detail about what the exam will entail, as well as its cost, has been revealed as yet.