High-profile firm Mishcon de Reya has partnered with a SQE training provider to support refugee lawyers wishing to requalify as solicitors in England and Wales.

The London firm today announced it has partnered with BARBRI to prepare lawyers qualified in another jurisdiction for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE, which came into force last year, replaces the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme as a route to qualification in England and Wales for lawyers who qualified in another jurisdiction.

The pair will work with Breaking Barriers, a refugee employment charity, to offer fully funded SQE1 preparation programmes.

Samantha Kakati, a partner at the firm and co-training principal, said: ‘Refugees have a valuable contribution to make to both the profession and to our society. However, without proper support, that potential is overlooked and we squander experience, knowledge and skills that could otherwise enrich the operation and progress of not only the profession and legal systems as a whole, but the experience of each of us as participants in it and beneficiaries of it.

‘The legal profession should reflect and represent our society. That means continuing to improve access to, and equity in, the profession, particularly for those who are currently underrepresented. This was one of the drivers of a fundamental change in the qualification process by the introduction of the SQE. This partnership is one of the ways in which we have committed to practical change in the right direction.’

Earlier this week the firm appointed five non-executive directors in the run-up to its delayed flotation on the London Stock Exchange.