Australian lawyers rejoice! Thanks to the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA), it is now easier than ever for Australian lawyers to practice law in the UK. Let’s take a look at how this FTA makes it possible.
Under the old rules, an Australian lawyer looking to relocate to the UK and practice law there would need to pass the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). It was stipulated that in the UK, Australian lawyers must undertake the solicitors qualifying exam – a two-part assessment consisting of multiple-choice exams and a skills-based assessment. This process could take up to two years to complete, and many lawyers found it prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.
However, under the new FTA, Australian lawyers who have completed their law degree at a university that is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will be eligible to apply for a solicitor’s license in England and Wales without having to complete the QLTS. Instead, they will only need to pass an English Language Test and complete a professional conduct module.
It goes without saying that this is amazing news for Australian lawyers looking to expand their horizons and practise law internationally, as well as for British lawyers looking to relocate Down Under.
Are you eligible?
If you are interested in relocating to the UK and practising law there, be sure to check with your university to see if they are recognised by the SRA. And remember, you’ll still need to pass an English Language Test and complete a professional conduct module – but other than that, it’s smooth sailing from here!