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Breaking: Indian lawyers now eligible to take UK transfer test

La farola
La farola
Exclusive: England & Wales’ Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has approved India to be included in its list of jurisdictions of foreign lawyers permitted to take the new Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), following a delay of six weeks following an administrative oversight.

SRA policy executive education & training unit Jenny Rawstone told Legally India: “We have all the info we need and Indian Advocates will be added to the list of Recognised Jurisdictions as soon as our web team have a moment.”

The BCI’s directorate of legal education that includes former NLSIU Bangalore professor Rahul Singh was only handed the matter in late September, which sent the completed application form to the SRA last week.

Legally India first reported on 2 September that India had not been included in the list of jurisdictions for the QLTS, which replaced the old Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test on 1 September.

However, the test fees for the QLTS would more than quadruple after a sole provider has been appointed to handle the exam, as reported on 29 September by Legally India.

The SRA said in a statement: “As we have said in the past, we appreciate that the new QLTS will involve a greater commitment from some applicants in terms of cost than the QLTT. However, we strongly believe that the new system of assessments is necessary to ensure that all applicants for admission to the roll are competent and are of an equivalent standard to those entering via the domestic route.

“Whilst the costs of applying to be admitted via the transfer scheme have increased, they are not out of keeping with costs for admission via a transfer route for other comparable professional bodies who use practical exercises to test candidates. Again, the primary concern to the SRA is to be assured that it is admitting the right people to the profession, and this does have cost implications.”

In respect of Kaplan law schools appointment as sole test provider, the statement added that there were advantages to using one provider over several. “Kaplan's fees have not been increased as a result of their position as sole provider. The fees were set at the point of tender submission i.e. before any of the bidders knew whether they had been appointed. Furthermore the SRA does have in place mechanisms to ensure that the fees do not spiral over the forthcoming 3 years,” explained the SRA. “We will, however, continue to closely monitor the development of the scheme to ensure that it is as cost-effective as possible.”

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