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How do you register?

European Directive

The process of registering as a European Lawyer is governed by the Law Society of Northern Ireland (European Lawyers) Practice Regulations 2000.

Qualified lawyers in relevant Member State may apply to be registered with the Law Society of Northern Ireland.

However registration alone does not entitle an individual to practice in this jurisdiction.

To ensure compliance with the Services Directive the Law Society of Northern Ireland has provided an application process outlined below which requires European Lawyers wishing to register in this jurisdiction to download and complete an application form. The process for completing, submitting and the decision making processes are outlined below.


European Lawyers wishing to avail of their rights under the Establishment Directive must:

Part 1 - Download and complete the application form

Part 2 - You will be required to vouch for your identity, qualifications, experience or other status as well as traditional signature or qualified digital signature as a matter of public policy and security.

Part 3 - Your completed application form along with all other relevant information must be sent via email to: If you are unable to download the application form please email:

An application form is also available from the Society in Paper Form upon request to the Law Society of Northern Ireland, 96 Victoria Street, Belfast, BT 1 3GN, Northern Ireland.


Part 1 - Receiving your application form - Upon receipt the Society will then consider the application in accordance with the Law Society of Northern Ireland (European Lawyers) Practice Regulations 2000.

Part 2- Target Times for Processing Applications - The Law Society of Northern Ireland aims to process applications within 90 days of receipt of all relevant documentation.

Part 3 - Successful Application - Once registration is submitted and subject to satisfactory regulatory compliance the individual may practice in Northern Ireland as a registered European Lawyer.

Please note: No "Deemed Grant" of Applications Processed Out of Time -

The licences to operate issued under this section carry a significant "trusted status" within Northern Ireland.

These rights also confirm privileged access to children and vulnerable adults as well as to the NI courts and prisons.

In the interests of the protection of the public it is essential that no licence to operate is issued by default or in the absence of the completion of the necessary process and checks.

Accordingly there shall be no "deemed grant" in the event that the Society fail to comply with the above specified target timescale for granting or refusing applications.

Part 3 - Unsuccessful Application - If your application has been unsuccessful you can write to the Society at

Law Society of Northern Ireland,

96 Victoria Street,


BT 1 3GN,

Northern Ireland.


The Law Society has provided an online payment mechanism to help perspective applicants pay with Debit/Credit Cards. Pay Online


Following the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union, the REL process will no longer be open to EU lawyers wishing to establish in Northern Ireland once the UK leaves the EU. Should the UK leave the EU with a negotiated deal in place, under current terms in this area the Establishment Directive would continue to apply until the end of the transitional period (31 December 2020).

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK Government has put in place legislation (this includes Northern Ireland and England and Wales, with equivalent legislation introduced in Scotland) to unilaterally offer EU lawyers registered in the UK a grace period until December 2020 to either transfer to UK title, or to alter their business model accordingly. However, the process will close to new applicants.

The Services of Lawyers and Lawyer’s Practice (Revocation etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 can be found by clicking here 

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