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Overseas Lawyers

The following page outlines the procedure for applying to the Law Society of Northern Ireland for Solicitors whose first place of admission is overseas. If your first place of admission was either England and Wales, Republic of Ireland or Scotland then please follow the links to the right of this page for the correct procedure.

APPLICATION 

In order to apply for consideration under this route you must complete and submit application form EF6 which can be downloaded below.

The application form contains a number of declarations regarding criminal convictions, insolvency and professional misconduct. If you are unable to make any of these declarations you should provide full details in a covering letter.

The Society's Character and Fitness Policy is accessible by clicking HERE.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

You are required to submit a number of supplementary evidence documents and information alongside your application form, details of which are as follows:

  • a Certificate of Good Standing from all jurisdictions in which the solicitor has been admitted – stating that the applicant is a fit and proper person to practice as a solicitor in Northern Ireland;
  • a certified copy of the applicant's original Admission Certificate from all jurisdictions in which the solicitor has been admitted;
  • a certified copy of the applicant's original certificate(s) and transcript(s) evidencing all higher education professional qualifications;
  • if applicable, a certified copy of an interim transcript from any current higher education professional qualification studies;
  • three references, two of whom should be solicitors or members of your professional body. If you are presently in employment one of the referees must be from your current firm. References should be signed and on official letterhead paper. Email references should be from an official email account. 

FEES

The following fees apply for overseas lawyers/solicitors seeking admission to the Roll in Northern Ireland:

  • Application fee: £150.00
  • Indentures Registration Fee: £187.50

Payment should be made by bank transfer. We no longer accept payments by cheque. The bank details are available on Section 8 of the application form.

Upon successful admission to the Roll of Solicitors you may be required to hold a Practicing Certificate (PC) and Personal Indemnity Insurance (PII), each of which require a fee to be paid to the Society. This will depend on your employment circumstances. If you are in any doubt or have any questions regarding your permissibility to hold a PC or PII, please contact the Society at PractisingCertificate@lawsoc-ni.org.

Please note: all newly admitted solicitors are subject to three year's restriction from practice on their own account i.e. as principals or sole practitioners. In certain circumstances the Society may grant a waiver of this restriction.

SUBMISSION

Upon submission of your application and supplementary papers, your application will be reviewed by the Society. If all paperwork is in order it will go before the next available Education Committee for consideration.

If the application is approved by the Committee, the applicant will be registered as a student of the Society. Applicants with Common Law training are usually required to complete the following:


(a) any outstanding core subjects which were not part of their degree, as follows:

  1. Constitutional Law
  2. Law of Tort
  3. Law of Contract
  4. Criminal Law
  5. Equity
  6. European Law
  7. Land Law
  8. Law of Evidence 

(b) a one-year course at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) at Queens University Belfast - please note, entry for 2024 is now at capacity. The next available entry point would be January 2025.

(c) a one-year apprenticeship within a suitable firm or organisation in Northern Ireland (it is the applicant's responsibility to find an office in which to complete the apprenticeship). This will require the lodgement of Indentures and payment of the subsequent fee (as noted above). Your Master will need to meet the Society's regulations.

If you are requesting an exemption to any element of the above requirements, you must submit a covering letter (and any supplementary evidence) along with your application, clearly explaining your request(s) and rationale.

The Education Committee will consider each application and any exemption request on an individual basis but please note that such requests are generally used by those applicants who have been admitted as a solicitor within a reciprocal jurisdiction.

For example, if you have been admitted in England and Wales (via the SRA) or Republic of Ireland (via the Law Society of Ireland) and have practised the law of said jurisdiction for three years then you may be exempt from completing course requirements and/or apprenticeship. This will be assessed upon submission. 

Documents

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