England / Wales / Northern Ireland Solicitors – How do I practice in the Republic of Ireland?

England / Wales / Northern Ireland Solicitors – How do I practice in the Republic of Ireland?

Have you considered working in the growing International City of Dublin, but worried about how your qualification is viewed if you are based in England, Wales or Northern Ireland?

The good news is you don’t need to worry. With the exception of a few circumstances, the process for qualification in Ireland is relatively simple and in fact, your experience in other jurisdictions is often looked upon very favourably by firms in Ireland.

There is a reciprocal agreement between the Law Societies in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England and Wales which allows for cross qualification in certain (and most) situations.

What are the rules?

For Solicitors whose first place of qualification is England and Wales or Northern Ireland, you simply need to apply for a Certificate of Admission (details below) to join the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland.

You will note that one of those jurisdictions must be your first place of qualification. If for example, England Wales or Northern Ireland is your subsequent place of qualification, it is a requirement of the Law Society of Ireland that you have 3 years’ PQE in Northern Ireland or England and Wales before you can apply to the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland. An example scenario of this is if you passed the NY State Bar and then completed a training contract in England. You would then have to practice for at least three years in England or Wales before you could apply.

**Scotland qualified Lawyers have to undergo a different process – please see the Law Society website for more info**

How do I apply?

You would complete the Certificate of Admission form available on the Law Society of Ireland’s website. Along with this form you would supply the following:

1. A certified copy of your original certificate(s) evidencing your professional qualification(s);

2. A certified copy of your original certificate(s) showing the higher education academic qualifications that you have been awarded;

3. An original certificate of good standing from your professional body in the jurisdiction(s) you have been admitted. The Law Society of Ireland must receive this certificate no more than three months after its date of issue. The relevant body is the SRA in England and Wales and the Law Society of Northern Ireland;

4. Three character references. All referees, who may not be members of your family, must have known you well for two years or more and the reference should so state. Two of the references must be from practising solicitors of at least five years standing in the Republic of Ireland or in the jurisdiction where you are already qualified and both referees should confirm this fact in the reference. If you are currently in employment one of the referees must be from your current firm (even if you have been with the firm for less than two years);

6. Proof that you are a national of an EU or EFTA Member State (eg certified copy of passport); and

7. A fee of €300 to the Law Society.

If I want to move to Ireland, how does this usually work in practice?

If you are seeking a move to Ireland, you have no need to apply to be on the Roll before you move. You can simply apply for vacancies in Ireland and if successful following interview, the Law Firm will usually pay for and provide assistance with your qualification in Ireland and will also usually furnish you with a practicing certificate when you start.

For further information on process or for a confidential conversation about the Legal market in Ireland, please contact Cailim Boyle (Associate Director, Legal , Hunter Savage Recruitment) on 019069289 or email cailim@huntersavage.com

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