In June 2021, we published important information for transferring qualified lawyers and for those with outstanding BTT requirements.
If you are a qualified solicitor, qualified lawyer from another jurisdiction, or a legal academic and you wish to practise as a barrister in England and Wales, you need to transfer to the Bar. Depending on your qualifications and experience, you may be exempt from some or all of the requirements for training for the Bar. Some of these exemptions may be granted subject to passing academic and/or vocational component assessments as a Bar Transfer Test (BTT) candidate. During 2021-22 the BSB received 325 fully completed applications to transfer to the Bar of England and Wales of which 324 were successful. The qualifications and experience required of those who succeeded in transferring to the Bar are set out in detail below.
In order to be granted an exemption, you must submit an application to us which includes information on the qualifications and experience you have. The application forms and guidelines are available on our waivers, exemptions and applications page. We will look at your application and decide whether you may be exempted from some or all of the requirements for training for the Bar. If we decide that you should be exempted from some of the requirements, you may be required to complete assessments as a BTT candidate. We will tell you which assessments you will have to do based on your qualifications and experience.
If you have been given an exemption from some of the requirements, you may still be required to complete a period of pupillage or work-based learning before you are granted authorisation to practise as a barrister. If you are required to complete a period of pupillage or work-based learning as a transferring qualified lawyer, you may also be required to complete a new Professional Ethics assessment during your pupillage.
The rules and requirements relating to transferring qualified lawyers and the BTT can be found in Part 7 of the Bar Qualification Manual.