EU Registered Lawyers

If you are a national of a Member State of the European Union and are qualified to practise as a lawyer in your home Member State, you may be able to register as a foreign qualified solicitor under the Establishment Directive (98/5/EC).

Establishment regulations

Find out more about registering as a foreign qualified solicitor under the Establishment Directive under Establishment Regulations.

Requirements for admission to register of registered lawyers

Application Form

To be admitted to the register of registered lawyers, you need to complete the following:

  1. Registration form (fees listed below)
  2. Application for a qualifying certificate (fees on page 4)

Guidance notes

Before completing your Qualifying Certificate application, please read the following:

Fees

  • When returning your completed application form seeking registration as a registered lawyer to the Law Society, please enclose the processing fee of €350.
  • The fee when returning your completed application form for a qualifying certificate, (calculated as set out on page 4 of the application form) should also be enclosed.

Additional requirements

You must send the following with your application to the Law Society:

  1. certificate of good standing addressed to the Law Society of Ireland (no more than three months after its date of issue) from your home member state professional governing body, which certificate should also confirm that you are entitled to practise as a lawyer in your home member state. If not in the English language, please furnish with it a translation of it into English.
  2. Two written character references addressed to the Law Society of Ireland, each of which must be from either a practising solicitor of at least five years standing in the State or a practising lawyer in your home member state.
  3. If you are required (whether by law or by professional regulation) in your home member state** to maintain professional indemnity insurance cover in respect of your professional activities as a lawyer in your home member state, Article 6.3 of Directive No.98/5/EC and Regulation 6 of the European Communities (Lawyers Establishment) Regulations, 2003 provide that the extent to which such cover is equivalent to that required to be provided in respect of the professional activities of a solicitor in the State [pursuant to The Solicitors Acts 1954 to 1994 (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Regulations, 1995 to 2004] shall be taken into account by the Society for the purposes of this application.
  4. It is not permissible for a solicitor to carry on private practice in the State in association with a non-solicitor. This prohibition would equally apply to you, in pursuing, as a registered lawyer, the professional activities of a solicitor in the State.
  5. The obligations of a solicitor practising in the State in relation to Continuing Professional Development would equally apply to you in pursuing, as a registered lawyer, the professional activities of a solicitor in the State.

Three routes to apply

A registered lawyer can seek to be admitted as a solicitor in the State in one of three ways:

  1. By sitting and passing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) consisting of five written papers and an oral examination in professional conduct. The written papers are in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law or Company Law, Contract and Tort, Land Law and Conveyancing, Probate and Taxation, and Solicitors' Accounts.
  2. Under Article 10(1) of Directive No.98/5/EC, where a registered lawyer shows that he or she has "effectively and regularly" pursued "an activity in the law of the State" for a period of three years.
    In support of such an application, an applicant must furnish to the Law Society evidence of his/her "effective and regular" pursuit of legal practice for three years, including details of the number of cases dealt with in the State and their nature, together with three written references (addressed to the Law Society of Ireland) from solicitors practising in the State verifying the applicant's range of legal practice activity throughout the three year period. It would be helpful if a registered lawyer, in anticipation of making such an application, at the end of such a three year period, maintained an ongoing log of his/her legal practice activities in the State throughout the three years. The Law Society may request clarification or more specific details (whether in writing or by personal interview, or both) of the nature of the "effectiveness" and/or "regularity" in such pursuit of legal practice in the State during the relevant three years.
  3. Under Article 10(3) of Directive No.98/5/EC, where a lawyer from another member state has "effectively" and "regularly" pursued a "professional activity" in the State for a period of three years, even if there is a lesser period of "activity in the law of the State".
    The Law Society will take into account the "professional activity" undertaken during the three year period and "any knowledge and professional experience (of the applicant) of the law of the State and any attendance (by the applicant) at lectures or seminars on the law of the State, including the rules regarding professional practice and conduct." The Law Society will require proof of such "professional activity" and/or such "attendance(s)", as well as the number of legal cases dealt with in the State, together with three written references from practising solicitors in the State verifying the applicant's range of legal practice activity during the three year period. It would be helpful if a registered lawyer, in anticipation of making such an application, at the end of such a three year period, maintained an ongoing log of his/her legal practice activities in the State throughout the three years. The Law Society may request clarification or more specific details (whether in writing or in personal interview, or both) of the nature of such "professional activity" by the applicant in the State during the relevant three year period.

 ** "home member state" means the member state in which the applicant acquired the right to use his or her home professional title; "home professional title" means the professional title used in the member state in which the applicant acquired the right to use that title.

Contact us

Should you have any queries with regard to the foregoing, please contact Mary Ann McDermott, Practice Regulation Administrator, Regulation Department at the Society's premises, Georges Court, George's Lane, Dublin 7 or send a query by email.

Supporting documentation

The Law Society assumes that you are aware of the contents of the following documents:

  1. Directive No.98/5/EC
  2. Section 20 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 2002 (No. 19 of 2002)
  3. European Community (Lawyers Establishment) Regulations, 2003 (S.I. No. 732 of 2003)
  4. Regulation 12 of The Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2002 (Professional Indemnity Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations, 2004 (S.I. No. 115 of 2004)