The circumstances in which you may make an application to move offices and/or change your training solicitor during your traineeship are outlined below.
The Indenture Deed is a binding contract. Applications to move offices and/or to change your training solicitor should only be considered in exceptional circumstances. However, if your training solicitor is in agreement with the change then, subject to a few small conditions, you can anticipate that your application to change office/solicitor will be granted by the Law Society.
There are different processes to apply to move offices, depending on whether you have already started your in-office training.
Not started in-office training - transfer
If you have not started your in-office training and you wish to apply to change your training solicitor, this is called a transfer. Remember, your in-office training period does not commence until 14 days after the last exam on the PPC I. The procedure to transfer your training contract from one training solicitor to another is similar to the application process to enter into Indentures of Apprenticeship. To apply for a transfer you need to complete and submit the forms below to the Traineeship Section, together with a letter of release from your training solicitor.
There is no prescribed wording for the letter of release. Your training solicitor should simply state that they are prepared to release you from the obligations contained in the Indenture Deed. There is no requirement to submit a second fee or to re-submit the evidence in support (eg birth certificate).
Once we have received the forms and the letter, we will process your application. The application will take four to six weeks to process. Please take care when completing the forms - incorrect or incomplete forms cannot be processed and will be returned. Once your application to transfer your Indentures has been completed, you will be issued with fresh consent to enter into Indentures of Apprenticeship and you will be given a fresh Indenture Deed to complete.
Please note that until the Indenture Deed is fully completed and returned for registration by the Registrar of the Law Society, you will continue to be indentured to your former training solicitor and correspondence will continue to be sent to their office.
Already started in-office training - assignment
If you have started your in-office training and you wish to move offices, you have to apply for permission to have your Indentures assigned. Applications, including an application fee, are made to the Education Committee of the Law Society. You should submit the following documents to the Traineeship Section of the Education Department:
- A letter setting out the reasons for the proposed assignment and a date for when it is hoped that the assignment will take effect,
- A letter from your current training solicitor setting out whether or not they consent to the request, and
- A letter from the proposed training solicitor to confirm that they are prepared to have the Indenture Deed assigned to them and that they accept and agree to be bound by the conditions therein and furthermore the date that the proposed assignment is said to take place.
See sample assignment application letters.
The Law Society's Education Committee will examine whether your application is made with good cause and whether or not the application is made with the consent of all parties. Please submit original letters not fax copies, to the Traineeship Section. If your training solicitor refuses to consent to the proposed assignment, the Committee may consider representations from them together with any representations or submissions that you may choose to make.
Applications must be submitted to the Traineeship Section in advance of Committee meetings. This is to allow time for the application papers to be collated and copied for distribution to the members of the Committee. Applications received after these dates will invariably be postponed to the following meeting. This could delay your move.
The application fee is €75. See dates of committee meetings.
Education Committee Decisions
Results of applications are sent by post, this usually takes between 10 to 15 working days of the Committee meeting. If your application to have your Indentures assigned is successful, you will be sent the assignment form. The form, which is made up of two parts, Forms 4 and 5, has to be completed and returned to the Traineeship Section. Your new training solicitor must complete the part of the form known as Form 4, “Statutory declaration of intended training solicitor as to execution of Indentures of Apprenticeship or Assignment of Indentures of Apprenticeship”. You and your training solicitor must sign and complete Part 5, “Assignment of Indentures of Apprenticeship”. Once both parts of this form have been returned, it will be registered and returned to you for your safekeeping.
Please note: until the Deed of Assignment of Indentures of Apprenticeship is fully completed and returned for registration by the Registrar of the Law Society, you will continue to be indentured to your former training solicitor and correspondence will continue to be sent to their office.
Moving offices without consent
Please note that it is a requirement of the Indenture Deed that a trainee be on a “continuous and full-time basis” at the office of the training solicitor. Therefore, moving offices without consent represents a breach of the regulations. Furthermore, until consent is granted, you cannot be sure that the move you seek will be approved. A refusal by the Committee could lead to you having not only breached the Indenture Deed but also finding that the time spent at another office will be disregarded when assessing the qualification time. In other words, you may be required to do an extended training period. Applications to move should therefore be made in good time in advance of the proposed move.