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 entry to the Register of Registered Lawyers as provided for EU Directive 98/5/EC and amending regulations in this jurisdiction

 The requirements for entryonto the Register of Registered Lawyers are as follows:

  1. Certificate of good standing: It is necessary to furnish a 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 also submit a certified translation of it into English.

  2. Registration form: A completed registration form should also be completed and returned to the Society.

  3. Certified copy of passport: A certified copy of your passport is also required. A certified document is one that has been signed and dated by a recognised person as a true copy or translation of the original. The following may qualify to make a certified copy of your passport:Payment: An administration fee of €350 is payable to the Society for registration. This fee can be forwarded by electronic funds transfers to the Society’s bank account as outlined in the EFT payment form.

    • Solicitor
    • Notary Public
    • Commissioner of Oaths
    • Peace Commissioner
  4. Payment: An administration fee of €350 is payable to the Society for registration. This fee can be forwarded by electronic funds transfers to the Society’s bank account as outlined in the EFT payment form

The above documents should be furnished to the Society by post to Practice Regulation Section, Regulation Department, Law Society of Ireland, George’s Court, George’s Lane, Dublin 7. You can also provide soft copies of your documentation by email to pc@lawsociety.ie.

Qualifying Certificate

If a Registered Lawyer is seeking to provide legal services in this jurisdiction, s/he must also fulfil the following requirements following registration:

  1. The Registered Lawyer must be physically established and intending to provide legal services in this jurisdiction to apply for a qualifying certificate;

  2. Complete an online application to obtain a qualifying certificate.Please note access to the online application is provided once the lawyer has successfully registered as a Registered Lawyer;

  3. Pay the appropriate qualifying certificate mandatory fees by reference to his/her intended commencement date to provide legal services. The pro rata mandatory fees payable to obtain a qualifying certificate for 2022 can be found here. The online system will automatically calculate the fees payable once you insert your intended commencement date to provide legal services within the application.

Further information on applying for a qualifying certificate, can be found in the current qualifying certificate guidance notes.

Opening a law firm

If a Registered Lawyer is intending to open a law firm in this jurisdiction, s/he is also required to fulfil the Society’s requirements in relation to opening a new law firm. These requirements can be found under Opening a Practice.

Professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover

If you are required (whether by law or by professional regulation) in your home member state** to maintainprofessional indemnity insurance coverin 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.

When is PII cover required?

  • If you are intending to operate your own law firm, you must obtain PII cover from a participating insurer in the market. A list of the current participating insurers can be found at lawsociety.ie/PII. Alternatively, the Society will accept PII cover from your home jurisdiction provided it meets the minimum terms and conditions of the current PII regulations (www.lawsociety.ie/PII);

  • If you intend being an employed Registered Lawyer with a pre-existing law firm in this jurisdiction, that firm’s PII cover will extend to your position as a Registered Lawyer employed by the firm;

  • If you intend being an employed Registered Lawyer with a non-solicitor employer in this jurisdiction, that you are exempted from having to have PII cover in place as you are restricted to providing legal services your non-solicitor employer only. Further information on this matter can be found in the Society’s regulatory guide for in house solicitors.

Prohibition on practising in association with a non-solicitor

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.

Continuing Professional Development

The obligations of a solicitor practising in the State in relation to Continuing Professional Development would equally apply to 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.