The Bar Transfer Test (BTT) is probably the most convenient way for solicitors and qualified lawyers from other jurisdictions to qualify to practice at the Bar of England and Wales. It is mostly because qualified lawyers are gaining access to the Bar of England and Wales by passing the test, whereas in general route one has to pass both Academic and Vocational stage to be called at the Bar. Moreover, BSB has the power to grant exemption from parts of the Bar Transfer Test depending on the candidates’ academic background and area of practice. BTT enables qualified lawyers to transfer to the Bar of England and Wales, without having to undergo the full course of education and training as required in the Academic Stage (Qualifying Law Degree or conversion course) and the Vocational Stage (Barrister Training Course).
The rules and requirements relating to transferring qualified lawyers and the BTT can be found in Part 2 of the Bar Qualification Manual. For more information about the BTT, please access BTT Handbook of Bar Standard Board (BSB).
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 the Bar Transfer Test (BTT). In order to be granted an exemption, you must submit an application to BSB which includes information on the qualifications and experience you have. The application forms and guidelines are available here. BSB 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 BSB decides that you should be exempted from some of the requirements, you may be required to complete part or all of the BTT.
The BTT is delivered by BPP Law School on behalf of the BSB. The BTT consists of two parts, comprising written papers and oral assessments which cover some of the competences in the Professional Statement. We will tell you which parts of the BTT you will have to do based on your qualifications and experience. There are two sittings of the BTT each year, in April and August. Once we have told you which parts of the BTT you will need to take, you can register with BPP for the next sitting.
Making application to the Bar Standard Board (BSB) for approval for the test
Making application to BPP University for Registration and Examination upon receiving approval from BSB
Attending Examination and pass in all papers at a single sitting
Joining one of the Inns of Court
Undertaking pupilage as specified by the Qualifications Committee
Called to the Bar
Firstly, keep in mind that although there is no formal English language requirement for candidates on the Bar Transfer Test, a high standard of written and spoken English is expected of all applicants.
Secondly, for seeking approval of the BSB one must complete ‘Qualifications Committee Application Form’ and submit to ‘Bar Standards Board’ for approval. The documents to be submitted attached with the application:
- Evidence that you are of good character and repute, such as a Certificate of the Senior Judge, Attorney General or Senior Law Officer of the Superior Court in which you have practiced showing that: for a period of not less than 3 years you have regularly exercised rights of audience in that court (identifying the period(s)) and you are a fit and proper person to be Called to the Bar.
- A certificate to show that you have not been prohibited from practicing in the jurisdiction in which you are qualified on the ground of commission of a criminal offence or professional misconduct and are not currently suspended from practicing on such grounds.
- Evidence of all academic and professional qualifications. Either the originals or the certified copies. Applications with overseas qualifications must also include an official English translation of their certificates and results.
- Any other evidence which you wish to supply in support of your application.
- To apply to practice at the Bar of England and Wales, contact the Qualifications Committee at Bar Standard Board (BSB).
And finally, After having approval from the Bar Standards Board’s Qualifications Committee to take the test, you can submit your application form to BPP University, along with a copy of the certificate from the Bar Standards Board requiring you to take the test and the fees. You have to submit your application to:
Bar Transfer Test
BPP Professional Development
Fifth Boulton House
Manchester M1 3HY
Please note that applications will only be accepted in hard copy and not by email. It is permissible to send an email copy of the letter from the Qualifications Committee.
The Bar Transfer Test (BTT) consists of 5 sections
and these 5 sections consist of total 11 components in two part
Barrister Rakibul Alam Linclon
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