‘Can I do a UK training contract if I’m based overseas?’

Avatar photo

By Legal Cheek on

We put one reader’s question to the regulator


A Legal Cheek reader came to us with the following query in relation to training contracts:

“I am wondering if your readers have any insight into training from abroad. I work in-house and although I am British and have completed the GDL and LPC, I moved to the US due to family reasons. I want to complete my qualifications and become fully qualified, and my company is currently registering to be able to do so for our London-based paralegal. As such, we want to see if I can also start my training but do so while being based out of our Chicago office. I do a lot of work for the London team already, but wondered if I am still eligible even if I don’t sit in the same office as the solicitor.”

The question is particularly topical given that many trainees now find themselves working from home and away from the watchful gaze of their supervisors. But could a rookie solicitor really undertake their training while based in another country?

We put our reader’s question to the experts — the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Here is its response:

We require trainees to be ‘appropriately supervised’. This means that we would accept firms putting sensible arrangements in place for supervisors to review trainees’ work remotely during their period of recognised training.

To be eligible for admission as a solicitor, your period of recognised training must meet the requirements set out in our standards and regulations, these include:

• The period of recognised training should usually be for a duration of a total of at least two years full-time, or equivalent.

• Your training principal must ensure that you have applied and developed the skills as set out in the practice skills standards.

• You must be appropriately supervised by solicitors and other individuals who have adequate legal knowledge and experience in the practice area they are supervising and the necessary skills to provide effective supervision.

• You should maintain a record of training which will meet the requirements set out at regulation 3E.1 of the SRA authorisation of individuals regulations.

• You should have regular appraisals of your performance and development, and reviews of your record of training, with your supervisor.

• Before you start a period of recognised training, you and your employer need to complete our notification form.

Do you have a qualification query? Send it in to tips@legalcheek.com and let us help you get it answered.