Assessing future Solicitors in England and Wales

December 14th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA) has published a consultation paper on the future assessment proposing, inter alia,  a standardised competence assessment (The Solicitor Qualifying Exam (SQE)) for all those seeking qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales.

The SRA Consultation paper Training for Tomorrow: assessing competence is available here (PDF)(60 pages). This Training for Tomorrow initiative consultation is open until March 4th 2016. Any changes to come, are not yet decided upon, and would not be ready until at least 2018-2019. Responses to the consultation will be very welcomed by the SRA.

SRA web-logo

Blogs on the consultation by Richard Moorhead, Julian Webb, and Julian Lonbay

Changes in French initial training of avocats

December 14th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

french_flag_arc_de_triomphe4France is currently reviewing its entry route into the profession of avocat. The reforms are under discussion to alter its initial and exit exams that bracket the post university initial stage of training, and to shorten the whole initial training to a one year duration (from 18 months).

The Conseil National des Barreaux (CNB) has already published a Decision that streamlines the training course within its initial training and attempts to  re-orient it to become a very practical experience. The prescribed route though, is still within the Écoles d’Avocats, whose programmes will become more harmonised. 

Décision à charactère normative no 2014-003 adoptée par L’Assemblée général du Conseil National des Barreaux du 12 décembre 2014

Conseil National des Barreaux (CNB) 

European Lawyers Day

December 10th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Today is European Lawyers Day, a day which marks European lawyers honoring International Human Rights Day. It is a national day to celebrate the rule of law and the legal profession’s intrinsic role in its defence, as well as lawyers’ common values and contribution to the justice system.

This year’s theme is Freedom of Speech, and refers to all forms of expression, including lawyers’ own freedom of speech.

European Lawyers Day 2015

Bars and Law Societies throughout Europe are organizing events and activities to publicly acknowledge the importance of freedom of speech and to highlight the role of the legal profession within the administration of justice.

More information on European Lawyers Day can be found here.  

National Rules on Specialisation

December 8th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Specialization drawing

In order to develop a better understanding of how lawyers’ specialisation works throughout the European Union the CCBE has been collecting information about specialisation regimes in 44 European jurisdictions from its CCBE members.

Most European jurisdictions (34) do not have a specific specialisation regime, however lawyers can often indicate their preferred areas of practice. 10 jurisdictions have a specialisation regime: Belgium (OBFG), Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (solicitors in both England and Wales, and Scotland). Such jurisdictions tend to have precise rules regulating the bestowing and use of a specialist’s title, usually including minimum prior practice in the field, theoretical expertise, and obligations of continuing training.

The number of specialisation fields varies, but it usually is around 20. Across all the jurisdictions surveyed, the most common fields for specialisation are: family law, criminal law, commercial law, labour law, social law, intellectual property law, tax law, IT law, banking law, administrative/public law, and the law of insurance.

The local Regional Chamber of Legal Advisers of Katowice in Poland will be holding a Workshop on Lawyers’ Specialisation on 15 April 2016 in Katowice. Experts from across Europe will participate in this workshop to discuss the pros and cons of introducing Lawyers’ Specialisation and exchanging experiences.

Further information: 

Comparative Note on national regimes of specialisation

National rules of specialisation

Workshop on Lawyers’ Specialisation, Katowice

Latest updates on HELP

December 4th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


‘HELP in the 28’ meeting

‘HELP in the 28’ annual meeting, 6 November 2015: The meeting – which brought together the HELP Focal Points (National Training Institutions) and Info Points (Bars/Law Societies) – examined the implementation of the HELP Programme in the EU countries and discussed perspectives for future cooperation with National Training Institutions and Bar Associations in the framework of the project. This year’s meeting focused on a number of topical matters, relating to new courses which are currently being developed, such as Fight against Racism, Xenophobia, Homophobia and Transphobia; Labour Rights; Data Protection and privacy rights; Right to the Integrity of a Person (bioethics). For more information, please follow this link.

SAVE-THE-DATE: CCBE Conference on ‘Training of Lawyers – Challenges and Opportunities’

December 4th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The CCBE is organising a conference on ‘Training of Lawyers – Challenges and Opportunities’ which will take place on 22 April 2016 in Brussels.



Please register your interest before 11 January 2016 with Madeleine Kelleher (

The official invitation and programme will follow in January 2016.