Considering the amount of time and energy UK firms have spent trying to get India to open its legal market to foreigners (for more of which see this week’s special report) it seems a little counter productive when our own country’s administrative bodies appear hell-bent on keeping out lawyers from abroad.
Earlier this month, The Lawyer revealed how the Government’s new points-based work permit scheme had dashed one future Norton Rose trainee’s plans to join the firm’s London office.
Now comes the news that a blunder by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has meant that hundreds of foreign lawyers could be prevented from practising in England and Wales because countries including Canada, New York and - once again - India were missed off the list of jurisdictions that could take part in the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), which will be a pre-requisite for foreign lawyers looking to practise in the UK (see story).
The SRA hit back saying that if jurisdictions were missed off the list it was their own fault for not returning a survey pertaining to the new scheme that was sent to law societies and bar councils across the world.
Couldn’t they just have used the old ’it must have got lost in the post’ argument? Excellent diplomacy.
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