The Bar Transfer Test (BTT) requirements, procedures and relevant information

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 this test, whereas in general route one has to pass both Academic and Vocational stage to be called at the Bar.

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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 this 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.
Only BPP organize, set and mark the test (on behalf of the Bar Standards Board), and also run the preliminary Advocacy training program in preparation for it.
Requirements and Stages for transfer to the Bar:
To transfer to the Bar of England and Wales for qualified lawyers will have to:
Stage 1: Make an application to the BSB for approval for the test.
Stage 2: Make application to BPP for Registration and Examination upon receiving approval from BSB.
Stage 3: Attend Examinations and pass in all papers at a single sitting.
Stage 4: Join one of the Inns of Court
Stage 5: Undertake pupillage as specified by the Qualifications Committee
Stage 6: Called to the Bar
Note: 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.
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 offense 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 (e.g. references)
To apply to practice at the Bar of England and Wales, contact the Qualifications Committee at:
The Qualifications Committee
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7HZ
Tel: +44 (0)207 611 1444
Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
Once you have approval from the Bar Standards Board’s Qualifications Committee to take the test, you can submit your application form to BPP, along with a copy of the certificate from the Bar Standards Board requiring you to take the test and the fees. Please submit your application to:
Bar Transfer Test
BPP Professional Development
Fifth Floor Boulton House
Chorlton Street
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.
Bar Transfer Test Subject Areas and Assessment:
The Bar Transfer test (BTT) consists of 5 sections:
·         Section 1 (a): Law of Contract and trusts
·         Section 1(b): Law of Tort and the Law of Crime
·         Section2 (a): Land Law and English Legal System
·         Section 2(b): Constitutional and Administrative Law and European Law
·         Section 3: Civil and Criminal Procedure and the Law of Evidence
·         Section 4: Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethics
·         Section 5 (a): Application
·         Section 5 (b): Witness Handling
For detailed Syllabuses please click here.
1
(a)
Law of Contract and trusts
Written
2 Questions to be answered in 3 hours
A 60 per cent pass mark is required for the written skills element of the assessment and 40 per cent for the substantive law portion.
(b)
Law of Tort and the Law of Crime
Written
2 Questions to be answered in 3 hours
A 60 per cent pass mark is required for the written skills element of the assessment and 40 per cent for the substantive law portion.
2
(a)
Land Law and English Legal System
Written
8 questions from of which you much choose five, and each subject area will have four relevant questions within the exam
The pass mark is 40 per cent.
(b)
Constitutional and Administrative Law and European Law
Written
8 questions from of which you much choose five, and each subject area will have four relevant questions within the exam
The pass mark is 40 per cent.
3
Civil and Criminal Procedure and the Law of Evidence
MCQ
a three-hour MCQ exam with 80 compulsory questions broken down into papers on:
• Civil Procedure (50)
• Evidence (25),
• Criminal Procedure (25)
The pass mark is 65 per cent
4
Rules of professional Conduct and Ethics
Oral Interview
you will asked questions for up to 30 minutes
The pass mark is 60 per cent
5
(a)
Application
Oral Submission
you will asked questions for up to 12 minutes
The pass mark is 60 per cent
(b)
Witness Handling
Oral WH
you will asked questions for up to 12 minutes
The pass mark is 60 per cent
Please Note that those candidates who are taking section 5 of the Test are required to attend a compulsory training course at the Test provider before undertaking the assessment.
Examinations:
Bar Transfer Test exams take place over the course of one week during April and September in London which is solely conducted by BPP.
Time Table:
For detailed BTT 2013 Time-table please click here.
Cost of the Course:
Please Click here.
Outcomes:
BSB points out the outcomes of successful completion of the BTT as:
·         a high-level ability to (i) persuade orally and in a written argument using cogent legal and factual analysis (ii) develop a reasoned argument and (iii) deploy forensic skills with evidence (both written and oral)
·         systematic understanding of relevant knowledge and ethical principles in law and practice; together with a comprehensive  understanding  of techniques applicable to practice at the Bar of England and Wales,
·         expertise in the application of legal knowledge in the interests of the client, together with a practical understanding of how established technical skills are used in relation to the interpretation of knowledge in the discipline
·         conceptual  understanding  that enables  the student to collect and analyze relevant information; evaluate current developments and advanced theory in law and  practice, and acquire  in-depth  knowledge of  written material, law reports, journals and articles in applicable areas of study
·         knowledge and understanding of the ethical values (including the duty to the client and to the court), and the skills and underpinning knowledge  necessary  to assess and manage cases without supervision
·         the ability to utilize and develop  their knowledge and understanding of the       principles underpinning their professional practice
·         the ability and competence to undertake case analysis, research, conferences, opinion writing, drafting, negotiation and advocacy with/without supervision
Contacts:
Procedure for obtaining approval to practice at the Bar of England and Wales
Ms Pauline Smith
Training Regulations Officer Qualifications Committee The Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn London WC1V 7HZ
Tel: 020 7611 1444
PSmith@barstandardsboard.org.uk
Information on result publication
Ms Sophie Maddison / Mrs Lucy Russell
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
London WC1V 7HZ
Tel: 020 7611 1444
SMaddison@barstandardsboard.org.uk
LRussell@barstandardsboard.org.uk
Academic Guidance
Mr Paul Wetton
Programme Leader, Bar Transfer Test
BPP College of Professional Studies
68-70 Red Lion Street
London WC1R 4NY
Tel: 020 7430 5647
btt@bpp.com
For administrative support, applications for the test and queries in respect of the Bar Transfer Test, please contact client services at BPP on 0845 226 2422 or btt@bpp.com.