Foreign qualified Costs Lawyers
The UK is no longer a member of the European Union. This means that if you are a costs practitioner who is qualified in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you will need to take steps to ensure you can practise in England and Wales following the transition period that ends on 31 December 2020.
Specifically, you will need to take one of the following actions, depending on the legal services you provide and your business model:
- requalify as a Costs Lawyer with the CLSB, if you want to provide reserved legal activities in England or Wales
- register as a Registered Foreign Lawyer with a different legal services regulator (such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority), if you do not want to provide reserved legal activities, but want to be involved in the management or ownership of a law firm with English or Welsh lawyers
- work under the supervision of an English or Welsh lawyer
- only undertake unreserved legal activities
Swiss Costs Lawyers benefit from a longer transition period, until 31 December 2024, under the UK-Swiss Citizens Rights Agreement.
For the most up-to-date information about how EU lawyers can practise in the UK from 2021 onward, you can use the resources on the Ministry of Justice website. If you would like to discuss your options for practising in England and Wales, please contact us and we can assist you.
Recognition of professional qualifications – old system
The old system applies to nationals of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. It also applies to Swiss nationals until the end of the extended transition period on 31 December 2024.
Under this system, a European qualified Costs Lawyer (costs law practitioner) has the right to apply to the CLSB to provide costs law services in England and Wales either on a temporary or occasional basis, or on a permanent basis, whether employed or self-employed.
To apply for recognition under these rules, use the resources below.
Recognition of professional qualifications – new system
The new system applies from 1 January 2021 onward for people with professional qualifications obtained in the EU, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein. It will also apply from 1 January 2025 onward for people with professional qualifications obtained in Switzerland.
If this system applies to you, and you would like to seek authorisation to practise as a Costs Lawyer in England and Wales through recognition of your European professional qualification, please use the resources below.
- Recognition of European Professional Qualifications Rules
- Application to access the Costs Lawyer profession in England and Wales through recognition of a professional qualification
Please note that the UK government has indicated that the new system is temporary, and that appropriate modifications to the system will be made in due course. In May 2021 the government tabled the Professional Qualifications Bill 2021-22, which implements its policy statement on the recognition of professional qualifications. We will keep this page updated as we receive further information about the government’s intentions and passage of the Bill.
The names of any Swiss lawyers providing costs law services in England and Wales under the old system will appear here (when applicable) until 31 December 2024.
The names of any European lawyers who successfully apply to practise as a Costs Lawyer in England and Wales under the new system will appear here (when applicable) and will be included in the Register of Costs Lawyers for as long as they hold a valid practising certificate.
Further information about the Costs Lawyer profession can be found on our website by following the links on the Resources for the Public page.