This article is written by Susanna Sharma. This article will discuss all about the Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2, eligibility criteria, fee to be paid, date of the exam, the syllabus, exam centres, tips and tricks to pass the exam, preparatory course, and frequently asked questions on exemptions from SQE 2, number of resits, passing marks, etc. An effort has been made to provide exhaustive details about the SQE 2. 

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If you are dreaming of becoming a solicitor in England and Wales, this is your cue to start your preparations and achieve your dream. The path to becoming a solicitor is definitely long and testing, however, the right information, strategy and preparation will go a long way towards helping you. 

To become a solicitor in England and Wales, a candidate has to appear for an exam known as the Solicitors Qualifying Exam or SQE. The Solicitors Qualifying Exam is conducted in two stages- SQE 1 and SQE 2. Those candidates who successfully qualify the first round of the exam, i.e., SQE 1, can sit for SQE 2. All the candidates, whether they are natives of England and Wales or any other part of the world, must sit for this exam to qualify and work as a solicitor. This exam ensures that the solicitors have the necessary qualifications and meet the standards required to perform their duties. 

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This article will help you with all the necessary details regarding the second stage of the qualifying exam, which is SQE 2. 

Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2) : brief overview

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam is conducted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales. This exam is essential to starting your career as a solicitor. Candidates from all around the world, including the United Kingdom, have to sit for this exam to qualify as solicitors. The exam has been divided into two phases to test the functioning legal knowledge and practical legal skills, respectively. The second phase is known as the Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2). 

The SQE 2 tests your practical legal skills, since functioning legal knowledge is already tested through the SQE 1. The SQE 2 consists of oral and written assessments to test your legal skills. 

Ultimately, those who can successfully clear SQE 2 are qualified to practise as solicitors. They are highly esteemed and respected legal professionals and can work on a plethora of legal matters. 

Tabular representation of SQE 2 exam (October Cycle 2023)

Date of booking for SQE 2 (October cycle 2023)21st June 2023 (10:00 AM) to 11th September 2023 (5:00 PM)
Number of assessmentsOral assessmentWriting assessment
Fee for SQE 2£2493 (pounds) 
Exemption from SQE 2For qualified lawyers from specific jurisdictions
Number of attempts3 attempts to be taken within 6 years of the first attempt
First sitting of Oral Assessment 202323rd to 24th October 2023
Second sitting of Oral Assessment 202325-26 October 2023
Date of Written Assessment 202330th October to 1st November 2023
Date of Result 20th February 2024

Tabular representation of SQE 2 exam (2024)

CycleDate of bookingDate of oral assessmentDate of written assessmentDate of result
January 202418th October 2023 to 07th December 2023First sitting- 6th to 7th February 2024Second sitting- 8th to 9th February 202430th January to 1st February, 202429th May 2023
April 202410th January 2024 to 20th March 2024First sitting- 7th to 8th May 2024Second sitting- 9th to 10th May 2024Third sitting- 14th to 15th MayFourth sitting- 16th to 17th May30th April to 2nd May, 2024 28th August 2024
July 202424th April 2024 to 19th June 2024First sitting- 31st July to 1st August 2024Second sitting- 6th to 7th AugustThird sitting- 8th to 9th August 13th to 15th August 202426th November 2024
October 202410th July 2024 to 18th September 2024First sitting- 23rd to 24th October 2024Second sitting- 29th to 30th October 2024Third sitting- 31st October to 1st November 20245th to 7th November 2024To be notified

Eligibility criteria for Solicitors Qualifying Examination 2 (SQE 2)

In order to be eligible to write the SQE 2, a candidate must fulfil the following essential criteria: 

  1. The candidate must have cleared Solicitors Qualifying Exam 1 successfully. Those who do not clear SQE 1 cannot sit for SQE 2. 
  2. The candidate must have a level 6 degree (undergraduate degree) as per the UK in any subject, not limited to law only.
  3. The candidate must have two years of qualifying work experience.
  4. The candidate must be fit and suitable as per the character and suitability requirements set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to be able to qualify as a solicitor.

Steps for non-law graduates to qualify SQE 2 exam

To become a solicitor in England and Wales, it is not necessary that the candidate have a law degree. Even those who do not have a law degree can sit for the SQE 2. Here are the steps for non-law graduates to sit for the SQE 2-

  1. Complete a degree in any subject, which should be a level 6 degree.
  2. Study for the SQE after going through the syllabus, it is advised to take a preparation course.
  3. Sit for SQE 1
  4. Sit for SQE 2
  5. Gather the two year qualifying work experience
  6. Satisfy the character and suitability requirements set up by SRA
  7. Finally, qualify as a solicitor.  

Exemption from Solicitors Qualifying Examination 2 (SQE 2)

While it is necessary to qualify for SQE 2 to be able to practise as a solicitor in England and Wales, there are also a few exemptions given to candidates who fulfil the specific criteria. Those who fall under these exemptions do not have to sit for the SQE 2. 

According to the Solicitor Regulation Authority, qualified lawyers can apply for exemptions in the SQE assessment. This exemption is provided to qualified lawyers who already have the skills and knowledge that are assessed in this exam. For this purpose, the qualifications and work experience of the candidate are looked into.

Please note: Not all qualified lawyers are given exemptions under SQE 2. Only qualified lawyers from specific jurisdictions are guaranteed exemption, and lawyers from other jurisdictions will either be individually assessed for exemption or will not be entitled to any exemptions. 

Therefore, in order to be eligible for exemption from SQE 2, a candidate must fulfil the following criteria-

  • Must be a qualified lawyer with the same practice rights as a solicitor of England and Wales
  • Must have qualified from any of the 25 jurisdictions eligible for agreed exemption, or
  • Must have qualified from any of the 60 jurisdictions that are eligible for individual exemption.

Who are qualified lawyers for exemption in SQE 2 exam

A qualified lawyer is someone who has a professional degree in law and has the right to practise in England, Wales or other jurisdictions. The legal qualification should be of the same level as that of a solicitor in England and Wales. 

Agreed exemption

There is a list of 25 jurisdictions available on the official website of SRA, which states that qualified lawyers from these jurisdictions do not have to sit for SQE 2. This is an agreed exemption. These 25 jurisdictions are mentioned here.

Individual exemption

Apart from the 25 jurisdictions, qualified lawyers from the other 60 jurisdictions are entitled to individual exemptions. This means that although they are not guaranteed the exemption, after careful consideration of their legal qualifications and work experience, they can get an exemption. The SRA will assess each individual application for exemption and decide if an exemption is to be given or not. 

To be eligible for individual exemption, the candidate has to fulfil the following criteria-

  • Must have the same practice rights as a solicitor of England and Wales
  • Must have completed their degree in one of the 60 specific jurisdictions entitled for individual exemption
  • Must have two years of full-time professional legal work experience or equivalent experience. 

Please note: Indian lawyers are entitled to individual exemption for SQE 2 as India falls under the 60 jurisdictions mentioned in the list. For your reference, the list is here

Application for exemption

Candidates must follow the following steps to avail the exemption-

  1. Update your jurisdiction in your SRA account by adding it to the “My Profile” section
  2. Update your legal qualifications as an advocate or legal practitioner in your profile. 
  3. Then go to ‘Start new applications’ on the homepage
  4. Choose the ‘Apply for qualified lawyer exemption from the SQE Assessments’ option,
  5. Tick on the two year’s work experience box if you already have the work experience.
  6. Return to mySRA to upload your form. 

Fee for Solicitors Qualifying Examination 2 (SQE 2) 

The cost of the exam is to be paid separately for both stages, which are SQE 1 and SQE 2. The cost of SQE 2 is £2493 (pounds). Indian candidates who qualify to sit for this exam have to pay the fees as per the current exchange rate. 

For example, if the current exchange rate of 1 £ in Indian rupees is 105.87 Rs, then the total amount to be paid for the exam will be 2,63,911.22 rupees. 

This fee for SQE 2 is paid for both the written and oral assessments, and it must be paid at the time of booking. Unpaid exam bookings are not considered by the authorities. 

Revised fee for SQE 2

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has notified that the fees for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam will be changed and will take effect from September 2023. Thus, those candidates who will appear for SQE 2 in October 2023 and thereafter have to pay the revised fee. 

The revised fee is £2766. Indian candidates have to pay the fee as per the current exchange rate in India while filling out the form. 

There has been an 11% increase in the fee for SQE 2. According to the SRA, the reason behind the increase in fees is ongoing inflation. 

Syllabus for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The SQE 2 is conducted to assess the practical legal skills and knowledge of the candidate. 

Subject and practice area

The subject and practice areas of the exam are-

  1. Criminal Litigation, which also includes advising clients at the police station
  2. Dispute Resolution: Contract Law and Tort
  3. Property Practice: Land Law, Taxation
  4. Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice: Trusts, Taxation
  5. Business Organisations, rules and procedures: Contract Law (including money laundering and financial services), Taxation.

Please Note: Professionalism and ethics are also core parts of SQE2. All assessments under SQE2 will have questions relating to ethics. The candidates have to identify the ethical problems and solve them.  

Details of functioning Legal Knowledge for SQE 2

Each of the subject and practice areas has been chosen to evaluate the candidates as a Day one solicitor. These subject areas are vast in themselves, so they have been narrowed, and specific sections and topics from each subject are important. Here is a detailed description of what is important in each subject for functioning legal knowledge in SQE 2.

Core principles of Criminal Liability

Functioning legal knowledge in criminal liability includes-

Offences against the person

Theft Offences

  • Section 1 of Theft Act 1968
  • Section 8 of Theft Act 1968
  • Section 9 of Theft Act 1968
  • Section 10 of Theft Act 1968

Concept of Criminal Damage

  • Simple criminal damage
  • Aggravated criminal damage 
  • Arson


  • Murder
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Involuntary manslaughter (which includes unlawful acts of manslaughter and manslaughter by gross negligence)

Concept of Fraud

  • Fraud by false representation
  • Fraud by abuse of position
  • Fraud by failing to disclose

Definition of the offence

  • Actus reus 
  • Mens rea

General defences, which include

  • Intoxication
  • Self-defence or defence of another

Partial defences

  • Loss of control
  • Diminished responsibility 

Parties under criminal liability

  • Principal offender
  • Accomplices
  • Joint enterprise

Advising clients, including vulnerable clients at the Police Station about the procedures and processes

This includes the following-

Informing clients about the rights of a suspect detained by the police for questioning:
Identification procedures, which include:
  • When an identification procedure must be held
  • The different types of identification procedures
  • The procedure for carrying out the identification procedure PACE 1984, Code D
Advising clients, including vulnerable clients, about answering police questions:
  • The right to silence
  • Adverse inferences
The procedure for interviewing a suspect under PACE 1984, which includes-
  • The role and appropriate conduct of the solicitor or the defence legal representative, including the representation of vulnerable clients
  • The role of appropriate adults and who is an appropriate adult

Procedures and processes under criminal litigation

Bail applications, which include-
  • The right to bail and exceptions to bail
  • Conditional bail
  • The procedure of applying for bail
  • Further applications for bail
  • Appeals against decisions on bail
  • Absconding and the breach of bail

First hearing before the Magistrate’s court

  • The classification of offences
  • Application for a representation order
  • The overview of the procedures- what will happen at the hearing
  • The role of the defence solicitor during hearings

Plea before venue

  • The procedure for defendant entering plea
  • Advising the client on the trial venue

Allocation of business between the Magistrate’s Court and the Crown Court

Case Management and Pre-trial hearing

  • Magistrate’s court case management direction
  • Plea and the trial preparation hearing
  • Disclosure- prosecution, defence and unused materials

Principles and Procedures to exclude and admit evidence

  • The burden and standard of proof
  • Visual identification evidence and Turnbull guidance
  • Inference from silence, under Sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 of Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  • Hearsay evidence 

1. Its definition

2. The grounds for admitting hearsay evidence

  • Confession evidence

1. Its definition

2. Admissibility of confession evidence

3. Challenging its admissibility under Sections 76 and 78 of PACE 1984

  • Character evidence
  1. Definition of bad character
  2. The 7 gateways under Section 101(1) of Criminal Justice Act 2003
  3. The procedure for admitting bad character evidence
  4. Power of the court to exclude bad character evidence
  • Exclusion of evidence 
  1. The scope and application of Section 78 PACE and the right to a fair trial

Trial Procedures in Magistrate’s court and Crown Court

  1. The burden and standard of proof
  2. The stages of a criminal trial, including submission of no case to answer
  3. Modes of address and courtroom etiquette
  4. The difference between leading and non-leading questions
  5. Competence and compellability
  6. Special measures
  7. The solicitor’s duty to the court.


  1. The role of sentencing guidelines
  2. Determining seriousness through aggravating and mitigating facts
  3. Concurrent and consecutive sentences
  4. Mitigation
  5. Types of sentences
  • Custodial sentences
  • Suspended sentences
  • Community orders
  1. Newton hearings 

Appeals procedure

Appeals from the magistrate’s court
  • Procedure for appeal against conviction and/or sentence
  • Powers of the Crown Court
  • Appeal to the High Court by way of case stated
Appeals from the crown court
  • Grounds for appeal
  • Procedure for making the appeal
  • Powers of the court of appeal
Youth court procedure
  • Jurisdiction and grave crimes
  • Allocation

1. Youths who are jointly charged with adults

  • Sentencing

1. Role of sentencing children and young people- definitive guidelines

2. Referral orders

3. Detention and training orders

4. Youth rehabilitation orders

The principles, procedures and processes involved in dispute resolution

Different options for dispute resolution
  • The characteristics of arbitration,
  • Mediation, and
  • Litigation, which makes them an appropriate mechanism to resolve a dispute.
Resolving a dispute through a civil claim
  • Preliminary considerations: limitations, pre-action protocols
  • Parties and causes of action
  • Calculating the limitation periods for claims in contract and tort
  • Practise direction- Pre-action conduct
  • The principles and purpose of pre-action protocols governing particular claims and consequences for failure to follow their terms
  • Applicable law: mechanism to determine which country’s laws apply to contractual or tortious claim issued in the courts of England or Wales
  • Jurisdiction: mechanism to determine jurisdiction over an international contractual or tortious claim.
Where to start proceedings
  • Allocation of business between the High Court and the Country Court
  • Jurisdiction of the Specialist Courts
Issuing and serving proceedings
  • Issuing a claim form
  • Adding, removing or substituting the parties
  • Service of a claim form within the jurisdiction 
  • Procedure for service of a claim form outside the jurisdiction with or without the court’s permission and mechanism for effecting valid service in another jurisdiction
  • Deemed dates of service and time limits for serving proceedings
  • Service by an alternate method.
Responding to a claim
  • Admitting the claim
  • Acknowledging service and filing a defence and / or counterclaim
  • Disputing the court’s jurisdiction
  • Entering and setting aside judgement in default
  • Discontinuance and settlement
  • Time limit for responding to a claim
Statements of case
  • Purpose, structure and content of a claim form, particulars of claim, or defence relating to a claim in contract or tort
  • Purpose, structure and content of a reply, Part 20 claim, or defence to Part 20 claim
  • Request for further information about statements of case
  • Amendments
Interim applications
  • Procedure for making an application
  • Purpose, procedure and evidence required for particular applications
  • Summary judgements
  • Interim payments
  • Interim injunctions
Case management
  • The overriding objective
  • Track allocation
  • Case management directions for cases proceeding on the fast or multi-tracks
  • Non-compliance with orders, sanctions and reliefs
  • Costs and case management conferences
  • Relevance, hearsay and admissibility
  • The burden and standard of proof
  • Expert evidence

1. Opinion evidence

2. Duties of experts

3. Single joint experts

4. Discussion between experts

  • Witness evidence

1. Witness statements 

2. Affidavits

Disclosure and inspection

  • Standard disclosure
  • Orders for disclosure
  • Specific disclosure
  • Pre-action and non-party disclosure
  • Electronic disclosure
  • Privileged and without prejudiced communications
  • Waiver of privilege.


  • Summoning witnesses
  • Preparations for trial

1. Purpose of pre-trial checklists and hearings

2. Purpose of trial bundles

  • Trail procedure
  • The nature and effect of the judgement


  • Cost management and budgeting
  • Inter-partes cost orders (interim and final)
  • Non-party costs
  • Qualified one-way costs shifting
  • Part 36 of Civil Procedure Rules and other offers
  • Security for costs
  • Fixed and assessed costs.


  • Permission
  • Destination of appeals
  • Grounds for appeals

Enforcement of money judgements

  • Oral examination
  • Method of enforcement
  • Procedure and mechanism for effecting valid enforcement in another jurisdiction

Core principles of Contract Law

Formation of contract

  • Offer and acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Intention to create legal relations
  • Certainty
  • Capacity


  • Probity of contract
  • Rights of third parties

Contract terms

  • Express terms
  • Incorporation of terms
  • Terms implied by common law and statute
  • Exemption clause
  • The inter[pretation of contract terms (conditions, warranties and innominate terms)
  • Variation

Vitiating factors

  • Misrepresentation
  • Mistake
  • Unfair contract terms
  • Duress and undue influence
  • Illegality

Termination of contract

  • Expiry or other specified event
  • Breach of contract
  • Frustration
  • Basic principles of restitution and unjust enrichment in the context of termination of contract


  • Damages
  • Liquidated sums and penalties
  • Specific performance
  • Injunctions
  • Duty to mitigate
  • Indemnities
  • Guarantees

Causation and remoteness

Core principles of Tort


  • Duty of care [standard(general and professional)] and breach
  • Causation (single and multiple)
  • Remoteness and loss
  • Principles of remedies for personal injury and death claims
  • Claims for pure economic loss arising from either a negligent act or misstatement
  • Claims for psychiatric harm
  • Employer’s primary liability (operation and effect of common law principles)


  • Consent
  • Contributory negligence
  • Illegality
  • Necessity

Principles of vicarious liability

Occupier’s liability

  • Legal requirements for a claim under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957(in relation to visitors) and the Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 (in relation to non-visitor’s)
  • Defences
  • Exclusion of liability

Product liability

  • Principles in negligence
  • Principles of the Consumer Protection Act 1987


  • Public and private nuisance
  • The rule in Rylands v Fletcher (1868)
  • Remedies (damages and injunctions) and defences

Core knowledge areas of freehold real estate law and practice

Investigation of a registered and unregistered freehold title

  • Key elements and structure of freehold property transactions
  • Process of analysing Land Registry official copy entries
  • Process of analysing an epitome of title and deducing ownership
  • Issues that could arise from an investigation of title and further action required
  • Purpose and process of reporting to the client

Pre-contract searches and enquiries

  • Range and purpose of making searches and raising enquiries
  • Who would conduct the searches and raise enquiries
  • Results of searches and enquiries

Law society conveyancing protocol


  • Sources of finance for a property transaction
  • Types of mortgage

Acting for a lender

  • Lender’s requirements
  • Purpose of a certificate of title

Preparation for and exchange of contracts

  • Key conditions contained in the:

1. Standard conditions of sale

2. Standard commercial property conditions

  • Purpose of, and matters covered by special conditions
  • Methods of holding a deposit:

1. Stakeholder

2. Agent

  • Insurance and risk
  • Basics of VAT in a contract
  • Timing for issuing certificate of title to a lender
  • The practise, method and authority to exchange
  • Consequences of exchange 


  • Form of transfer deed and formalities for execution
  • Pre-completion searches
  • Pre-completion steps

Completion and Post-completion

  • Methods and effect of completion
  • Post-completion steps

Remedies for delayed completion

  • Common law damages
  • Contractual; compensation
  • Notice to complete
  • Rescission

Core knowledge areas of leasehold real estate law and practice

Structure and content of a lease

  • Repair
  • Insurance
  • Alterations
  • User and planning
  • Rent and rent review
  • Alienation
  • Options for the term of a lease
  • Code for leasing business premises

Procedural steps for the grant of a lease or underlease

  • Drafting the lease
  • Purpose of an agreement for lease
  • Deduction of title
  • Pre-contract enquiries and searches
  • Pre-completion formalities
  • Completion and post-completion steps

Procedural steps for assignment of a lease

  • Deduction of title
  • Pre-contract enquiries and searches
  • Landlord’s consent
  • Deed of assignment and covenants for title
  • Pre-completion formalities
  • Authorised guarantee agreement
  • Completion and post completion steps

Licence to assign and licence to underlet

  • Purpose of and who prepares the draft
  • Privity of contract and how the licence deals with this
  • Key provisions in the licence

Leasehold covenants

  • Liability on covenants in leases-

1. Leases granted before 1 January 1996

2. Leases granted on or after 1 January 1996

Remedies for breach of a leasehold covenant

  • Action in debt
  • Forfeiture
  • Commercial rent arrears recovery
  • Pursue guarantors and/or rent deposit
  • Specific performance
  • Damages
  • Self-help/ Jervis v Harris clause

Termination of a lease

  • Effluxion of time
  • Notice to quit
  • Surrender
  • Merger

Security of tenure under a business lease

1. Application of 1954 Act

2. Renewal lease by the tenant

3. Termination by the landlord

4. Landlord’s grounds of opposition

5. Terms of new lease

6. Availability of compensation

Core principles of planning law

  • Statutory definition of “Development”
  • Matters that do not constitute “Development”
  • Matters that do not require express planning permission
  • Building regulation control
  • Enforcement: time limits and the range of local planning authority’s enforcement powers.

Taxation – property

Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Transaction Tax

  • Basis of charge in both England and Wales for:

1. Residential property

2. Non-residential freehold property

Value Added Tax

  • Basis of charge

1. What constitutes a taxable supply

2. Differences between standard, exempt and zero-rated supplies

  • Reasons why a client would make an option to tax and the effect that has.

Capital Gains Tax

  • Basis of charge
  • Principal private dwelling-house exemption

Core principles of land law

Nature of land

  • Distinction between real property and personal property
  • How to acquire and transfer legal and equitable estates
  • How to acquire and assume legal and equitable interests in land
  • Methods to protect and enforce third party interests
  • Different ways in which land can be held
  • Legal formalities required to create and transfer interests and estates in land

Title to land:

  • Registration of title to land:

1. Estates that can be substantively registered

2. How to protect interests

3. Interests that override registration and interests that need to be protected on the register

  • Core principles of unregistered title to land:

1. Role of title deeds

2. Land charges

  • Continuing role of doctrine of notice.

Co-ownership and trusts

  • Differences between joint tenants and tenants in common in law and in equity
  • Rule of survivorship
  • Severance of joint tenants and tenants in common in law and in equity
  • Rule of survivorship
  • Severance of joint tenancies
  • Solving disagreements between co-owners by reference to sections 14 and 15 of Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. 

Proprietary Rights

  • Essential characteristics of easements
  • Methods for creation of easements
  • Rules for the passing of the benefit and burden of freehold covenants
  • Mortgages, including enforceability of terms, priority of mortgages, lender’s powers and duties, and protection of mortgagors and other third parties with an interest in the land. 


  • Relationship between landlord and tenant in a lease
  • Essential characteristics of a lease including the difference between a lease and licence
  • Privity of contract and privity of estate
  • Rules for the passing of the benefit and burden of leasehold covenants and enforceability
  • Purpose and effect of an alienation covenant
  • Remedies for breach of leasehold covenants (including forfeiture)
  • Different ways a lease can be terminated. 

Wills and Intestacy

Validity of wills and codicils

  • Testamentary capacity
  • Duress and undue influence
  • Formal requirements

Personal representatives

  • The appointment of executors
  • Renunciation and reservation of power

Alterations and amendments to wills

  • Effect of alterations made to wills both before and after execution
  • Use of codicils

Revocation of wills

  • Methods of revocation
  • Effect of marriage and divorce of a testator

The interpretation of wills

  • Effect of different types of gift
  • Failure of gifts

The intestacy rules

Property passing outside the estate

  • Joint property
  • Life policies
  • Pension scheme benefits
  • Trust property

Probate and Administration Practice

Grants of representation

  • Need for grant
  • The relevant provisions of the Non-contentious probate rules
  • Application procedure
  • Valuation of assets and liabilities
  • Excepted estates
  • Methods of finding the initial payment of inheritance tax
  • Burden and incidence of inheritance tax

Administration of estates

  • Duties of personal representatives
  • Liabilities of personal representatives and their protection
  • The sale of assets to raise funds to pay funeral expenses, tax, debts and legacies
  • Distribution of the estate.

Claims against estates under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Acts 1975

  • Time limit
  • Applicants
  • Ground

Taxation – Wills and the administration of estates

Inheritance tax

  • Lifetime transfers that are immediately chargeable and those that are potentially exempt
  • Transfers on death
  • Exemptions and reliefs
  • The scope of anti-avoidance provisions 

Income and Capital Gains Tax in respect of the period of the administration of an estate

  • The personal representatives’ liability to income tax and capital gains tax
  • The beneficiaries’ liability to capital gains tax on inherited assets

Core principles of trust law

Creation and requirements of express trust

  • The three certainties of intention, subject matter and objects

1. Fixed interest trusts

2. Discretionary trusts

  • Formalities to create express inter vivos trusts
  • Constitution of express inter vivos trusts and exceptions to the rule that equity will not assist a volunteer

Beneficial entitlement

The distinction between charitable trusts and non-charitable purpose trusts

Resulting trusts

  • How they arise and when they are (or are not) presumed

Trusts of the family home

  • Establishment of a common intention constructive trust

1. Legal title in the name of both parties/sole party

2. Express declaration or agreement as to equitable ownership

3. Direct and indirect contributions

  • Requirements to establish proprietary estoppel.

Liability of strangers to the trust

  • Establishing recipient liability
  • Establishing accessory liability

The fiduciary relationship and its obligations

  • Duty not to profit from fiduciary position
  • Trustees not to purchase trust property
  • Fiduciary not to put himself in a position where his interest and duty conflict. 


  • Who can be a trustee; appointment, removal and retirement of trustees
  • Trustees’ duty of care
  • Trustees’ duty to invest ( and powers in relation to investment)
  • Trustees’ statutory powers of maintenance and advancement

Trustees’ liability

  • Breach of trust
  • Measure of liability 
  • Protection of trustees
  • Limitation period

The nature of equitable remedies and the availability of tracing in equity

Business organisations, rules and procedures

(Excluding the Listing, prospectus, disclosure guidance and transparency rules and any other FCA, London Stock Exchange, market rules or codes)

  • Business and organisational characteristics (sole trader/partnership/LLP/private and unlisted public companies)
  • Legal personality and limited liability
  • Procedures and documentation required to incorporate a company/form a partnership/LLP and other steps required under the companies and partnerships legislation to enable to commence operating:
  1. Constitutional documents
  2. Companies House filing requirements
  • Finance
  1. Funding options: debt and equity
  2. Types of security
  3. Distribution of profits and gains
  4. Financial records, information and accounting requirements.
  • Corporate governance and compliance
  1. Rights, duties and powers of directors and shareholders of companies
  2. Company decision-making and meetings: procedural, disclosure and approval requirements
  3. Documentary, record-keeping, statutory filing and disclosure requirements
  4. Appointment and removal of directors
  5. Minority shareholder protection.
  • Partnership decision-making and authority of partners
  1. Procedures and authority under the Partnership Act 1890
  2. Common provisions in partnership agreements.
  • Insolvency (corporate and personal)
  1. Options and procedures – CVA/IVA, bankruptcy, administration, fixed asset receivership, voluntary and compulsory liquidation
  2. Claw-back of assets for creditors – preferences, transactions at an undervalue, fraudulent and wrongful trading, setting aside a floating charge
  3. Order of priority for distribution to creditors.

Taxation – business

Income Tax

  • Chargeable persons/entities (employees, sole traders, partners, shareholders, lenders and debenture holders)
  • Basis of charge (types of income/main reliefs and exemptions)
  • The charge to tax: calculation and collection
  • The scope of anti-avoidance provisions.

Capital Gains Tax

  • Chargeable persons/entities (sole traders, partners, and shareholders)
  • Basis of charge (calculation of gains/allowable deductions/main reliefs and exemptions)
  • The charge to tax: calculation and collection
  • The scope of anti-avoidance provisions.

Corporation Tax

  • Basis of charge
  • Calculation, payment and collection of tax
  • Tax treatment of company distributions or deemed distributions to shareholders
  • Outline of anti-avoidance legislation.

Value Added Tax

  • Key principles relating to scope, supply, input and output tax
  • Registration requirements and issue of VAT invoices
  • Returns/payment of VAT and record keeping.

Inheritance Tax

  • Business property relief

Money laundering and financial services

Money laundering 

  • Purpose and scope of anti-money laundering legislation including the international context
  • Circumstances encountered in the course of practice where suspicion of money laundering should be reported in accordance with the legislation
  • The appropriate person or body to whom suspicions should be reported, and the appropriate time for such reports to be made and the appropriate procedure to be followed
  • Direct involvement and non-direct involvement offences, and defences to those offences under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Due diligence requirements

Financial services

  • The financial services regulatory framework including authorisation, and how it applies to solicitors’ firms
  • Recognition of relevant financial services issues, including the identification of specified investments, specified activities and relevant exemptions
  • Application of the financial services and Markets Act 2000 and related secondary legislation to the work of a solicitor
  • Appropriate sources of information on financial services.

Ethics and professional conduct

Candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to act honestly and with integrity, and in accordance with the SRA Standards and Regulations, as follows:

  • The purpose, scope and content of the SRA principles
  • The purpose, scope and content of the:
  • SRA Code of conduct for solicitors, RELs and RFLs
  • SRA Code of Conduct for firms in relation to:
  1. Managers in authorised firms
  2. Compliance officers

Together referred to as the Code of Conduct. 

Types of assessment

The above mentioned subjects will be tested through a series of assessments. The candidates have to sit for the following assessments to showcase their legal skills. The legal skills include: 

  1. Client interview, attendance note or legal analysis
  2. Advocacy
  3. Case and Matter Analysis
  4. Legal research
  5. Legal writing
  6. Legal drafting
  7. Negotiation (It is not officially mentioned in the assessment skills, however, negotiation skills are tested in each of the assessments.)

These assessments are carefully designed to test the candidates and their legal skills and see if they are fit to carry out their duties as solicitors or not. 

This exam is divided into two kinds of assessments-

  1. Oral assessment
  2. Written assessment. 

Oral assessment

In the oral assessment, the candidate is tested on the basis of these skills-


In this test, each of the candidates are given a case study based on which they have to conduct a courtroom advocacy before an evaluator. 

  • They have to study a case which will be given to them via email
  • Prepare their statements, and present their case before a judge in any of the courts as directed.
  • The judge for the case will be played by a solicitor only. 
  • The candidates will also be asked various questions about the law during the advocacy. 

Indian students can understand it as conducting a moot court. The judge will test the ability of each candidate to apply the relevant law and their skills to present their arguments.

Preparation time for Advocacy

The candidates are given 45 minutes to prepare their case before the actual presentation.

Time for making the oral submission

The candidates are given 15 minutes to present their submissions before the judge in a courtroom. It must be remembered that the judge is played by a solicitor, who will evaluate the submission. 

Client interviewing and completion of attendance note/ Legal Analysis

The second test in the oral assessment is client interviewing and the completion of attendance note/ legal analysis. For this test, an email will be sent to the candidate stating that a client has to discuss a legal matter with the solicitor. It may be a specific legal issue which the candidate must discuss with the client to help him. The candidates may or may not be provided with documents for clarification in the email.

  • The candidate must interview the client, who has a legal issue and is in a vulnerable situation at the time of the interview
  • The candidate has to address the client’s issue and give some advice to solve it
  • The candidate also has to win the client’s trust so that the client chooses the said candidate for further advice and help with the issue. 
  •  The role of the client is played by an evaluator. 

Please note: In client interviews, the candidates are judged only on the basis of their skills to conduct the interview well, their application of the law is not tested. 

After the completion of the interview, the candidates have to write an attendance note or legal analysis of the interview. It must be written by hand.

  • The analysis of the legal issue of the client has to be done
  • Note down the advice given by the candidate to the client
  • Mention further steps that must be taken to help the client in the long run
  • Mention any strategies of negotiation if applicable in the situation
  • If any specific legal issue had been mentioned, all those issues must be addressed in the note 

Please note: While evaluating the attendance note/legal analysis, the evaluator will judge the candidate on the basis of both the skill of the candidate and the appropriate application of the law. 

Preparation time for client interview

The candidates will be given the required information for the interview via email. Each candidate will have 10 minutes to read through the email and all the documents provided to conduct the interview. 

Time for client interview

Each of the candidates is provided 25 minutes to conduct the interview with the client. The role of the client is played by an assessor, who will be assessing the candidate based on the interview and their skills to conduct it. 

Time for writing the attendance note

Each candidate is provided 25 minutes after the completion of the interview conducted by them to write the attendance note or the legal analysis. It will be evaluated by the assessors. 

Points of assessment of Attendance Note/Legal Analysis For SQE2 

In order to score well in the attendance note/ legal analysis assessment, the candidates must be mindful of the following points-

  • Recording important information of the case in the note
  • Correctly identifying and writing the next steps that must be taken
  • Providing advice to clients to help them achieve what they want does not have to be limited to legal perspective only
  • Applying the correct laws to the specific legal issue of the client
  • Applying the law comprehensively as well
  • To identify any ethical issues involved in the case or any professional conduct issues and apply your judgement to solve them.

Writing Assessment

After the oral assessment, the candidates have to sit for the writing assessment to successfully qualify the SQE2. The writing assessment is computer based. The components of the writing assessment are-

Case and Matter Analysis

The case and matter analysis is computer based. Here, the candidates are provided a case study with all the important documents. They have to read the case and the documents and write a report to a partner. The report must include the analysis of the case and the matter involved, along with some advice focusing on the issue of the client. It is always advisable to also include strategies for negotiation in your advice.

Time for Case and Matter Analysis

Each candidate is given 60 minutes to complete the case and matter analysis, within which the candidate has to prepare the analysis. They must be able to adequately demonstrate their ability to write a good report. 

Points of assessment of case and matter analysis for SQE 2

To write a good case and matter analysis, the candidates must take notes of the following points-

  • Read the case carefully and find out the relevant facts of the case
  • Provide good and effective legal advice to the client regarding the issue which shows that you adequately understand the problem and have the capability to solve it
  • Write the analysis in clear, precise, concise and acceptable language that is easily understandable
  • Apply the relevant laws to the legal issue in hand
  • Apply the law in a comprehensive manner, find out if there are any ethical or professional issues related to the case and use your best judgement to solve them. 

Legal Research

Another component of the writing assessment of SQE2 involves legal research. This is also computer based. An email is sent to the candidates by a partner with details about the issue or many issues of a client. The candidate has to research the issue and write a note to the partner explaining their understanding of the case, their legal reasoning for the case and what sources they have relied on for their research. 

This is done to test the ability of the candidate to conduct good research through various sources and write a good report for the partner to communicate with the client. The subject of the research will be within the practice areas mentioned by the SRA. The candidates will also be provided the sources to conduct their research, these sources may be both primary as well as secondary sources. 

Time for conducting legal research

The candidates will be given a total of 60 minutes each for conducting the research and writing a detailed report to the partner. The partner who will be the evaluator will then evaluate the report. 

Points of assessment of legal research for SQE 2

While conducting legal research for the purpose of SQE2, the candidates have to follow the following important points for good assessment-

  • The candidates must find good and relevant sources for the purpose of the research
  • Write a good report which focuses on the client’s problem and adequately deals with it
  • The report must be written in clear, concise, precise and acceptable language
  • The laws must be applied appropriately to the issue in hand
  • Apply the laws comprehensively to the client’s issue and identify any ethical or professional issues related to the matter, and solve them wisely. 

Legal Writing

The next component of the writing assessment under SQE2 is legal writing. As the name suggests, this assessment is based on writing legal opinions. This is computer based. In legal writing, the candidates have to write a letter or an email as a solicitor. The letter must discuss the legal issue of the client and correctly address it by applying the relevant laws. It can also be in the form of a negotiation to solve the issue. This letter will be received and read by the partner, the client, any third party, or the opposite team involved in litigation with your client.  

The candidates will be provided the details of the issue of the client via email by a partner and also what needs to be done by the candidate acting as a solicitor. This is done to test the ability of the candidate to accurately and comprehensively write a letter as a solicitor dealing with the issues of the client. 

Time given for legal writing

Each candidate is given 30 minutes to read the email provided by the partner and write the letter or email as directed on the issues of the client. Within 30 minutes, the candidate must be able to adequately showcase his reading and writing skills. 

Points of assessment of legal writing in SQE2

The candidates must follow these points for good assessment in legal writing-

  • Read the issue of the client carefully
  • Identify the relevant facts and address them in your writing
  • The letter or email must be well-structured and logical
  • The advice written must be focused on the issue of the client appropriately and should not be vague
  • The language of the writing must be clear, concise, precise and acceptable to the clients and all those who will read it
  • The candidate must apply the law correctly to the issue in hand
  • The application of the law must be comprehensive as well, any ethical or professional issues must be identified and resolved using good judgement by the candidate
  • The candidate must think and act like a solicitor only. 

Legal drafting

The next assessment is legal writing, which is also computer based. In this part of the exam, the candidate is asked to draft a legal document or any part of the legal document.

The candidates may be asked to either draft by looking at former sample precedent documents or make changes to an already existing legal document, or it may happen that the candidate might have to draft a new legal document on their own. The ability to adequately draft a legal document is tested. 

Time given for legal drafting in SQE2 

Each candidate is provided 45 minutes to complete the legal drafting. Within this time, the candidates have to draft a well written document or any part of it. No extra time is provided. 

Points of assessment of legal drafting under SQE2

The legal drafting of the candidate is assessed on the following points, which must be adequately dealt to score good-

  • The drafting must be done using clear, concise, precise and acceptable language
  • The structure of the document must be good and logical
  • Accuracy of the legal points mentioned in the drafting
  • The document must be legally comprehensive, and all ethical and professional issues must be identified and resolved with honesty and integrity. 

Marking scheme for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The oral and written assessments under SQE2 are marked collectively and not separately. All six skills required for the SQE2 are marked according to this scale.  They are marked on a scale of A to F.

ASuperior Performance: The candidate has performed well above the required level of competency.
BClearly Satisfactory Performance: The candidate has clearly met the required level of competency to qualify
CMarginal Pass: On balance, the candidate has just passed the required level of competency
DMarginal Fail: On balance, the candidate has just failed to pass the required level of competency
EClearly Unsatisfactory: The candidate clearly does not meet the required level of competency to qualify the exam
FPoor Performance: The candidate is very below the required level of competency. 

These grades are then converted into marks, where A = 5 marks and F =0 marks. 

Please note: The candidates are marked separately on two factors-

  • Skills, and
  • Application of Law in each assessment. 

Later, these marks are given equal weightage in the final assessment. This means the final assessment for each criterion would include = Marks obtained in skills + Marks obtained in Application of law. 

Steps to book the Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2) assessment

Candidates willing to sit for the SQE 2 must book the assessments when the booking window is open. Candidates can follow these steps to book their assessment:

  • Complete the monitoring and maximising diversity survey on the SRA website, it is compulsory
  • If you have applied for any exemption, then you may confirm your exemption by entering the exemption number
  • If you need any reasonable adjustments in case of disability, request for the adjustment
  • Fill in the required boxes for assessment during the booking window
  • Choose your location for the assessment.

It is always advised to book your assessments as early as possible because there may be instances when your preferred test centres may already have been chosen by other candidates. It is allotted on a first come-first-served basis. 

Timeline of Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The SQE 2 is conducted within a well distributed timeline for each of the assessments. SQE 2 is completed within 5 days. The oral assessment and written assessment are conducted separately, and adequate time is provided for each of them. A total of 16 stations of assessment are conducted, of which 4 are oral and 12 are written. For further clarity, refer to their individual timeline below-  

Timeline for Oral Assessment

The oral assessment is completed within a time frame of two days. A total of four oral legal skill assessments are done, on each day, the candidate can choose the order of their assessment. 

Day 1Day 2
Advocacy (Dispute Resolution)Advocacy (Criminal Litigation)
Interview and attendance note/legal analysis (Property Practice) Interview and attendance note/legal analysis (Wills and Intestacy, Probate Administration and Practice)

Please Note: This order of distribution of assessments is not compulsory, the candidate can choose to give the interview first and then proceed to advocacy, or vice versa. 

Timeline for Writing Assessment

The writing assessment is completed over a period of three days. The candidates have to take 12 writing assessments within this time frame to qualify for the exam. 

Day 1Day 2Day 3
Case and Matter AnalysisCase and Matter AnalysisCase and Matter Analysis
Legal DraftingLegal DraftingLegal Drafting
Legal ResearchLegal ResearchLegal Research
Legal WritingLegal WritingLegal Writing
Note- Any two of these exercises can be on dispute resolution and any two on criminal litigation.Note- Any two of these exercises can be on dispute resolution and any two on criminal litigation.Note- Day 3 assessments are done in the context of Business Organisation, Rules and Procedures.

Please Note: This order of distribution of assessments of each day is not binding, the candidates are free to shuffle the order of assessments. So, a candidate may first choose to test legal writing or legal research followed by others, or vice versa as well. 

Exam centre for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The SQE 2 exam is conducted in Pearson VUE test centres in different locations all over the world. Generally, the list of locations remains the same; however, it may be affected by the unavailability of the location or other factors, in which case candidates will have to travel to another nearby test centre to take their exam. 

Exam centres for Oral Assessment of SQE 2

The oral assessment of SQE 2 is held only in these particular test locations- 

  • Manchester in the Marriott Manchester Piccadilly Hotel 
  • London in the Spring House, Holloway Road, London
  • Cardiff in the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa
  • Birmingham in the Leonardo Royal Hotel Birmingham, B1 2HQ.

Candidates may choose their location, but it will be subject to availability. 

Exam centre for Writing Assessment of SQE 2

The writing assessment of SQE 2 is conducted in the United Kingdom as well as in other countries around the world. For Indian students, the written assessment is also conducted in various Pearson VUE test centres in India.  They are-

  • Ahmedabad
  • Allahabad
  • Bangalore
  • Bhopal
  • Calcutta
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Cochin
  • Gurugram
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Patna
  • Pune
  • Ranchi

Indian students can choose any of these centres for their writing assessment. There are various other test centres in different countries, the information for which can be found here.

Selection process for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

To successfully qualify SQE 2, the candidates have to obtain the necessary overall pass mark. One cut off or pass mark will be announced after the exam on the basis of the number of candidates and the level of exam, and the collective marks obtained in the Oral and the Writing assessments will be calculated to determine the result. So, there is only one pass mark in SQE 2, unlike in SQE 1, where the candidates have to individually qualify in Functioning Legal Knowledge 1 (FLK 1) and Functioning Legal Knowledge 2 (FLK2).

Number of attempts for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The SRA has prescribed a limited number of attempts for each candidate to pass the SQE 2 exam. Each candidate will have three attempts to pass SQE 2. 

Please note: These three attempts have to be taken within 6 years of the first attempt. So, if a candidate gives their first attempt in October 2023, they have two more attempts left which need to be completed within the next 6 years, i.e., within 2029. 

Result of Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2) 

The result for SQE 2 is published after the completion of the 4 oral assessments and 12 writing assessments. The result is generally published 14 to 18 weeks after the completion of all the assessments. A date for the result will also be published after the exam. 

How to check your result of SQE 2

The candidates will receive an email stating that their results have been published. The candidates have to visit their SQE Account and view the result which is contained in a pdf.

  • Open the email sent from SRA
  • Click on the link in the email
  • You will be directed to your result page

Please note: The result is not emailed to the candidate, only a notification that the result has been published is sent via email.

The result page will include the following details-

Date of the SQE 2 oral assessment
Date of the SQE 2 writing assessment
Date of the release of result
Number of attempts taken by the candidate
Pass Mark
Your Mark

Job profile after qualifying Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

Practising law is not restricted to one territory, and it is no longer country specific. Lawyers who study law in one jurisdiction can practise law in other international jurisdictions as well, provided they meet the basic minimum requirements. 

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam has made this process of international practice by law students and lawyers in the United Kingdom and other international countries like India easier. Lawyers are talented and ambitious professionals who wish to expand their clientele and working area as vastly as possible. So, all the graduates, whether they have studied law or not, can sit for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. 

The job profile as a solicitor would include-

  • The ability to work as a solicitor in London.
  • Join a law firm in England or Wales and continue your practice there.
  • Work as an in-house counsel in any of the organisations
  • Join or open a law firm in India and provide legal services. 
  • Provide legal advice to clients on English laws.
  • Become a professor of law at any University. 

When a candidate qualifies as a solicitor in England and Wales, it opens up their network to a large client base, big international companies and the ability to deal with special cases fit for a solicitor. It is also a matter of great honour to be qualified as a solicitor, and it will add merit to your legal career with the possibility of higher earnings. 

When to start preparing for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

The path towards becoming a solicitor in England and Wales is a long one and candidates must fulfil various eligibility criteria. The preparation for SQE 2 must begin along with SQE 1. 

A candidate must be aware of the syllabus for SQE 2 and accordingly start preparing. It is advised by many experts that each candidate should at least dedicate 12 months or 1 year for their preparation for SQE which includes both SQE 1 and SQE 2. The time taken can be subjective depending on the ability of each candidate and whether or not they are taking any special courses. 

Top tips and tricks for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

Here are some tips and tricks to help you qualify the SQE 2- 

Go through the syllabus

The syllabus is very specific about the parts that will be tested. Kindly remember that the test is designed to make it suitable and at par with the level of a Day one solicitor only. Candidates are not expected to be experts in all fields of law. 

Go through the sample papers

They are provided by the SRA on their website here. It will provide clarity regarding the pattern of the questions and will provide familiarity to those appearing for the exam. They can also act as great mocks to solve and test yourself.

Revise your legal knowledge of SQE 2

Although it is stated that SQE 2 mainly focuses on practical legal skills of the candidates, most of the evaluation in SQE 2 is done on functioning legal knowledge like SQE 1. So, keep your notes of SQE 1 handy and go through them on a daily basis. 

Practice writing

Out of the 16 stations of evaluation, 12 are written and 4 are oral. It may not be possible to write well if you are writing analytical and practical answers for the first time during  the exam. Keep on practising your legal drafting skills and familiarising yourself with various kinds of writing. 

Have Qualifying Work Experience

It is always better to have some qualifying work experience before sitting for the SQE 2. This experience will help you in dealing with the client interviewing and giving focused advice to them in the assessment, and it may also help you in getting exemptions if you are a qualified lawyer.

Practise speaking

For the advocacy assessment, it is helpful if the candidates practice speaking and record themselves to see how they are speaking and what needs to be improved. This will also give you an idea of how you can complete the assessment within the stipulated time. 

Be welcoming with the client in the interview

For the client interview, it is always better to prepare a general introduction of yourself, and be welcoming to the client. The client should feel that you are willing to listen to his issues and also provide legally accurate solutions. This interview is judged only on the basis of your skills of conducting it, so speak clearly, confidently and precisely. The client must feel confident that you are capable of solving their issue.

Act professional

During the interview and the advocacy, treat your clients and your judges with respect and courtesy. Be polite and try to maintain a good relationship with the client. 

Pay attention to details provided during evaluation

For assessments relating to drafting, writing and research, pay close attention to all the important details provided to you. Be very clear about the laws applicable, and always structure your writing in a logical manner. Your advice and notes must be understandable and helpful. 

Take mock tests

Mocks prepare you for the main exam; treat them seriously and try to perform better in every mock test. They will also help you identify your weak links and brush up on those fields. It will also be helpful to track your timing.  

Work hard

Commit yourself to the exam. It is a rigorous exam, but with the right preparation, one can easily clear it. Follow your routine and be consistent. You decide your limits and always think that the exam is just around the corner. 

Re-sitting the Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

While we all hope for success in everything we do, it might happen that the results do not always go in our favour. Similarly, candidates may not be able to clear SQE 2 in their very first attempt due to various reasons. Do not be disheartened, as you will still have two more attempts left at it. 

If you do not qualify the first time, you will have to book another assessment in the upcoming batch. For example, if you failed to qualify in the SQE 2 conducted in April 2023, you have the choice of sitting on the SQE 2 that will be conducted in October 2023. 

The candidates will have to prebook for the exam and pay the fee. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2) 

Why was SQE introduced?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination was introduced in September 2021. Before this, candidates had to get a degree or diploma in law, and then take up the Legal Practice Course (LPC), after which they  would have to complete a two-year training contract. This process was longer and costlier. 

After the introduction of SQE, the process has become simpler and all candidates whether they are from the UK or other countries of the World have to sit for this exam to qualify as a solicitor.  

How many sittings of SQE 2 are held every year?

Till 2023, SQE 2 is held in 3 sittings every year, which is April, July and October. However, the SRA has announced its plan for the year 2024.

 From 2024, SQE 2 will be held in a regular pattern of four sittings each year. They will be in January, April, July and October. 

Can I become a solicitor without a law degree?

Yes, it is possible for non-law graduates to become solicitors of England and Wales. In fact, non-law graduates also have to follow the same procedure and write the same exam as law graduates. This ensures that all the candidates are tested in a unified manner.

Can I resit the exam if I do not qualify once?

Yes, candidates can re-sit the SQE 2 if they fail to qualify on the first chance. They have a total of three attempts.

When are the SQE 2 re-sits conducted?

The SQE 2 resits are conducted at least six months apart

Are there any adjustments for Persons with Disabilities appearing for SQE 2?

Yes, reasonable adjustments are provided to candidates who are persons with disabilities. The candidates must mention that they require a reasonable adjustment while booking the assessment. 

Candidates may be provided following adjustments on a case by case basis-

  • Additional time and breaks
  • Separate room to autistic or deaf candidates
  • The facility to bring and take medicine
  • Use Job Access With Speech (JAWS)
  • Have a reader or a recorder
  • Have a separate room
  • Use a computer or laptop for written assessment, etc.

A detailed list of reasonable adjustments can be found here.

Please note: Proper and necessary evidence must be shown by the candidates claiming reasonable adjustments. 

Frequently Asked Questions on eligibility for Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2) 

Is it necessary to have a law degree to become a solicitor of England and Wales?

No, it is not necessary to have a law degree in order to be a solicitor. Candidates having non- law degrees can also apply for the SQE 2. However, it is important that the candidates must have a level 6 degree or more from the UK or such equivalent degree from other nations. 

What is a level 6 degree requirement?

A level 6 degree includes the following-

  • Degree apprenticeship
  • Bachelor’s degree with honours such as BA Hons or BSc Hons.
  • Graduate certificate
  • Graduate diploma
  • Ordinary degree without honours as well 

So, Indian candidates who possess these degrees in any subject can apply for the SQE 2. 

What are the character and suitability requirements as per the eligibility criteria?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority determines the character and suitability of the candidates who want to appear for the SQE exam. Anything that can be a hindrance to carrying out the duties of a solicitor is evaluated. The SRA will look into various information to determine that all requirements are fulfilled, these can be pointed out as-

  • Any criminal history or conduct of the candidate 
  • Any kind of behaviour which reflects poorly on the integrity and independence of the candidate, such as dishonesty, violence, discrimination against others, harassment, corruption etc. 
  • Any kind of assessment offence like copying someone else’s work and presenting it as your own, cheating, etc
  • Any kind of financial conduct that reflects your poor financial accountability, such as not paying debts, a bankruptcy, failure to pay your mortgages, or failure to run your financial account smoothly. 
  • Any kind of disciplinary action has been taken against you by any disciplinary body.

Why is qualified work experience important for the SQE?

It is important for candidates to have work experience so that they can effectively carry out their functions as a solicitor with the help of their prior experience. Candidates can learn a lot about law and its working during their experience. 

Also, candidates who belong to specific jurisdictions, like India and who have two years of work experience as a lawyer are exempted from having to write the SQE 2. So, it is always beneficial to have work experience. 

What is considered as Qualifying Work Experience for SQE?

Not all kinds of work experiences in any random field can be counted as work experience for the purpose of SQE. The candidates must have worked full time in a wide range of organisations which provide legal services. This work experience can be acquired through up to four organisations. 

It may include-

  • Work done through placement during a law degree
  • Working in a law clinic or firm
  • Working at a voluntary or charitable organisation or law centre
  • Working as a paralegal
  • Working on a training contract. 

Please note: The work can either be paid or volunteer work as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions on exemptions from Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

Which jurisdictions are entitled to agreed exemption from SQE 2?

Qualified lawyers from these jurisdictions, do not have to sit for SQE 2:

  1. Austria,
  2. Belgium
  3. Brazil
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Croatia
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland
  8. Finland
  9. Germany
  10. Hongkong
  11. Hungary
  12. Indonesia
  13. Jersey
  14. Kazakhstan
  15. Luxembourg
  16. Montenegro
  17. Netherlands
  18. Norway
  19. Poland
  20. Romania
  21. Scotland
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Sweden
  25. Ukraine

Which jurisdictions are entitled to individual exemptions from SQE 2?

Candidates belonging to these 60 jurisdictions can apply for individual exemptions. Although these jurisdictions do not meet all the required standards of SQE 2, a candidate can get an exemption if they have at least two years of legal work experience. 

These jurisdictions are-

  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Belarus
  5. Cameroon
  6. Canada (British Columbia)
  7. Canada (Ontario)
  8. Canada (Quebec)
  9. Canada (Saskatchewan)
  10. Chile
  11. Columbia
  12. Cyprus
  13. Dominican Republic
  14. Egypt
  15. Fiji
  16. France
  17. Georgia
  18. Ghana
  19. Greece
  20. Hongkong
  21. Hungary
  22. India (Assam)
  23. India (Delhi)
  24. India (Goa)
  25. India (West Bengal)
  26. Iran
  27. Israel
  28. Italy
  29. Japan
  30. Jersey
  31. Jordan
  32. Kenya
  33. Korea
  34. Lebanon
  35. Macau SAR, China
  36. Malaysia
  37. Malta
  38. Mexico
  39. Moldova
  40. New Zealand
  41. Nigeria
  42. Pakistan
  43. Peru
  44. Philippines
  45. Portugal
  46. Russia
  47. Rwanda
  48. Saudi Arabia
  49. Singapore
  50. South africa
  51. Spain
  52. Sri Lanka
  53. Switzerland (Geneva)
  54. The People’s Republic of China
  55. Trinidad and Tobago
  56. Turkey
  57. Uruguay 
  58. USA (all states)
  59. Venezuela
  60. Zimbabwe

What is the fee for the exemption application?

Candidates applying for exemption from SQE 2 have to submit the application along with a fee of £ 265. 

Do Indian lawyers have exemption from SQE 2?

Yes, Indian lawyers are entitled to exemption from writing the SQE 2, provided they fulfil the following essential criteria-

  • Indian Lawyers must be enrolled with the Bar Council of India
  • Have 2 years or more full time legal work experience
  • Having a certificate of good standing from the Bar Council of the State, exemption for lawyers enrolled with the Bar Council of Assam, Delhi, Goa and West Bengal has been specially mentioned 
  • A reference letter, from a senior stating your work experience, the time period of work, the type of work and the remuneration. 

Will I be entitled to an exemption if I am not enrolled in the Bar Council of Assam, Delhi, Goa or West Bengal?

Lawyers who are enrolled with the Bar Council of Assam, Delhi, Goa and West Bengal are entitled to exemption from SQE 2 if they have a qualifying work experience of 2 years or more. If you are not enrolled in any of these states, do not worry. If you have 2 years of work experience then you can apply for a fresh exemption. 

In addition to the criteria mentioned for other lawyers, they also have to provide evidence of work experience in any one of the following areas:

  1. Dispute Resolution
  2. Criminal litigation Practice, which includes representing clients at police stations
  3. Property practice
  4. Wills and probate
  5. Business laws  

Will I get an exemption if I do not have work experience?

One of the conditions for obtaining exemption from SQE 2 is that the candidate must already possess the necessary skills and knowledge that is tested by SQE 2. The work experience ensures that the candidate is eligible to practise as a solicitor. Hence, it is important that one have at least 2 years of qualifying work experience in the subject areas mentioned in the syllabus. 

In case of candidates who do not have the work experience, the SRA considers it on a case by case basis. You can always acquire work experience after qualifying for the exam and before enrolling as a solicitor.

How long does it take for the exemption application to be considered?

After the submission of the exemption application, the decision is taken by the SRA usually within 180 days or 6 months time. In case of agreed exemption, the decision process is faster and in case of individual exemption, it is a little longer since it has to be decided on a case by case basis. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Oral Skill Assessments

Which skills are tested in the Oral Assessment?

The oral skills include-

  • Advocacy in dispute resolution
  • Advocacy in criminal litigation
  • Interview and attendance note or legal analysis on Property Practice
  • Interview and attendance note or legal analysis on wills and intestacy, probate administration and practice.

Who is the evaluator in Oral Assessments?

The advocacy part of the assessment is evaluated by a solicitor of England and Wales on the basis of skills and application of law.

The client interview is evaluated by an assessor acting as the client on the basis of skills to interview only and not on the basis of application of law. 

The attendance note/ legal analysis will be judged by the client on the basis of both skills and application of law. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Written Skill Assessments

What are the components of writing assessment of SQE 2?

The writing assessment has the following components-

  • Case and matter analysis
  • Legal research
  • Legal writing
  • Legal drafting

When is the date for the exam announced?

The specific dates for each exam are published 12 months prior to the exam or even sooner if it is possible. The next SQE 2 is to be held in October 2023.

SQE 2 Oral assessment will commence from 23rd October 2023

SQE 2 Written assessment will commence from 30th October 2023. 

Frequently Asked Questions on the exam centre of Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

Are the oral assessments only held in the UK?

Yes, the oral assessments are only held in the United Kingdom in specific locations currently, however, it is expected that more locations for oral assessments will be available in the near future. 

Why are there only specific locations available for taking the writing assessment of SQE2?

For the purpose of the writing assessment too, only specific locations around the world are chosen because the different time zones may make it impractical for the assessment to be carried on at a similar time as other time zones. Thus, to protect the security of the assessment some locations are not used as test centres. 

Will I be allotted the test centre that I choose in my application?

Mostly candidates are allotted the same test centre that they choose in their application. However, candidates must remember to register as soon as possible because the seats for the centre are allotted on a first come-first serve basis. So to ensure that you get your desired and convenient centre, kindly register early. 

Frequently Asked Questions on the cost of Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

When will the revised fee for SQE 2 be applicable?

The revised fee of SQE will be applicable in September 2023. So any bookings for the exam which will be conducted after September 2023 will be as per the revised notified fee only, which is £2766. The old fee structure will no longer be applicable. 

What payment methods are available for SQE 2?

Candidates paying their fee for the SQE 2 can use either a debit or a credit card for payment. There are no payment plans available and the fees have to be paid in full. The major cards which are accepted are- Visa, Mastercard, Visa Debit, Maestro and American Express. The payment takes place via WorldPay.

Candidates can also pay the fee through the prepaid voucher purchased by their training provider or employer. 

Frequently Asked Questions on the result of Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

Is the result of the oral and written assessments published together?

Yes, unlike SQE 1 where the result is published separately for FLK 1 and FLK 2, here in SQE 2 the result is published together, Equal weightage is given to both oral and written assessment for the purpose of final marking. 

How long does it take for the result to be published?

The result for SQE 2 is generally published within 14 to 18 weeks after the assessment is completed. For the cycle of October 2023, the result will be published on 20th February 2024. 

What is the passing mark for SQE 2?

There is no one passing mark announced by the SRA for qualifying SQE 2. Each assessment has its own passing mark which is decided by the SRA after consideration of the number of candidates and the examination. 

Frequently Asked Questions after qualifying Solicitors Qualifying Exam 2 (SQE 2)

What happens after I qualify the SQE 2?

After qualifying the SQE 2, the candidate can enrol and take admission as a solicitor of England and Wales. But before taking admission as a solicitor, the candidate must complete the screening process. This screening process helps the authorities to determine the character and suitability of the candidate. The candidates must apply for the screening process through their mySRA account. After successful screening, candidates can apply for admission through their SRA account.

How is the screening carried out?

The screening process is carried on to check the following information about the candidate-

  • Identity of the candidate
  • Financial information including bankruptcy, insolvency and county court judgements
  • A standard criminal records check.

The checks must be recent and should not be more than 6 months old. 

How will I be informed of my admission to the role of the solicitors?

After your application for admission is granted, you will receive an email asking you to pick your date for admission. On the date of the admission, the candidate will be issued an Admission Certificate, which can be downloaded from the SRA website on mySRA account. 

Following which, there will be an admission ceremony at the Law Society Hall in Chancery Lane, London. It is not compulsory to attend the admission ceremony. 

Words of motivation

Becoming a solicitor is a matter of great pride and it adds feathers to your accomplishments as a lawyer. It opens up new doors in new jurisdictions for those who can qualify the exam. Whether you are a law graduate or not, hard work and consistency will be key in qualifying this exam and becoming a solicitor. Do not give up and continue your preparation.

All the very best for the exam!

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