A Registered Foreign Lawyer (RFL) is a lawyer who is qualified either in a UK jurisdiction other than Scotland or in a non-EU jurisdiction and is required to register in Scotland for the express purpose of joining a multi-national practice as a manager (or as a member if joining an incorporated practice).
Every multinational practice must have at least one lawyer from another jurisdiction approved by the Society.
The cost of registration is £150, which is renewable annually. More information on RFLs, including a list of regulators that have already been approved by the Society for the purposes of recognising and registering lawyers from their jurisdiction, can be found in our Rules and Guidance section.
Solicitors from other jurisdictions who wish to requalify into Scotland should visit the qualifying and education section of our website for further information.
Registered European Lawyer
Now that the UK has left the EU we are no longer covered by the Establishment Directive (98/5/EC) and we can no longer accept applications for registration from EU lawyers.
If you are an EU qualified lawyer living in Scotland you can still work here under your home title (subject to meeting settled status requirements) but it may impact on the type of work you are able to carry out and the position you are able to hold in a practice unit. You also still have the option to requalify as a Scottish solicitor by sitting our Qualified Lawyers Assessment (see requalifying into Scotland) as unlike in some other jurisdictions we do not impose any nationality restrictions on who can become a Scottish solicitor.
The exception to this is if you are a Swiss qualified lawyer. The UK has reached an agreement with Switzerland which protects the rights of UK and Swiss nationals who have chosen to call each other’s countries home (the Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement). Swiss lawyers will have an additional four years from 31 December 2020 to begin the application process for a recognition decision (equivalent to requalification by way of Article 10 of the Establishment Directive) provided they qualified as a Swiss lawyer or were in the process of obtaining a qualification before the specified date.
Please contact the Registrars team with any enquiries.