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QWE - External Confirming Solicitor Service

How HCL can provide external remote monitoring and confirmation of the Trainee's Qualifying Work Experience - the method from September 2021 for people to qualify as a solicitor. QWE sign-off service.

From September 2021 people wanting to qualify as a solicitor will need to do so through the SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Exam). Click here for a link for more information.

** One of our Aspiring Solicitor clients is believed to be the first person ever to have submitted and had approved their QWE by the SRA. April 2021 **

What is QWE?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires any Aspiring Solicitor who takes the SQE assessments (with the exception of qualified lawyers) to complete two years (or equivalent) of QWE (Qualifying Work Experience) before they can apply for admission.

Confirming Solicitor

For your experience to count when you submit evidence of your two years QWE to the SRA, it needs to have been ‘signed off’ by a Confirming Solicitor. The Confirming Solicitor needs to be regulated by the SRA (currently on their roll; they do not need to have a current practising certificate).

The Confirming Solicitor needs to have seen evidence of the work and then sign the form which the Aspiring Solicitor has completed. The form requires the Aspiring Solicitor to give examples of work done to show that they have had the opportunity to gain the competences required by the SRA and state what evidence has been shown in support.

Where the Aspiring Solicitor does not have someone in their organisation who is able and willing to act as their Confirming Solicitor, the Aspiring Solicitor may seek external assistance from a solicitor regulated by the SRA.

External QWE Confirming Solicitor Service

We offer to provide the remote monthly or periodic review & monitoring through our principal consultant, Ingemar Hunnings, SRA No. 156976 –

  1. either direct to the Aspiring Solicitor OR
  2. on behalf of the Business or Law Firm

Ingemar Hunnings has been closely liaising with the SRA following which he has developed a service to help Aspiring Solicitors in this situation. Ingemar has been helping Aspiring Solicitors in this role since September 2020. One of his Aspiring Solicitors is believed to be the first person ever to have submitted and had approved their QWE for approval by the SRA.

Our Charges

£200/hr + VAT if applicable (We are willing to cap our fees at £800, to be raised by mutual agreement)

Some more info

We have been assisting a number of Aspiring Solicitors since mid 2020 both in the UK and abroad (eg, Israel, Belgium, Taiwan, Hong Kong) to gather their evidence. We have been right at the forefront of this, liaising with the SRA and questioning them as they have been working out their policy. For example, we obtained their suggested form for recording the QWE even before they had published it.

Currently this work is carried out by Ingemar Hunnings, our lead consultant, who is a solicitor qualified in England & Wales in 1992. Here is a link to his details with the Law Society: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/person/21661/thomas-ingemar-march-hunnings

Contact us: Ingemar: 07887 524507 or ingemar@hunningsconsultancy.co.uk

The Process of Confirming QWE

How does this service work:

Link to a video: https://youtu.be/p9r7re-PZgc

1. Ingemar will first organise a free no-obligations Zoom call with the Aspiring Solicitor to talk through the process and his charges. If it turns out there is a better option for the Aspiring Solicitor, Ingemar will advise them to take that instead of instructing him (eg there is someone in their organisation who could fulfil the role of Confirming Solicitor at no cost to the Aspiring Solicitor).

2. If the Aspiring Solicitor wishes to proceed, Ingemar will send out a Contract for the work he is to do as Confirming Solicitor. He will advise the Aspiring Solicitor to speak with their supervisor and gain their agreement and obtain an NDA for Ingemar to sign, as the organisation will want to be assured that any evidence shown to him by the Aspiring Solicitor will be held in complete confidence.

3. After the Contact and the NDA are signed, Ingemar will share with the Aspiring Solicitor the form for them to complete with examples of the work done against the SRA competencies (Ingemar will have given guidance at point 1 on how to fill this in) and schedule a Zoom call to go through this once completed by the Aspiring Solicitor.

4. A Zoom call to go through with the Aspiring Solicitor their completed SRA form will be carried out during which Ingemar will remote to the Aspiring Solicitor’s computer. The Aspiring Solicitor can then show Ingemar the evidence they have in support of their work examples meeting the SRA competencies criteria. Ingemar will advise where what is written could be improved, and where evidence is needed or could be improved. There may need to be another Zoom call depending on this.

5. Once Ingemar is satisfied with the evidence presented to him, the Aspiring Solicitor will send to him a copy of their form. Ingemar will check and send back a signed copy – which is the Aspiring Solicitor’s evidence for the SRA. It may be that the Aspiring Solicitor does not already have two years QWE to be signed off at the time of the Zoom call. They can agree with Ingemar when the remainder of the QWE can be reviewed (see the process above) and signed off.

6. In addition, the SRA require that feedback be obtained from the supervisor of the work. Ingemar will therefore need to organise a Zoom call with the Aspiring Solicitor’s supervisor for a discussion about their work and conduct. Ingemar will write up the notes and send the to the supervisor for approval, signature and return. Ingemar will then sign the notes and send the signed copy to the Aspiring Solicitor to hold as their evidence for the SRA. This should complete the SRA’s requirements for the QWE. You will need to submit a form to the SRA for each organisation who’s QWE you wish to count which Ingemar will have also to sign. The SRA will then contact Ingemar to separately confirm he has reviewed the work and has ‘received feedback from the person(s) supervising their work’. Once they receive that confirmation from Ingemar the SRA will email the Aspiring Solicitor to confirm it is accepted as their QWE.

Contact us: Ingemar: 07887 524507 or ingemar@hunningsconsultancy.co.uk

We have checked this approach carefully with the SRA. We are at the forefront of developing a way to help Aspiring Solicitors with this. We are gratified that they have described our method as ‘perfect’.

This is what one client has written on a Google My Business Review about this service:

“We have the benefit of Mr Ingemar Hunnings (of HCL) to carry out regular detailed reviews of the work as the external QWE monitor under the SQE regime. It is of significant importance to find a capable, professional and knowledgeable Solicitor who has been also a practising Law Firm Partner to help with this detailed task. Detailed reviews on a regular basis also provide guidance on points that are discussed within the review. It is not often that one comes across a Solicitor like Mr Hunnings.”

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