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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

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.

The aspiring solicitor must be able to show at least 2 years FTE Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) of legal services. This will have to be signed off by a solicitor authorised by the SRA, but this does not have to be a training partner in a law firm. So, it gives the opportunity for this to be outsourced should you wish. It may be there wasn’t a solicitor or maybe not one authorised by the SRA for England & Wales. We can help.

The QWE may be obtained in up to 4 different organisations – so summer placements can count, as can work in an advice centre. Time spent before the SQE may count, so long as it has been monitored and a solicitor can vouch for it. So, even if you get a traditional training contract in the future, you may shorten it by the amount of accredited QWE you already have in the bank.

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

Our Charges

£200/hr + VAT  (Normally there is more time involved initially to catch up on past experience and whilst you get the hang of this. Thereafter, half an hour a month is normally sufficient.)

Some more info

We have been assisting a number of Aspiring Solicitors since mid 2020 both in the UK and abroad (eg, Israel & Taiwan) 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

Typically he will have a zoom chat with you to discuss your needs and explain the process. He will send a Contract to regulate terms of trading and an Order scoping the job. He will ask you to speak with your organisation to get clearance and also ask you to arrange for him to sign an NDA so that the organisation may be confident that any evidence of your work that you show to prove your QWE will be held in strict confidence. He will then send the HCL QWE monitoring form to you for you to complete in prep. He will organise with you a zoom call to go through this completed form and for you to show your QWE in evidence so that Ingemar may sign off that he has seen this. Ingemar will also advise on more QWE that you may need and suggest amendments to what you have put into the form. There may be more than 1 meeting, depending on the amount of time you wish to have signed off and to cover future QWE. We can discuss this in out initial call.

The SRA also require that Ingemar contact your supervisor to gather feedback. Typically Ingemar will arrange a zoom call, draft up notes for the supervisor to review and approve. Ingemar will then also sign this and give this to you as evidence for you to submit to the SRA together with your completed & signed QWE form.

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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