Our lead consultant, Ingemar Hunnings, has spoken with Tim Prior, Authorisation Officer at the SRA on 22nd February 2023 to get clarification on this. Tim was quite clear in his response. Foreign Qualified Lawyers who are taking the SQE1 and SQE2 exams are exempt from the requirement for Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). This is the case even if they are newly qualified in their local jurisdiction. This is because they will be tested on the skills in the SQE2 exam.
If the foreign qualified Lawyer wants to be exempted from the SQE2 exam, THEN there is a requirement for them to have 2 years' professional legal experience. That is because they are seeking to be exempted from the SQE2, which would otherwise test this.
Applying for Exemption from the SQE2 exam
See here for more info on how to do this: https://www.hunningsconsultancy.co.uk/sqe2-exemption-for-foreign-lawyers-review-advice/
QWE External Confirming Solicitor Confirmation Service
See here for more info on how we can help you: https://www.hunningsconsultancy.co.uk/external-qwe-certification-service-2/