Specially Qualified Applicants

To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in the Republic of Ireland, qualified barristers from other Member States, and solicitors from Ireland and other Member States can apply to become a member of King’s Inns and be admitted to The Bar of Ireland. 

Please contact us for further details at info@kingsinns.ie

Northern Ireland Barristers

(a) A member of the Bar of Northern Ireland who has been in practice for at least three years immediately preceding their application may, at the discretion of the benchers of the Society, be admitted to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law without submitting to any examination and without keeping terms provided they comply with the requirements set out in paragraph (b) below.

(b) Every such applicant shall:

  1. produce a certificate of their call to the Bar of Northern Ireland and a certificate from the Lord Chief Justice stating that they are a fit proper person to be called to the Bar of Ireland and a certificate from the proper officer stating that they have been practising for at least three years immediately preceding their application,
  2. lodge to King’s Inns a completed declaration for admission to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law (the certificate part of the declaration must be signed by a practising barrister who has been practising at the Bar of Ireland for ten years at least and the proposal part must be signed by a Bencher of the Society), and
  3. pay the degree fee set out in the schedule of fees.
  4. Keep two terms commons (3 dinners each term) after call during the first two years of practice.

Barristers from other EU Member States – Morgenbesser Applicants

Citizens of EU Member States* who hold relevant legal qualifications from Member States.
*including UK transition period ending 31/12/20

  • The Education Committee of King’s Inns has put in place procedures to deal with EU nationals who fall into the category covered by the case of Morgenbesser. 
  • Citizens of EU Member States who hold relevant legal qualifications from Member States other than Ireland are entitled to have King’s Inns consider those qualifications following the principles laid down by the European Court of Justice in the case of Morgenbesser. 
  • The Committee agreed that an applicant must satisfy King’s Inns that he/she has the necessary knowledge and skills to join the Irish Bar. An assessment must be carried out on all applicants who are covered by the Morgenbesser decision so that the applicant satisfy, or partially satisfy, the requirements for entry to the Bar of Ireland.
  • To enable this assessment to be carried out, applicants are required to complete a detailed questionnaire.
  • Should the assessment reveal that some knowledge and skills are lacking, the Committee will make recommendations as to how such shortfall might be made up.
  • They will consider any submission in this regard and will, be happy to have discussions with applicants as to how any shortfall in knowledge and skills might be made up.

Solicitors from the Republic of Ireland

(a) A solicitor on application made by them in writing to King’s Inns who in the period expiring at any time within six calendar months prior to the date of receipt of application has been in continuous practice in the State for three years or more and has held a practising certificate from the Law Society of Ireland for the entire of that period (or is exempted by statute from any requirement to hold such certificate) may, at the discretion of the Benchers of the Society, be admitted into the Society and called to the Bar without undertaking the Society’s course of education and without keeping terms provided they compy with the requirements set out in paragraph (b) hereof.

(b) Every such applicant shall:

  1. following acceptance by the Society of such application satisfactorily complete the next available course of study (if any) as may be provided by the Society and as may be determined from time to time by the Education Committee
  2. cause themselves to be removed from the Roll of Solicitors and cease to practice as a solicitor prior to admission to the degree of Barrister–at–Law.
  3. lodge to King’s Inns at least 10 days prior to admission to the degree:
    1. a letter from the Law Society of Ireland certifying their removal from the Roll of Solicitors;
    2. where applicable, letters from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Law Society of any other Jurisdiction in which the person has practiced as a solicitor certifying their removal from the Roll of solicitors
    3. a statutory declaration that they have ceased to have any financial interest in any solicitor’s business or practice;
    4. a certificate from the President of the Law Society of Ireland stating that they are a fit and proper person to be called to the Bar;
    5. a completed declaration for admission to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law (the certificate which is included in the declaration must be signed by a practising barrister who has been practising at the Bar of Ireland for ten years at least and the proposal therein must be signed by a bencher of the Society); and
    6. an undertaking in writing to keep two terms of commons in accordance with paragraph (b)(5) of this Rule,
  4. at least 10 days prior to admission to the degree pay the degree fee as set out in the Schedule of Fees, and
  5. keep two terms of commons (3 dinners each term) after call during the first two years of practice at the Bar of Ireland.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) an applicant will be entitled (on payment of the appropriate fee in respect of such course) to take such course of study, if any, as may be determined by the Education Committee pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule once they have been in practice as a solicitor in the State and has held a practising certificate (unless exempted by statute from any requirement to hold such certificate) for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the commencement of the said course of study. On satisfactory completion of the said course of study the solicitor shall be deemed to have complied with the requirement of paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule provided such course of study is completed within twelve calendar months of application being made under Rule (a) above.

(d) If an applicant fails:

  1. to undertake and complete satisfactorily the next available course of study in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule; or
  2. to cause themselves to be admitted to the Society and called to the Bar of Ireland at the first available opportunity following satisfactory completion of the said course the application made by the applicant shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

SOLICITORS TRANSFER COURSE INFORMATION 

Qualified Lawyers from other EU Member States

(a) A person who is entitled to seek to practise the profession of barrister in Ireland pursuant to Directive 2005/36 of the European Parliament and Council on the recognition of professional qualifications (OJ L 255 p. 22)(’the Directive’) and the regulations implementing same in Ireland (hereinafter called ‘the migrant’) may apply to be admitted to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law in accordance with this rule. Only holders of the degree may be called to the Bar of Ireland by the Chief Justice and admitted to practise in the Courts of Ireland as members of the Bar of Ireland.

(b) Council of King’s Inns is the designated and the competent authority for the profession of Barrister in Ireland for the purpose of applying the Directive and shall make all necessary decisions on an application under this rule.

(c) A migrant shall apply to be admitted to the Society and the degree of Barrister–at–Law in such form as may be specified by the Council. Such application shall include or be accompanied by:

  1. particulars of the diploma, attestation of competence issued by a competent authority in the home Member State or other evidence of training and qualifications relied upon by the migrant as entitling them to practise as a barrister in Ireland under the terms of the Directive,
  2. the original or a duly authenticated copy of every such diploma, certificate or other document relied upon by the migrant,
  3. such evidence as is relied upon by the migrant to establish:
    1. that they are of good character and repute; and
    2. that they have not been declared or adjudged bankrupt or had a similar order made against them or in relation to their estate where such bankruptcy or similar order remains undischarged or in force; and
    3. that they have not on the ground of professional misconduct or the commission of a criminal offence been prohibited from practising in any member state in which they formerly qualified or practised and is not currently suspended from so practising,
  4. such representations or evidence as the migrant may wish to make in support of any application that he be wholly or partially exempted from passing an aptitude test in accordance with paragraph (f) of this rule,
    1. any other representations or material upon which the migrant may wish to rely in support of their application, and
    2. the migrant’s application fee as set from time to time by Council.

(d) Any document or certificate presented by the migrant pursuant to sub–paragraph (3) of paragraph (c) above must be presented no more than three months after its date of issue.

(e) Council shall consider the migrant’s application as soon as is reasonably practical and shall issue to the migrant a reasoned decision thereon not later than four months after all documents relied upon by the migrant have been lodged. Such decision may be:

  1. that the migrant be admitted to the Society and degree of Barrister–at–Law by the benchers without being required to pass any part of the aptitude test,
  2. that the migrant be admitted to the Society and degree of Barrister–at–Law by the benchers subject to the migrant passing the whole or any part of the aptitude test,
  3. that the migrant’s application be refused.
  4. In reaching the foregoing decision, Council shall consider the diploma or other qualification of each migrant relied upon in their application and may only require the migrant to pass those parts of the aptitude test which cover matters which differ substantially from those covered by their diploma or other qualification.

(f) The migrant may be required to pass all or part of an aptitude test. The following shall apply in relation to the aptitude test:

  1. the aptitude test shall be in such form as may be decided from time to time by the Education Committee and shall comprise written papers and an oral assessment,
  2. the written papers shall include:
    1. A paper on the Irish Legal System and Irish Constitutional Law;
    2. A paper on the Laws of Torts, Contract and Property (including Equity and Trusts);
    3. A paper on Evidence and Civil Practice and Procedure of the Superior Courts and the Circuit and District Courts; and
    4. A paper on Criminal Law and Criminal Practice and Procedure of the Superior Courts and the Circuit and District Courts
  3. the oral assessment shall evaluate the migrant’s preparation and oral presentation of a case and their knowledge of the rules of ethics and code of conduct for barristers,
  4. the written part of the aptitude test will be held twice a year upon such dates as may be determined by the Education Committee,
  5. a migrant shall not be eligible to take the oral assessment until such time as they shall have successfully passed such written parts of the aptitude test as they are required to take,
  6. a migrant who is required to pass the aptitude test must take all parts of the test (or all parts which they are required to pass) at the same occasion on which the test is held,
  7. a migrant who is required to pass the aptitude test must take the test (or the relevant parts of the test) within two years after the date of the issue of the decision referred to in paragraph (e) above.

(g) Every migrant shall keep not less than two terms commons. Council may permit a migrant to give an undertaking to comply with all or part of this obligation after call to the Bar or may exempt the migrant from all or part of this obligation. Every migrant shall keep two terms commons (3 dinners each term) after call during the first two years of practice at the Bar of Ireland. 

(h) A migrant who has received a decision from Council in terms of paragraph (e) (2) or (2) above shall (upon successfully passing all or part of the aptitude test where applicable) and subject to compliance with paragraph (g) above be admitted to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law by the benchers upon lodging to King’s Inns:

  1. a completed declaration for admission to the Society and to the degree of Barrister–at–Law (the certificate part of the declaration must be signed by a practising barrister who has been practising at the Bar of Ireland for ten years at least and the proposal part must be signed by a bencher of the Society),
  2. if permitted by Council pursuant to paragraph (g) above to keep terms after call to the Bar, a written undertaking to do so, and
  3. the degree fee as set from time to time by the Council.

(i) Upon being admitted to the Society and the degree of Barrister–at–Law a migrant is entitled to be called to the Bar of Ireland by the Chief Justice and admitted to practise in the courts of Ireland as a member of the Bar of Ireland.