Bar Transfer Test (BTT)
The Bar Transfer Test is the test for solicitors and lawyers from overseas jurisdictions transferring to the Bar of England and Wales.
The Bar Standards Board has placed the information about the BTT course on their website. This contains useful information on the exam requirements and some guidance for returning candidates.
- Qualify to practise at the Bar of England and Wales
- Choose between two sittings a year typically in April and September
- Expert tutors with hands-on, professional experience
- BPP University organises, sets and marks the BTT on behalf of the Bar Standards Board
- Learn with one of the UK's leading Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers
- If you have a query regarding obtaining the necessary exemption to sit the Bar Transfer Test you should contact the Bar Standards Board at the following email address: BTT@barstandardsboard.org.uk
Your passport to the Bar
The Bar Transfer test (BTT) consists of two sections - Part A and Part B:
Part A (Legal Foundation Subjects)
- Public Law (Constitutional, Administrative Law and Human Rights)
- Law of the European Union
- Criminal Law
- Obligations (Contract, Restitution and Tort)
- Property/Land Law
- Equity and the Law of Trusts
- English Legal System
- Advocacy; (Oral assessments consisting Civil applications, Cross examination and Examination in Chief)
- Civil Litigation & Evidence
- Criminal Litigation, Evidence & Sentencing
- Professional Ethics
BPP University offers training options for the Part B section of the BTT
Training for the BTT
- The training for Professional Ethics, Criminal Litigation and Civil Litigation are optional. The optional training is available in both a classroom format and an online format. The online format consists of video recordings and a scheduled webinar
- The training for Advocacy is compulsory for all candidates being required to take part B-8
- All candidates will be granted access to the BTT VLE ( virtual learning environment) approximately one month before registration
- All candidates will receive access to the Law school’s online library approximately one month before registration
- Mock assessments will be sent out to candidates approximately one month before registration
- Candidates are advised to self-study, utilising the BSB’s BTT handbook where the reading list and syllabus can be located for each section of the BTT
- All candidates will be expected to demonstrate that their oral and written English language ability is readily comprehensible to native English speakers. For those with any doubt as to the level of their English skills, they are strongly advised to undertake an approved English language test.
You can prepare for the Bar Transfer Test through a combination of private study, a short training programme (depending on which section you are taking).
We also provide a compulsory short training programme in advance of the Section Five Advocacy test.
Litigation & Evidence - Section 3
Candidates will be examined on the basis of reported and published case law as of 1 October in the year preceding the diet of examinations (with a "year" running from start January to end December).
As regards primary and secondary legislation, candidates will be examined on legislation that has been published by 1 October in the year preceding the diet of examinations, provided a commencement date has been specified for the provision that is prior to the 1 February in the following year.
As regards Civil Procedure Rules, the law will be treated as that stated or described in the current White Book as being then in force. The current White Book should be taken to mean the latest published edition of the 2 volumes plus the latest cumulative supplement (if any) as of 1 October in the year preceding the date of assessments.
In summary, for the assessment in September 2014, this will require candidates to apply the law as at 1 October 2013 and not beyond this date.
We hold two separate revision sessions to help candidates prepare for Section 3. The session will be in the form of a lecture and covers aspects of preparation for the Section 3 assessments including:
Civil Litigation & Evidence
- Procedure of a civil claim from start to finish
- The overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules, the important pre-action stage, commencement of proceedings (including which court to choose and to which track the claim will be allocated) through to trial, appeal and enforcement
- Interim applications (including injunctions and summary judgment)
- Multiple causes of action and multiple parties, funding, costs and evidence
The session will be delivered by Charlotte Wanendeya, a Solicitor, who practised at Clifford Chance. Charlotte is an expert in civil litigation, procedure and evidence and has almost 20 years’ experience of teaching civil litigation on both the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Legal Practice Course(LPC). She is currently the Programme leader for the Bar Professional Training Course.
Criminal Litigation & Evidence
- Procedure of a criminal trial from arrest to appeal
- Arrest, detention, interview and charge First appearances and bail
- Pre-trial applications
- The trial process in the Magistrates', Crown and Youth Courts
- Evidence: Hearsay, inferences, character, confessions, identification
Ishan Kolhatkar was called to the Bar in 2002 after taking the BVC at BPP Law School. He did his pupillage and then became a tenant at 2 Hare Court (The Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC) where he prosecuted and defended before the criminal courts, later branching out to represent HMRC before the First Tier Tribunal (Tax) on matters relating to missing-trader (MTIC) fraud. After a short spell in-house at the Nursing & Midwifery Council where he prosecuted cases before the NMC Practice Committees and the High Court, he joined BPP Law School in September 2011 to teach on the BPTC.
Ishan is the module leader for Criminal Litigation on the BPTC. He also wrote, obtained approval from the Academic Council and now teaches on the Professional Discipline option. Aside from those subjects, he is part of the teaching and assessment team for advocacy on the BPTC, BTT and Higher Rights of Audience courses. In September 2013 he was appointed by the BSB as their External Examiner for advocacy on the BPTC at another provider.
It is an essential prerequisite of each session that you have read around the subject matter prior to the session. This course will only run subject to minimum numbers
Ethics Seminar - Section 4
At the seminar candidates will have the opportunity to:
- Become familiar with the structure and contents of the Code of Conduct
- Become familiar with parts of the Code of Conduct dealing with barristers’ relationships with lay clients
- Become familiar with parts of the Code of Conduct dealing with barristers’ relationships with professional clients
- Become familiar with parts of the Code of Conduct dealing with the acceptance, refusal and return of instructions
- Understand the application of professional ethics on the BTT in general
- Become familiar with the format of the ethics assessment for the BTT
- Practice sample questions equivalent to the assessment
Candidates will be provided with a copy of the Code of Conduct of The Bar of England and Wales. Lunch will be provided.
Advocacy Preparation - Section 5
This is a three day programme, the first day of the advocacy course is in the form of a lecture and covers aspects of preparation for the advocacy assessments including:
- Case theory
- Examination in chief and cross examination
- Preparation of skeleton arguments
On the second and third day candidates will have the opportunity to practice their advocacy skills in tutorials and mock assessment situations.
This training course is compulsory if you are taking section 5 of the test for the first time.
Sitting the Test
There will be two sittings of the test each year, set approximately six months apart.
How to apply
If you wish to transfer to the Bar, you must first get approval from the Qualifications Committee at the Bar Standards Board. They will usually require you to take the Bar Transfer Test, or certain sections of it.
When you have approval from the Bar Standards Board, you must apply to BPP to take the Bar Transfer Test. We organise, set and mark the test (on behalf of the Bar Standards Board), and also run the preliminary Advocacy training programme in preparation for it.
To apply to practise at the Bar of England and Wales, contact the The Qualifications Committee at:
The Qualifications Committee
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
Tel: +44 (0)207 611 1444
Requirements for transfer to the Bar
- To transfer to the Bar of England and Wales for qualified lawyers you must:
- Seek the approval of the Qualifications Committee of the Bar Standards Board to practise at the Bar of England and Wales
- Join one of the Inns of Court
- Pass all parts of the Bar Transfer Test specified by the Qualifications Committee
- Undertake pupillage as specified by the Qualifications Committee
Although there is no formal English language requirement for candidates on the Bar Transfer Test a high standard of written and spoken English is expected of all applicants. The level of spoken English expected at the Bar of England and Wales is such that candidates should be able to express themselves eloquently and persuasively, a basic or rudimentary grasp of the language is likely to be insufficient for the purposes of the assessments. Candidates from foreign jurisdictions are assessed on the basis that they will go on to practice in the courts of England and Wales even if they have no intention of doing so. If candidates are concerned about their level of English they are advised to contact the Programme Leader for the BTT prior to registering for the course.
Once you have approval from the Bar Standards Board's Qualifications Committee to take the test, you can submit your application form to BPP, along with a copy of the certificate from the Bar Standards Board requiring you to take the test and the fees. Please submit your application to:
Bar Transfer Test
BPP Professional Development
Fifth Floor St James' Building
79 Oxford Road
The Bar Transfer Test is held at our Law School in London Holborn.