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.

Key Information

  • 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 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 a candidate has a query regarding obtaining the necessary exemption to sit the Bar Transfer Test they 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 5 sections:

  • Section 1 (a): Law of Contract and trusts
  • Section 1(b): Law of Tort and the Law of Crime
  • Section2 (a): English Legal System
  • Section 2(b): Constitutional and Administrative Law and European Law
  • Section 3: Civil and Criminal Procedure and the Law of Evidence
  • Section 4: Rules of professional Conduct and Ethics
  • Section 5 (a): Application
  • Section 5 (b): Witness Handling

 

BPP offers training option for Section 4 and 5 only.

Start dates

The Bar Transfer Test is typically held over two weeks in April and September each year.

Sections Four and Five are usually held over the course of two weekends and include professional conduct and advocacy training and assessments.

Application Dates

Candidates for April 2014 requiring a study visa for the Bar Transfer Test will need to submit their completed application form by 28th February 2014 in order to ensure a place on the course.

The final date for applications for April 2014 candidates not requiring a study visa is the 28th March 2014.

Tutors

Our tutors are experts and have been practitioners in their fields. They're dedicated to providing teaching that is practice focused – aimed at giving you the specialist skills and knowledge needed for a successful transition into real-life legal practice.

View The Bar Transfer Test Handbook 2014 (PDF - 385 KB)

For dates and prices please click here

Flexible learning

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 diet of assessments.

In summary, for the assessment in September 2013, this will require candidates to apply the law as at 1 October 2012 and not beyond this date.

Revision Session

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

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
  • Sentencing
  • Appeals
  • Evidence: Hearsay, inferences, character, confessions, identification

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:

  • Delivery
  • 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
London
WC1V 7HZ

Tel: +44 (0)207 611 1444

Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk

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.

View the The Bar Transfer Test Handbook 2013 (PDF - 385 KB) for more information.

Applications

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 Boulton House
Chorlton Street
Manchester
M1 3HY

Please note that applications will only be accepted in hard copy and not by email. It is permissible to send an email copy of the letter from the Qualifications Committee.

Study locations

The Bar Transfer Test is held at our Law School in London Holborn.