National and Global Practice

Practising Throughout Australia 


As part of the move towards a national profession, and under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth), Australian practitioners are recognised in the various jurisdictions across Australia.  There are a number of practical matters to consider when practising across jurisdictions.

Practising Certificate


You are required to hold a practising certificate in the jurisdiction in which you predominantly work.  There is no particular method of calculating this requirement, however you should consider your workload in a year and determine where you will conduct 50% of your work.

If you are admitted in another Australian jurisdiction and are intending to conduct your work predominantly in South Australia, you will need to hold a practising certificate in South Australia.  In order to do so, you will need to go through the mutual recognition process and sign the Roll of Practitioners in South Australia.  For information about the process, please click here.

Insurance


Before conducting any work in another jurisdiction, you should consider whether your insurance covers such work.  The South Australian Legal Practitioners Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme operates on a national basis and will cover work conducted in another Australian jurisdiction using your South Australian practising certificate.  For any other queries, please contact Law Claims at email@lawguard.com.au or (08) 8410 7677.

Notification


Section 23B(3) of the Legal Practitioners Act 1981 (SA) requires notification to be given by a practitioner practising in South Australia using an interstate practising certificate, only where the practitioner holds a practising certificate with restrictions or conditions on it.  This function has been assigned to the Society by the Supreme Court and notifications of this type can be sent to ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au.

Overseas Practice in South Australia 

 

Section 21(3a) of the Legal Practitioners Act 1981 provides that a person providing legal advice or legal services relating to the law of a place outside Australia will not be taken to be practising the profession of the law by providing that advice or service.  This means that a person who only provides legal advice or legal services relating to the law of a place outside Australia is not required to hold a practising certificate.  If you think you may fall into this category, please contact the Ethics and Practice Unit at ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au or (08) 8229 0200 to obtain advice on the matter.  

South Australian Practitioners Establishing Offices Abroad 


Practitioners are reminded that, when planning to establish an office in another jurisdiction, there may be local ethical and practice requirements to consider.  These may not be the same as South Australian requirements.  For example, practitioners wishing to establish an office in England must be registered there as ‘foreign lawyers’, and must comply with the Code of Conduct 2011 and other rules established by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

In addition to differing ethics and practice requirements, the structure of the overseas regulatory bodies may be unfamiliar to South Australian practitioners.  For example, in Singapore local lawyers are subject to the discipline of the Law Society and the Supreme Court, while the discipline of foreign lawyers is dealt with by the Attorney-General.

Each jurisdiction has its own ethics and practice requirements, and practitioners are strongly advised to be on the lookout.

South Australian Practitioners Dealing with Lawyers Abroad


Practitioners are reminded that, when dealing with lawyers who are registered in a jurisdiction other than South Australia, those lawyers may be subject to ethical and regulatory requirements that are different from, or even in conflict with, ethical and regulatory requirements in South Australia.  This may affect individual matters, or a long-term relationship.  For example, scholars have noted that the People’s Republic of China has no equivalent to legal professional privilege.  Studies of outsourcing of legal work to lawyers abroad have also noted problems in confidentiality, security of data, insurance, and conflicts of interest.

The diversity of jurisdictions means that practitioners must carefully explore the possibilities for conflict in each individual case.

Further Enquiries 


If you have any further queries, contact the Ethics and Practice Unit at ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au or (08) 8229 0200.