New Zealand Law Society

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Law Society Registry

Lawyers are regulated centrally through the Law Society and the Law Society Registry maintains a central register of New Zealand lawyers.

The Registry is responsible for:

  • keeping and maintaining the register of lawyers
  • issuing and renewing practising certificates
  • providing lawyers and potential lawyers with information about the requirements for admission, holding a practising certificate, practising on own account and answering general queries
  • answering queries from the public about entries in the register of lawyers
  • maintaining information on the Society’s website about practice issues.

Register of lawyers

The Law Society is required to establish and maintain a public register of lawyers that can be accessed through its website.

The register must show:

  • the lawyer’s full name and contact details including work address, telephone number and fax number
  • the kind of practising certificate held and when it was issued
  • date and place of admission
  • if the lawyer is in practice on his or her own account, whether he or she is in sole practice, partnership, a shareholder or director of an incorporated law firm
  • if the lawyer is an employee
  • if the lawyer is an in-house lawyer
  • whether he or she is providing or intends to provide real estate services
  • whether the lawyer’s practising certificate is currently suspended and, if so, when the suspension took effect and when it will be lifted (if known).

While the rules allow for it, it is not envisaged that a lawyer’s home address, home and other contact phone number or work email address will be published.

Updating details

Lawyers must advise the Law Society of any changes to their details shown on the register or as otherwise required for the society to carry out its regulatory functions. 

Various rules and regulations require lawyers and/or firms to notify the Law Society:

  • Chapter 16.1 of the Rules of Conduct and Client Care requires any lawyer intending to provide real estate services on a regular or systematic basis to notify the NZLS in writing, including the address(es) from which the real estate services are to be provided.
  • Regulation 16 of the LCA (Lawyers: Practice Rules) Regulations requires incorporated law firms to advise the Law Society of the firm’s name, the names of its directors and shareholders, and any changes to those details.
  • Section 318(1)(b) of the LCA requires a practitioner or an incorporated firm making an election under s317(1) not to receive money or other valuable property, to deliver that election to the Law Society.

Last updated on the 4th March 2014