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Guidelines for admission under the TTMRA

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Admission Regulations 2008 can be found on the New Zealand Council of Legal Education website.

If you are a lawyer holding a current practising certificate in an Australian state or territory and seek to practise in New Zealand you must follow a two-step process under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA).

The first step is admission as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court. It is not possible in New Zealand to be admitted only as a barrister or only as a solicitor. You will be admitted as both, but will hold a practising certificate either as a barrister or as a barrister and solicitor.

The second step is the issuing of a practising certificate by the New Zealand Law Society. Both High Court Registrars and the Society are registration authorities under the TTMRA.

Admission as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand

There are 19 High Court registries in New Zealand. Choose one to file with.

To start the process you need to file the following:

You must also file:

Admission can be in person or on the papers (see rule 8(3) of the LCA (Lawyers: Admission) Rules 2008). Advise the Registrar which option you prefer.

Application for a practising certificate

Once you have been admitted, apply to the Law Society for a practising certificate. This must be for an 'equivalent occupation' to that which you practise in Australia. A chart on equivalency of occupations is in Schedule 3 of the TTMRA Regulations 2008. This shows whether you may practise as a barrister or as a barrister and solicitor.

Your application must include:

  • completed application for a practising certificate
  • certified copy of your order for admission in New Zealand
  • original or certified copy of your current Australian practising certificate/s
  • original certificate of standing, less than three months old, from the regulator (generally a law society or bar association) in each Australian jurisdiction in which you have been admitted
  • relevant practising fees and levies. The practising year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Contact the Society's Registry or phone 0800 22 30 30 to establish how much you will be required to pay for a part-year.

Once you have submitted your application, you are deemed to be registered and you are entitled to practise the 'equivalent occupation', pending the Law Society decision and payment. Your deemed registration will cease, however, if the Law Society cancels or suspends it, or if you cease to hold a current practising certificate in any Australian jurisdiction.

The Law Society will consider your application on the papers. It may make further inquiries but must, within one month, decide whether to grant, grant conditionally, postpone (for up to six months) or refuse the grant of a practising certificate.

You will receive notice of the decision in writing. If your application is refused or postponed reasons will be given and you will be entitled to apply to the Trans-Tasman Occupations Tribunal for a review of that decision.

Note: When practising as a lawyer in New Zealand, whether you are deemed to be registered here or hold a New Zealand practising certificate, you are subject to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 and the regulations and rules made under it.

Last updated on the 3rd August 2017