New Zealand Law Society - Renewing your practising certificate

Renewing your practising certificate

Lawyers must renew their practising certificate by midnight 30 June (NZST) to continue practising. From 1 July, lawyers who have not renewed will be removed from the public register. They will no longer be able to renew their practising certificate and will need to apply for a new practising certificate, and pay a late renewal fee of $58.

To renew your practising certificate before 30 June you must: 

  • complete your 'fit and proper' declaration and 
  • pay the required fees and levies. 

'Fit and proper' declaration 

To make your ‘fit and proper’ declaration, log in to Registry and go to the ‘Fit & Proper Declaration’ screen.  

You must complete your own declaration personally. 

Read more about completing the declaration 

You can log in to Registry using your six-digit User ID (including any leading zeros), and password. Your User ID is noted on the bottom left of your practising certificate. You can also find it in emails we’ve sent you in the past about renewals or making your CPD declaration. If you have forgotten your User ID or changed your email address, please call 0800 22 30 30 or email registry@lawsociety.org.nz  

If you don’t know your password, click 'Forgot password?' to request a password reset.  

Fees and levies

You are responsible for ensuring that payment is received before the deadline. If your organisation is paying for your fees please ensure the appropriate person has a copy of your invoice. If your fees are being paid by a third party (for example a finance company) please email registry@lawsociety.org.nz 

We recommend that fees and levies are paid by 15 June to allow sufficient time for processing and the resolution of any issues. Credit card payments are usually processed instantly and will provide an immediate record to confirm that payment has been received.   
 
Payments can be made by: 

Invoices and receipts  

The invoice becomes your receipt when it’s paid, we don’t issue a separate receipt. 

Lawyers and firm administrators are able to print invoices from the ‘Tax Invoices’ screen in Registry. Invoices for the upcoming practising year are produced in May. 

If your organisation would like to appoint an administrator to oversee its lawyers please contact Registry. 

Accessing practising certificates 

Your current practising certificate will remain visible until 1 July. 

When you have renewed, go to the ‘Practising Certificates’ screen in Registry to access your new practising certificate. You are not required to print your certificate, but you should confirm that it’s available so you know your renewal has been successful. 

If your practising certificate is not renewed before 30 June 

If the Law Society does not receive your completed declaration and payment before 30 June: 

  • your practising certificate will lapse; 
  • your name will be removed from the public register; 
  • you will not be able to provide legal services in the reserved areas defined by section 6 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 
  • you will not be able to reapply on-line; 
  • you will have to make a new application for a practising certificate, pay a late renewal fee of $58, and be approved before being able to practice law again.  

Lawyers will be in breach of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 if they continue to practise without a valid practising certificate. 

The Law Society may advise the Legal Services Agency, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), and the courts of the names of lawyers known to have been in private practice and offering services directly to the public who have not renewed their certificates by the due date, and who have not advised the Law Society that they were ceasing practice. 

If these people subsequently apply for and are issued with a new practising certificate, their names will be restored to the public register, but their practising certificate will only be effective from the date of issue – not from the date at which their previous certificate lapsed. 

Law Society membership 

Law Society membership is optional and currently free of charge. Members are entitled to special rates for NZLS CLE Ltd training, to be invited to local networking events and receive regional updates from us among other benefits. Most lawyers have elected to be members. If you have done so, your membership will automatically renew and it will appear with no cost on your invoice. 
 
To join, or if you no longer want to be a member of the Law Society please email registry@lawsociety.org.nz 

Section membership 

Being a member of the Law Society also allows you to join our sections. Sections give you access to member-only resources, discounted conferences and seminars, and regular updates with information relevant to the practice areas, among other benefits. 

There are three specialist sections of the Law Society: 

If you are a current member of the Family Law Section or Property Law Section, the renewal of your membership will be included on your invoice. There is no fee for the In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand (ILANZ) membership. 

If you are not intending to renew your section membership, please advise registry@lawsociety.org.nz 

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