New Zealand Law Society - Admitted but no practising certificate

Admitted but no practising certificate

If you don’t hold a practising certificate – but have been admitted to the High Court - you may, under certain circumstances, certify true copies, witness signatures, or take an oath or declaration.

If you have been admitted to the New Zealand High Court as a barrister and solicitor but do not hold a current practising certificate, you may provide legal services, but not in the 'reserved areas of work' as defined in s6 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (LCA). 

Note that if you are providing legal services without a current practising certificate you must take special care in how you describe yourself, your qualifications, and the services you provide, as discussed further below. 

You can also do certain things which are, by statute, able to be done by 'an enrolled barrister and solicitor'. These include taking statutory declarations

If you provide any legal services without a current practising certificate you must not describe yourself as a lawyer – or law practitioner, legal practitioner, barrister, barrister and solicitor, solicitor, attorney-at-law or counsel. To do so is an offence under s 21 of the LCA.

Further offences are described in ss 22-24 of the LCA. These include an offence for those who, without a practising certificate, use or permit to be used descriptors (including symbols) that are intended or reasonably likely to cause others to believe they are a practising lawyer.  

The full detail of the offences is set out in the LCA.  Accordingly, care must be taken to ensure there is no risk of misleading members of the public, or otherwise contravening the LCA.  If there is a risk that a member of the public may reasonably understand that you are a practising lawyer then you may be committing an offence.