Re-qualification of UK solicitors in NZ

Old Dec 15th 2014, 3:32 pm
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Default Re-qualification of UK solicitors in NZ

I am about to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales and am interested in practising aborad (I've looked at the USA and Canada who have very stringent rules and criteria).

I understand that in order to qualify in Australia I would need to have my degree assessed with the (likely) possibility of doing some exams. I also understand that Australia and New Zealand have reciprocity meaning that qualified lawyers in either country can practise as a solicitor in Australia or New Zealand.

Does anyone have any experience of the New Zealand rules and regulations for the requalification of UK solicitors? I'm thinking that this may be a way to circumvent the Australian re-qualification process.

Many thanks.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Re-qualification of UK solicitors in NZ

Pardon? I'm not sure I understand.

If you wish to practice in Australia then you need to do as that country asks of you. You shouldn't be seeking to circumnavigate the requirements at all. ....and you're going to be a solicitor?


For New Zealand

HERE
and HERE may help
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Old Feb 28th 2015, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Re-qualification of UK solicitors in NZ

Hi
I'm UK lawyer who requalified in NZ last year. I'll tell you now, requalifying is a headache, but possible.
You have to get your qualifications assessed first. If your qualifications are seen as equivalent to a nz law graduate you will be exempt from going back to a nz uni to retake your law exams. However you will still have to sit the 6 nzlpe exams. These are self taught courses tested in 6 90 minute exams in Feb and July each year. Being self taught, the course is very unstructured and there is a huge amount of info to take in. However if your are ok with study and exams they are reasonably easy to pass. Once your have passed the nzlpe exams you apply for admission in NZ and have to physically attend a court based ceremony in NZ. After that you are a nz lawyer, and yes, you can then apply under the trans Tasman mutual recognition act for admission in Australia. This is a rubber stamping exercise. That's what I did, although I love nz and think it's a nicer place to live than oz so will be staying put even though I now have oz pr.
My advice would be to get a few years of good experience in the UK first, ideally in commercial law at a big UK firm, and then apply for jobs in NZ. If you get a job you can get a 2.5 year work visa and work as an overseas lawyer in NZ and requalify when you are here, hopefully with the financial support of your employer.
Good luck, it's worth the slog. Life here is awesome!
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