Australia - South Australia International Trade in Legal Services

Australia - South Australia International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector Legal Practitioners Act 1981: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/lpa1981207/
Under what title do lawyers practise?

Barrister, Solicitor, Legal Practitioner, lawyer.

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

See information for Australia

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

See information for Australia



Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?

Appearing in court or advising on the law of South Australia.

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?


What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

Sole practitioner, partnerships, incorporated legal practices, multi-disciplinary partnerships

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules: http://www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/PDF/Prof_Australian_Solicitors_Conduct_Rules.pdf

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

Not Applicable.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

The Law Society of South Australia:


Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

 See information for Australia

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?

See information for Australia

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

The relevant legislation is the Legal Practitioners Act 1981 (SA). In South Australia there is no specific requirement to register as a foreign lawyer, but a foreign lawyer is permitted to provide legal services in foreign law.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)


Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)


Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation? Yes
Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances? Legislation prohibits an Australian-registered foreign lawyer from appearing in any court (except on his or her own behalf)
Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers? See information for Australia


Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

Foreign firms are permitted to establish a commercial presence (a permanent office) to offer advisory services in foreign and international law

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

Not permitted in South Australia

Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc) Not applicable
Is there a quota on the number of licences available? Not applicable
Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have? Not applicable
Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they?

Not applicable

Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL Not applicable


Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm? See information for Australia
May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm? No
Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer? No
Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer? Yes


Other useful sources or comments or links

Law Society of SA: http://www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/
SA Bar Association: http://www.sabar.org.au/

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Law Council of Australia (November 2013)   www.lawcouncil.asn.au