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Barristers hit with new experience requirement

Barristers hit with new experience requirement

Sole barristers will need a hefty additional two and a half years' experience from next year.

UP and coming New Zealand sole barristers will have to increase their experience before they're allowed to start practice under new rules coming into place from 1 January 2010. 

The new rules are a two and a half year increase on the current six months' experience, which has been in effect since September 2008. The six month requirement came into force after the implementation of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act. 

Previously, there was no training requirement and graduates could start practice as a barrister sole, the term used for a barrister working on his or her own account, with no supervision. 

The change may see an influx of lawyers seeking approval to practice as a barrister on own account before 1 January next year, in order to qualify on the six-month requirement. 

The new requirements were set by the New Zealand Law Society board as part of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act Regulations 2008, at its meeting on 11 September 2009. 

The new requirement brings the legal experience requirement for sole barristers in to line with that for barristers and solicitors seeking to practice on own account, the Law Society said. The change is part of a wide competency assurance scheme currently being considered by the board. 


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