A DELEGATION from the peak body representing the legal profession in Australia has made moves to expand practice rights for Australian lawyers in US states and territories.
The Law Council of Australia has addressed the US Conference of Chief Justices in Indianapolis in the hope that it will be easier for Australian lawyers to practice in the USA.
President of the Law Council, Tim Bugg, said the delegation had “come to the US at the invitation of the conference to meet with as many state and territory Chief Justices as possible, and to seek their collective support for improved arrangements in the US for Australian lawyers”.
Among the proposals, the Law Council is arguing for arrangements that would allow Australian lawyers to practice for short periods without local regulation. It also wants lawyers to have the freedom to practice for longer periods with a registration arrangement that mirrors the Australian treatment of foreign lawyers.
If the US were to recognise Australian legal qualifications, then the admission requirements would be simplified as well.
Along with Bugg, the delegation includes immediate past president John North and Gordon Hughes, himself a former Law Council president. Cathy Raper, director of the FTA Commitments and Implementation section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), will also be in attendance.
Support for the Law Council’s delegation has come from the International Legal Services Advisory Council, the Council of Australian Law Deans, the Attorney-General’s Department and DFAT.
Thus far, the delegation has met with a receptive audience in Indianapolis, Bugg said. “We have received a warm and sympathetic reception from the Chief Justices and we have agreed to continue to work with them towards a helpful US policy position.
“We have also renewed our association with the American Bar Association (ABA). Mike Greco, current ABA president, has come to the conference and has been particularly supportive of the Law Council’s efforts.”
See Lawyers Weekly’s US Report on page 28 this week.