Renewal of practising certificates in the 2012/2013 year: Information to assist

All lawyers who want to continue to practise after 1 July 2012 need to apply to renew their practising certificate and pay the required fees before the due date.

The following information is provided to help with your renewal:

How much will my practising certificate cost?

Subject to approval by the Minister of Justice, the proposed fees and levies for the year 1 June 2012 to 30 June 2013 are:

  • barristers and employed barristers and solicitors: $1262 (GST excluded);
  • barristers and solicitors practising on their own account (without a trust account): $1647 (GST excluded); and
  • barristers and solicitors practising on their own account (with a trust account)  $1967 (GST excluded).

If finally approved, the fees in each case total a $22 (GST excluded) increase over the 2011-2012 year. 

When will I receive my renewal application form and invoice?

By mid-May, all lawyers who held a practising certificate at 26 April 2012 should receive a notice for renewing their current practising certificate.  All current practising certificates expire on 30 June 2012.

If you are a member of a Law Society section, or the NZLS Panel of Mediators as a family specialist, the subscription fees will be included on your renewal invoice.

There is no subscription fee to renew your Law Society membership.

Anyone who has not received a renewal notice by the end of May should contact the Law Society Registry.

What is the deadline for the Law Society to receive my renewal application form and payment?

The renewal application form (including the declaration) and payment is required under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 and must be completed by 30 June 2012.

Both your application and payment can be mailed or completed online. Instructions on how to do this will be sent to all lawyers and firms.

We are requesting everyone to complete their application by 13 June. This deadline has been set to allow for delayed or mislaid renewal applications, and to allow the printing and distribution of the new practising certificates before 1 July.  We recommend completing your renewal application and payment online to avoid any potential delays.

Law firms and other employers will be able to pay on behalf of their lawyer employees by credit card, direct credit or cheque.  Where a firm has nominated a firm administrator, that person will be contacted in early May with information on the procedures for making payments on behalf of lawyers within their organisation. 

My employment/practice details have changed.  What do I need to do?

If your details differ from those shown on the renewal application form, you can mark the changes on the form before posting to the Law Society, or you can contact the Registry.  Employment details cannot be updated online.

Anyone applying for a practising certificate after 26 April 2012 will be issued with one invoice which covers the remainder of the practising year to 30 June 2012, and the fees for the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.  

I have read the declaration and acknowledgement in the renewal application and I am unsure whether I need to disclose a certain matter.  What should I do?

If you are unsure, it is best to either declare the matter to the Law Society, or contact our Registry to discuss it further.  This component of the declaration is intended to cover (but is not limited to) such matters as criminal convictions, bankruptcy or a mental illness that could affect your fitness to practice.

I no longer require a practising certificate after 30 June 2012.  What do I need to do?

Please email registry@lawsociety.org.nz. This will enable us to advise you of your options, and to ensure you avoid receiving reminders about renewal.

What happens if the Law Society does not receive my renewal application or payment until after 30 June 2012?

If payment is not received or your declaration is not completed, you will not hold a current practising certificate and your name will not appear on the Register of Lawyers. 

It is an offence to practise law in the reserved areas of work (see s6 of the Act) or to describe yourself as a lawyer (see s21) without holding a practising certificate.

After 1 July 2012, you will be required to complete a new application for a practising certificate.

The names of those who do not notify the Law Society that they are not renewing will also be supplied to Courts, Land Information New Zealand and the Ministry of Justice, and published to the profession as appropriate.

I have a current Landonline digital certificate and can “certify and sign”.  What do I need to know?

If you have a current Landonline digital certificate and the ability to “certify and sign” instruments, you are required to have a current practising certificate. Please be aware that if you have not renewed your practising certificate by 30 June 2012, you are at risk of having the ability to certify and sign removed from your digital certificate by Land Information New Zealand.

How do I contact the Law Society Registry?

You can contact the Registry by email at registry@lawsociety.org.nz or by phone on 0800 22 30 30.