If you’re thinking about contracting as a lawyer, you’ll need to make sure you have completed the right professional training and approval processes.
Practice by a barrister and solicitor on own account is governed by s30 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (“the Act”), regulations 12-15 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Practice Rules) Regulations 2008, (“the Practice Rules”) and the Trust Account Regulations 2008, made under the Act.
Lawyers can only work on a contract for services basis if they are practising on own account. The vehicle for contracting or working as a consultant is via a sole practice set up by the lawyer. There is information available here about sole practice:
How do I join Niche Freelance?
Prior to approving a new legal freelancer on the Niche Freelance platform, we verify the person’s ability to practise on own account by checking the Register of Lawyers. A lawyer qualified to practise on own account will be recorded as a sole practitioner, barrister sole, director in an incorporated law firm or partner in a law firm.
The three requirements for a lawyer to practise on own account are:
- Completion of the Stepping Up Course
- Gained approval by the Law Society to practise on own account
- Commenced practice on own account within two years of completing the Stepping Up Course
To complete Stepping Up you will need to invest in around 50 hours of self-directed distance learning and a two and a half day workshop. There are usually five courses scheduled per year and they can fill up fast, so it is a good idea to book well in advance. The next available courses are in September and November 2020.