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:

  1. Completion of the Stepping Up Course
  2. Gained approval by the Law Society to practise on own account
  3. 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.