Dialogue to help lawyer exchange

The exchange of lawyers and legal services between the United Kingdom and Australia is to become easier, thanks to a consultation forum between the two jurisdictions.

Earlier this month the Legal Services Regulatory Dialogue, established under the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the UK (A-UKFTA), met for the first time. The dialogue allows representatives from the legal sector in the two regions to gather to consider regulatory issues for trade in legal services.

Issues discussed at the March 5 and 6 meeting included:

  • the requalification of lawyers seeking admission to practise in the other country;
  • business structures through which services can be exchanged, including limited liability partnerships, incorporated legal practices, and multi-disciplinary partnerships; and
  • the sharing of information and knowledge on other regulatory matters, including licensing and standards; recognition of professional qualifications and matters affecting the trade in legal services more broadly.

Four working groups, to be led by co-chairs from each jurisdiction, were established: Qualifications, Recognition and Admission; Business Structures and Issues; Barrister Co-operation; and Regulatory Co-operation.

Working group representatives will convene between April and August, to prepare material for consideration by the plenary in September.

A report on progress and any recommendations will be provided to the Professional Services Working Group, established under the A-UKFTSA, by 31 January next year.


Australia was represented at the dialogue by the Law Council of Australia (LCA), the Legal Services Council’s Admissions Committee and the Law Admissions Consultative Committee.

LCA President Greg McIntyre said the council was pleased to represent Australia in the forum.

“The goal of the dialogue is for our legal professions and regulators to work together to consider contemporary approaches to enhance legal services trade and professional mobility of lawyers between Australia and the United Kingdom,” Greg said.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search by keyword