Under the Legal Profession Act 2006 (NT) (LPA), it is the responsibility of each practitioner to ensure that they have a current practising certificate. The practising certificate year runs from 1 July to 30 June each year.
Types of practising certificates
There are 5 types of practising certificates issued in the Northern Territory:
- Unrestricted: Usually issued to firm partners, sole practitioners, and senior solicitors in government departments, or legal aid organisations. Entitlement to an Unrestricted Practising Certificate is set out in the LPA or inquiries may be directed to the Law Society.
- Restricted: Employee solicitor in a legal firm, government department or legal aid service. Must be supervised by the holder of an Unrestricted Practising Certificate.
- Restricted Corporate Lawyer: Issued to an employee solicitor in a private corporation or a solicitor who advises only their employer organisation.
- Restricted Volunteer Lawyer: Issued to a practitioner who engages in supervised legal practise as a volunteer in a complying community legal centre.
- Barrister: Australian legal practitioner practising as counsel only. The Society has adopted a formal policy as to what constitutes the work of a practitioner engaging in legal practice in the manner of a Barrister only.
Lodgment of practising certificate applications
An application for a Northern Territory practising certificate must be submitted on the Society’s approved form.
In addition to the application form you should provide:
- Evidence of Professional Indemnity Insurance if applicable i.e sole practitioners, principle of a law practise and Barristers.
- Payment of the practising certificate fee and if applicable payment of the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund Annual Contribution
- For a new practising certificate application a current Certificate of Fitness is required from each jurisdiction in which you have been admitted or have held a practicing certificate, an original certified copy of your Admission Certificate if you have not previously held a Northern Territory practising certificate and if applicable evidence that you have surrendered your interstate practicing certificate.
If you are applying for an Unrestricted practising certificate for the first time, the proforma Statutory Declaration regarding completion of the period of supervised legal practice must be completed. The Society recommends you use this Checklist of Attachments to ensure that you have provided all supporting documents with your application to ensure timely processing of your application.
Practising certificate application forms
The Society has 3 application forms available, each for a different purpose.
- New application: For first time applications for a NT practising certificate or for applications after a period when the practitioner has not practised in the NT.
- Renewal application: For applications by a current NT practising certificate holder to renew their practising certificate for the next practising certificate year. This application should be submitted to the Society during the renewal period (1 April to 31 May) or in the late fee period (1 to 30 June).
- Change application: For applications by a current NT practising certificate holder to change or upgrade the category of practising certificate they hold during the currency of their practising certificate.
Practising certificate fees
Practising certificate fees and the Annual Contribution are paid to the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund (LPFF).
Practising certificate fees and the LPFF Annual Contribution are not subject to GST. For practising certificate applications made after the start of the practising certificate year the application fees and LPFF Annual Contribution are calculated on a pro-rata basis.
To calculate the amount payable for your practising certificate application check the 2020-21 Schedule of fees.
Practising on an interstate practising certificate
A practitioner may practise in the Northern Territory on their interstate practising certificate for one off matters as long as they ensure that their professional indemnity insurance in their home jurisdiction will cover them engaging in legal practice in the Northern Territory. If a Practitioner is residing in the Northern Territory they need to apply for a Local Northern Territory Practising Certificate. A practitioner who relocates to the Northern Territory can continue to practise on their interstate practising certificate until the end of the practising certificate year (30 June) provided they are covered by PII under the Northern Territory approved PII scheme or are otherwise exempt from the requirement to hold NT approved PII under the LPA or an exemption approved by the Society.
Forms and information
- Fact Sheet - Engaging in Legal Practice in the Northern Territory
- PC - New Application
- PC - Renewal Application
- PC - Change Application
- 2020-21 Schedule of fees
- 2019-20 Schedule of fees
- LPFF Invoice Request Form
- PC Application Checklist
- Barrister's Work Policy
- Notification of Show Cause Event
- Incorporated Legal Practice
- Notice by Local Practising Certificate Holder of a Conviction or Charge
- Statutory Declaration regarding entitlement to Unrestricted Practising Certificate