Registering to Practise as a Foreign Lawyer in Poland and Australia

Opublikowany dnia 5 sty. 2017


Nicholas Gowland


Under the Act on the provision by foreign lawyers of legal assistance in the Republic of Poland, foreign lawyers are divided based on whether they qualified to practise in a European Union member state.

Non-Polish lawyers who have qualified to practise law within the European Union may practise in Poland once their application to do so has been accepted by the relevant District Bar Council or Chamber of Legal Counsellors. This application must contain Polish-language copies of the applicant’s certificate of registration to practise law in their home jurisdiction, and documents proving their citizenship. The applicant must also pass an aptitude test on spoken and written Polish.

Non-Polish lawyers who have qualified outside the European Union must go through an identical application process. However, once registered with the relevant authority, they are entitled only to provide legal advice and opinions on matters pertaining to the domestic law of their home state, and on international law.

In addition, both lawyers from within and outside European Union may provide cross-border legal services within Poland without registration, for cross-border matters pertaining to Poland and the domestic law of their home state.



Admission rules in Australia are governed by the separate states. In New South Wales, the rules for admission of foreign lawyers have become more flexible since the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015.

Under a reciprocal recognition agreement between the Australian and New Zealand Governments, lawyers admitted to practise in New Zealand need only lodge an application directly to the Supreme Court of NSW.

Otherwise, a person who has been admitted to practise in a foreign jurisdiction must have their qualifications and training assessed by the NSW legal admission board, who may provide directions on what additional legal training, if any, is necessary. A foreign lawyer may then proceed to apply for compliance certificate to practise law in NSW in an identical manner to Australian law students. However, their application must be accompanied by two statutory declarations as to the applicant’s good character, from persons who the applicant practised law with in their home jurisdiction.

It bears noting that the admission board may recommend that a foreign lawyer’s compliance certificate be accompanied by conditions which, for example, limit the areas of law in which they may practise or require them to undertake additional academic training.