Foreign lawyers allowed to practise in NSW after test

The New South Wales Legal Practitioner's Admission Board has approved changes which will allow foreign lawyers to practise in the state.

All foreign applicants will still need to study Australian constitutional law and legal ethics, but their legal experience will exempt them from other exams.

Under current rules, English solicitors seeking admission must sit up to 15 examinations, and solicitors qualifying via the Common Professional Examination route are generally required to sit more exams than lawyers with an undergraduate degree in law.

Australian solicitors must take two exams to practise in London, an easy and popular move which has attracted many lawyers with three to five years post-qualification experience. There has been an increase in demand for overseas lawyers, with Victoria being the first State to open up its legal market.