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New Zealand has a semi-fused legal profession: once a New Zealand lawyer has a practising certificate and is admitted to the High Court’s roll of barristers and solicitors, they are permitted to operate as either a barrister and solicitor or barrister sole, and it is common for barristers to have a background working as a solicitor before becoming a ‘barrister sole’ and focusing solely on advocacy.

In New Zealand, advocates are regulated by the New Zealand Law Society, which acts as the national regulator of the legal profession – as such, lawyers that hold a New Zealand practising certificate issued by the Society are classified as ‘lawyers’ for the purposes of the country’s regulatory regime. Barristers are represented by, but not regulated by, the New Zealand Bar Association.

New Zealand chambers do not have English-style infrastructure of clerking and practice management – to some extent Hong Kong (a jurisdiction where, at least historically, like London a number of New Zealand-trained lawyers have moved to with greatly successful results) is probably a more accurate comparator than any of the states of Australia. New Zealand, a Commonwealth monarchy which had appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council until 2004, has a silk systems other jurisdictions with a similar history and uses the title “KC”.

“Employed barrister” in New Zealand parlance refers to a more junior barrister employed by one mor more barristers who are senior to them, rather than one outside chambers, and the same often applies for “junior barristers” – the term is not used in the English sense of any barrister who has not taken Silk.

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