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Practice structures

Solicitors in New South Wales work in a variety of settings, from government departments and community legal services to large corporations and organisations, but over 70 per cent still work in private law practices. Just over 85 per cent of private law practices are sole practitioners. Other practice structures are Partnerships, Incorporated Legal Practices and Unincorporated Legal Practices.

Incorporated Legal Practices

An Incorporated Legal Practice (ILP) is a corporation, as defined by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), which engages in legal practice in NSW, whether or not it also provides services that are not legal services.

An entity must give The Law Society notice, in the approved form, at least 14 days before starting to engage in legal practice (s.104(1) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and Rule 28 Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015). An Incorporated Legal Practice must also give notice, in the approved form, within 14 days of it ceasing to engage in legal practice (s.104(3) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and Rule 29 Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015).

Unincorporated Legal Practices

An Unincorporated Legal Practice  (ULP) is an unincorporated body or group that satisfies the criteria set out in the definition of "unincorporated legal practice" in s.6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW).

An entity must give The Law Society notice, in the approved form, at least 14 days before starting to engage in legal practice (s.104(1) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and Rule 28 Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015). An Unincorporated Legal Practice must also give notice, in the approved form, within 14 days of it ceasing to engage in legal practice (s.104(3) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and Rule 29 Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015).

Chambers Practices

A Chambers Practice is a group of professionals, usually legal practitioners, in sole or small firm practice, who operate from a named Chambers Practice. A Chambers Practice is not a law practice under the Legal Profession Act. For the payment of a licence fee each professional has exclusive use of a room in the Chambers Practice and shares certain facilities with others in the group.

For more information about the working in a Chambers Practice download the Chambers Practice Guide.

Assistance

The Law Society of New South Wales’ Regulatory Compliance Support Unit can provide free assistance about practice structures.

CONTACTS

  • Regulatory Compliance Support Unit
  • Law Society of NSW
  • 170 Phillip Street
  • Sydney NSW 2000
  • DX 362 Sydney
  • T: (02) 9926 0115
  • F: (02) 9223 5804
  • E: Fran Moffitt
  •  
  • Law Society Registry
  • Level 5, 170 Phillip Street
  • Sydney NSW 2000
  • DX 362 Sydney
  • T: (02) 9926 0156
  • F: (02) 9926 0257
  • E: registry@lawsociety.com.au