Tell us what market access barriers you’re facing in Australia
The UK and Australia signed a new free trade agreement (FTA) on 16 December 2021.
This agreement includes a commitment to regulatory dialogue between both countries to address outstanding market access barriers affecting the legal profession.
We expect the UK government to pass legislation to allow the FTA to come into force before summer 2023, so the regulatory dialogue should begin before the end of 2023.
Our work so far
We contributed to the UK government’s consultations ahead of the FTA negotiations to ensure that access for legal services was a priority.
We worked closely with the UK Ministry of Justice and members and law firms with an interest in practising in Australia.
In recognition of the importance of legal services trade, the FTA consolidates the right for UK and Australian lawyers to advise clients and provide arbitration, mediation and conciliation services in the other country’s territory, using their home country professional qualifications.
A new forum to improve market access in Australia
For the first time in an FTA, the agreement also establishes a Legal Services Regulatory Dialogue to provide a forum for regulators in the UK and Australia to discuss ways to liberalise legal services trade and practice.
This new forum will meet:
- within one year of the FTA’s implementation
- at least once per year over the following three years
Help us shape the dialogue
The first meeting of the Legal Services Regulatory Dialogue is expected to take place before the end of 2023.
Before the first meeting, we'd like to hear about any issues or difficulties firms and practitioners have faced when providing legal services in Australia.
This could be in relation to:
- the recognition of professional qualifications, regardless of route to qualification and without the need for extra study
- mobility provisions for short-term secondments and intra-corporate transfers
- guidelines for admission (for prior experience or conditional admission)
- uniformity of regulation across different states/territories
- availability of business structures, including the UK LLP
Your feedback will help us prioritise issues facing UK solicitors and firms when we take part in future dialogues with Australian regulatory bodies.
Have your say
Email your feedback to our international policy adviser for North Asia and the Pacific, Will Miller.