Practising Law in Jamaica without a Practising Certificate

The General Legal Council (GLC) has various statutory mandates and responsibilities pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, including the upholding of standards of professional conduct and the application of those standards to attorneys-at-law in Jamaica in order to regulate the conduct of the practise of law in Jamaica.

The GLC has taken note of recent reports in the print media regarding persons from outside of Jamaica who hold themselves out as attorneys, who do not hold a practising certificate issued by the GLC nor have they been admitted to practise in Jamaica, but are presently providing legal services in Jamaica and purport to appear as attorneys before quasi-judicial tribunals sitting in Jamaica.. If these reports are correct, these persons cannot be recognised or held out as attorneys-at-law in Jamaica, nor can such persons enjoy any rights or privileges of an attorney-at-law.

Save for attorneys who are employed to the Crown or to the Government, all attorneys must be enrolled and hold a practising certificate in order to practise law in Jamaica. With the foregoing exceptions, it is an offence under section 8 of the Legal Profession Act for a person who is not enrolled in Jamaica to practise as a lawyer.

We urge any overseas attorney who wishes to practise law in Jamaica to familarise themselves with the legal requirements to be called to the Jamaican Bar, and to be issued with a practicing certificate by the GLC. The GLC reminds such persons that they should also contact the Ministry of Labour and the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency to understand all applicable work permit requirements.

The GLC urges members of the public to verify with the GLC whether an attorney has the requisite current practising certificate issued by the GLC. This can be done by referring to the Practising Attorneys page, or contacting the GLC by phone (876) 922-2319, by e-mail or by visiting our office at 78 Harbour Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.

General Legal Council
31st March, 2017

Comments invited