by Linda Straker
- Practicing attorneys must apply to General Legal Council annually for certificate
- Practicing certificate cost ranges from $250 to $750
- 12 credits minimum per year satisfies continuing professional development requirements
Section 24 of the Legal Profession Act 2011, which states a person shall not practice law in Grenada unless they have his/her name entered on the Roll and is the holder of a valid Practicing Certificate, will be going into effect from 1 September 2023.
According to the Legal Profession (Renewal of Practicing Certificate and Continuing Professional Development) Rules, gazetted in the 11 August edition, every practicing attorney must apply to the General Legal Council for a practicing certificate, which shall be valid for one year. In other words, the practicing certificate must be obtained annually.
“Whilst the first and initial application for a practising certificate does not require the applicant to show proof of continuing professional development, all subsequent applications made will require the applicant to show proof of continuing professional development in accordance with section 26 (5) of the Legal Profession Act. 2011. In this regard, the Council has developed an accreditation programme to guide what will meet the ‘continuing professional development’ requirement,” according to an advisory on the Council’s website.
The gazetted rules state that an attorney-at-law shall complete a minimum of 12 credits per year to satisfy the continuing professional development requirements under these rules. “A single continuing professional development credit is equivalent to one-hour attendance at an educational conference, workshop, seminar, lecture or similar event by whatever name. An attorney-at-law shall complete at least one credit in Legal Profession Ethics and one credit in Business Management and Finance per year.”
To qualify as continuing professional development, an activity must be of significant intellectual or practical content and deal primarily with matters relating to the practice of law; be conducted by individuals who are qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject covered; and seek to extend the knowledge and skills of attorneys-at-law in areas that are relevant to the practice needs of an attorney-at-law.
The cost of the annual practicing certificate will be EC$250 for attorneys with less than 5 years at the Bar; $350 for attorneys between 5 and 10 years at the Bar; $500 for attorneys between 10 to 15 years at the Bar. Attorneys with 16 years and over at the Bar will pay $750.