CHAPTER 30
LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Certain officers exempt from provisions of this Act

PART II
DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

   4.   Establishment of a Disciplinary Committee

PART III
ADMISSION AND ENROLMENT

   5.   Roll of practitioners

   6.   Qualification for admission as a legal practitioner

   7.   Repealed by Act No. 10 of 1996

   8.   Repealed by Act No. 10 of 1996

   9.   Repealed by Act No. 10 of 1996

   10.   Repealed by Act No. 10 of 1996

   11.   Professional and academic qualifications

   12.   Apprenticeship qualifications

   13.   Admission by the Chief Justice

   13A.   Undertaking as to requisite practical experience

   14.   Admission fee

   15.   Entry of name on Roll

   16.   Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Director or Public Prosecutions to be appointed State Counsel for Zambia

   17.   Power of the President to appoint a State Counsel for Zambia and procedure for appointment

   18.   Limitation on appointments of State Counsel for Zambia

   19.   Qualification for appointment as a State Counsel for Zambia

   20.   Precedence of practitioners

   21.   (Spent)

PART IV
REMOVAL FROM AND RESTORATION TO THE ROLL

   22.   Removal from Roll and procedure of Disciplinary Committee

   22A.   Suspension of Legal Practitioner from practice

   23.   Rules governing Disciplinary Committee

   24.   Powers of Court under sections 22, 25, 27 and 28 to be exercised by two Judges

   25.   Consideration of report by Court

   26.   Representation by counsel

   27.   Reference of report back to Disciplinary Committee

   28.   Power of Court to deal with practitioner

   29.   Disciplinary powers of Court or Judge apart from inquiry by Disciplinary Committee

   30.   Power of Registrar to draw up orders

   31.   Orders of Court to be noted on Roll

   32.   Limitation of time for certain applications to strike names off Roll

   33.   Restoration to Roll

   34.   Disciplinary powers as to clerks

PART V
PRACTISING CERTIFICATES

   35.   Association to issue practising certificates

   36.   Application for practising certificates

   37.   Discretion of Association to refuse certificate in special cases

   38.   Date and period of validity of practising certificate

   39.   List published by Association to be prima facie evidence of practitioner holding certificate

PART VI
COMPENSATION FUND

   40.   Compensation Fund

PART VII
PRIVILEGES, RESTRICTIONS AND OFFENCES IN CONNECTION WITH PRACTICE

   41.   Qualifications for practising

   42.   Unqualified person not to act as an advocate

   43.   Penalty for pretending to be an advocate

   44.   Offences by unqualified persons

   45.   Instrument to be endorsed with name and address of drawer

   46.   Penalty on unqualified person acting in preparation of papers for probate, etc.

   47.   No costs recoverable where unqualified person acts as advocate

   48.   Practitioner not to act as agent for unqualified person

   49.   Employment by practitioner of persons struck off Roll or suspended

   50.   Penalty on failure to disclose fact of having been struck off, etc.

   51.   Offences by bodies corporate

   52.   Offences by practitioners

   53.   Offences deemed professional misconduct

   54.   Saving as to employment of unqualified persons by qualified persons

   55.   Restriction upon right to employ qualified persons who are not practitioners

PART VIII
KEEPING OF ACCOUNTS BY PRACTITIONERS

   56.   Interpretation

   57.   Practitioner’s accounts

   58.   Client’s money to be paid into bank or building society

   59.   What money to be paid into client account

   60.   Withdrawing of money from client account

   61.   What money need not be paid into client account

   62.   Complaint in respect of practitioner’s failure to comply with provisions

   63.   Evidence and deposit of costs before instituting inspection of accounts

   64.   Notice to practitioner: how made

   65.   Penalty for breach of Part VIII

   66.   Saving

   67.   Relief to banks

   68.   Association may require production of practitioner’s books

   69.   Power of Association to deal with property of certain practitioners

PART IX
REMUNERATION OF PRACTITIONERS

   70.   Power to make general orders as to remuneration of practitioners

   71.   Scale of rates of commission and percentage

   72.   Security for payment of remuneration, and regulating interest

   73.   Taxation of bills of costs

   74.   Agreements with respect to remuneration for non-contentious business

   75.   Remuneration of practitioner who is a mortgagee

   76.   Power to make agreements as to remuneration for contentious business

   77.   Miscellaneous provisions as to agreements with respect to costs of contentious business

   78.   In certain circumstances taxing officer may reduce amount payable under agreement

   79.   Death, incapability or change of practitioner, etc.

   80.   Agreement excludes taxation

   81.   Miscellaneous provisions as to remuneration for contentious business

   82.   Power of Court to order practitioner to deliver his bill and to deliver up deeds

   83.   Action to recover practitioner’s costs

   84.   Charging orders

PART X
MISCELLANEOUS

   85.   Practitioners to be officers of the Court

   86.   Onus of proof

   87.   Payment of expenses of Disciplinary Committee

   88.   Authentication of regulations and other documents

   89.   Rules of court

   90.   General regulations

   91.   Saving of other written laws

   92.   Repeal and savings

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to amend and consolidate the law relating to legal practitioners.

[23rd March, 1973]

Act 22 of 1973,

Act 21 of 1981,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 24 of 1998,

Act 14 of 2006,

Act 17 of 2009,

Act 1 of 2014.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Legal Practitioners Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Association” means the Law Association of Zambia established by the Law Association of Zambia Act;

“client” includes any person who, as a principal or on behalf of another, or as a trustee or personal representative, or in any other capacity, has power, expressed or implied, to retain or employ, and retains or employs a practitioner and any person who is or may be liable to pay to a practitioner any costs;

“the Compensation Fund” means the Compensation Fund to be established under the provisions of section 40;

“contentious business” includes any business done by a practitioner in any court;

“costs” includes fees, charges, disbursements, expenses and remuneration;

“the Council” means the Council of the Association;

“the Court” means the High Court;

“the Disciplinary Committee” means the Disciplinary Committee to be established under the provisions of section 4;

“the Legal Practitioners Qualifying Examination” means the examination set by the Council of Legal Education, whereby qualification for admission as a practitioner may be granted pursuant to section 11 or 12;

“non-contentious business” means any business in which a practitioner is employed other than contentious business;

“practice” means the practice of the profession of an advocate, and “practise” and “practising” shall be construed accordingly;

“practising certificate” means a certificate issued by the Association under the provisions of section 35;

“practitioner” means a person who has been admitted to practice as an advocate under the provisions of this Act and whose name is duly entered on the Roll;

“a practitioner of the prescribed standing” means a practitioner of not less than five years’ standing in Zambia or such lesser period as the Council of Legal Education may, in any particular case, prescribe;

“the Registrar” means the Registrar of the High Court;

“the Remuneration Committee” means the committee to be established to deal with the remuneration of practitioners in accordance with the provisions of Part IX;

“the Roll” means the list of practitioners kept in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

“State Counsel for Zambia” means—

      (a)   a person who attained the rank of Queen’s Counsel for the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia; and

      (b)   a person admitted to the Inner Bar of Zambia;

“unqualified person” means a person who is not a practitioner and includes a practitioner who has not in force a practising certificate.

3.   Certain officers exempt from provisions of this Act

   (1) Every officer to whom this section applies shall, in connection with the duties of his office, be entitled to practise, and shall not, except as in this Act expressly provided, be subject to the provisions of this Act.

   (2) The officers to whom this section applies are—

      (a)   the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the Parliamentary Draftsmen, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the International Law Adviser and any Assistant International Law Adviser, the Assistant Parliamentary Draftsmen and all Senior State Advocates and State Advocates for the time being employed in the Attorney-General’s Chambers;

      (b)   the Administrator-General and any qualified person for the time being employed in the Administrator-General’s Department;

      (c)   the Local Courts Adviser, if a qualified person;

      (d)   any officer of a municipal council, if a qualified person;

      (e)   the Director of Legal Aid and legal aid counsel appointed under the Legal Aid Act, if qualified persons.

   (3) Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed or deemed to prevent—

      (a)   an unqualified person from appearing for and representing in a court any party to any civil cause or matter, if duly authorised thereto by any rule of the Court or of subordinate courts;

      (b)   a District Secretary, an Assistant District Secretary or a Labour Officer, by leave of the Court or a subordinate court, as the case may be, from appearing for and representing in that court an African in any cause or matter;

      (c)   a Government officer, for good cause shown to the satisfaction of a court, from appearing for and representing the People, the Government, the President or the head of any Government department in any proceedings, cause or matter to which the People, the Government, the President or the head of any Government department, as the case may be, may be a party.

   (4) For the purposes of this section, “qualified person” means—

      (a)   any person admitted as a practitioner under the provisions of this Act;

      (b)   any person admitted as a qualified lawyer (by whatever name called) and thereby having a right of audience before courts exercising original civil or criminal jurisdiction in a self- governing State being, in the opinion of the Council of Legal Education established pursuant to section 7, a State which is, or was at any time, a member State, or was part of a member State, of the Commonwealth of Nations and which applies as its predominant basic system of law the Common Law or a legal system founded upon the Common Law.

PART II
DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

4.   Establishment of a Disciplinary Committee

   (1) There shall be established for the purposes of this Act a committee to be called the Disciplinary Committee consisting of—

      (a)   the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General; and

      (b)   five practitioners (hereinafter referred to as nominated members) being members of and nominated by the Association, and appointed by the Minister.

   (2) Every nominated member shall hold office for three years from the date of his nomination and shall be eligible for re-nomination.

[S 4 am by s 2 of Act 14 of 2006.]

   (3) During the temporary absence from Zambia of any nominated member, the Disciplinary Committee may nominate any practitioner to act as a temporary nominated member in the place of such absentee until his return or until the expiration of his period of office, whichever first occurs.

   (4) The Attorney-General shall be chairman of the Disciplinary Committee and shall preside at all meetings at which he is present. In the absence of the Attorney-General, the Solicitor- General, if present, shall preside. In the absence of both the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General at any meeting of the Disciplinary Committee, the members present shall elect a member to preside at such meeting.

   (5) Three members of the Disciplinary Committee shall form a quorum:

Provided that the Committee shall not sit unless it is made up of an unequal number of members.

   (6) Any question before the Disciplinary Committee shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and every member so present shall record a vote.

   (7) Members of the Disciplinary Committee, other than the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General, shall be paid, in respect of expenses incurred by them in travelling and subsistence when discharging their duties, such sums as may be prescribed by the Minister.

PART III
ADMISSION AND ENROLMENT

5.   Roll of practitioners

   (1) The Registrar shall keep, in accordance with the provisions of this Act and of any regulations made thereunder, a list of all the practitioners to be known as the Roll.

   (2) Any name of any practitioner which immediately prior to the commencement of this Act was entered upon the Roll shall remain thereafter so entered unless removed from, or struck off the Roll pursuant to Part IV, and, subject to the provisions of section 20, the order of precedence of such practitioners shall be according to the priority shown on the Roll existing at that date.

6.   Qualification for admission as a legal practitioner

No person shall be admitted as a practitioner unless he is duly qualified in accordance with the provisions of section 11 or 12.

7.   …

[S 7 rep by Act 10 of 1996.]

8.   …

[S 8 rep by Act 10 of 1996.]

9.   …

[S 9 rep by Act 10 of 1996.]

10.   …

[S 10 rep by Act 10 of 1996.]

11.   Professional and academic qualifications

   (1) subject to subsection (1) of section thirteen, a person may be admitted as a practitioner if that person—

      (a)    is a holder of a degree in law obtained from a public university established under the University Act, 1999, and whose programme has been accredited by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced legal Education; or

      (b)   is a holder of degree in law obtained from a private university registered in accordance with the provisions of the University of Act, 1999 and whose programme has been accredited by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education; or

      (c)   is a holder of degree in law obtained from a university outside Zambia in a country operating the Common Law system approved by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education and whose degree in law is recognized by a university accredited under the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act as academically equivalent to a degree of that accredited university; and

      (d)   has—

      (i)    for one year, attended a course of post graduate study required by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education and has been duly certified as having fulfilled the requirements of such course by the Director of the Institute; or

      (ii)    after having obtained a degree, completed two years’ service in Zambia as an articled clerk under articles of clerkship to a practitioner; and

      (e)   has passed the Legal Practitioners Qualifying Examination.

   (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person may be admitted as a practitioner if that person is a qualified lawyer, by whatever name called, and thereby has a right of audience before courts exercising original civil or criminal jurisdiction in a self-governing State, or was part of a Member State, of the Commonwealth of Nations and which applies as its predominant basic system of law the Common Law or a legal system founded upon the Common Law and—

      (a)   that person—

      (i)   has been a practicing lawyer of not less than three years’ standing in the State in which the person is entitled to practice;

      (ii)   has been actively employed for not less than six months in Zambia—

         (A)   in a legal capacity in the office of a practitioner of prescribed standing;

         (B)   in a judicial or legal capacity in a department of Government prescribed by the Minister; or

         (C)   in the department of a town clerk who is admitted as a practitioner under this Act and is the person’s employer, or the public officer in charge of the department of Government in which the person has served, or under whom the person has worked, as the case may be, has certified the person’s work as being satisfactory; or

      (iii)   has for one year attended a course of post graduate study required by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education, and has been duly certified as having fulfilled the requirements of such course by the Director of the Institute; and

      (iv)   has passed such parts of the Legal Practitioners’ Qualifying Examination set by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education as may be specified by the Council; or

      (b)   that person—

      (i)   has been a practicing lawyer of not less than three year’s standing in the State in which the person is entitled to practice and the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education, after consultation with the Minister and the Chief Justice, deems the person’s qualifications to be sufficient for the purposes of this section;

      (ii)   has been actively employed for not less than one year in Zambia—

         (A)   in a legal capacity in the office of a practitioner of prescribed standing;

         (B)   in a judicial or legal capacity in a department of Government prescribed by the Minister; or

         (C)   in the department of a town clerk who is admitted as a practitioner under this Act and is the person’s employer, or the public officer in charge of the department of Government in which the person has served, or under whom the person has worked, as the case may be, has certified the person’s work as being satisfactory; or

      (iii)   has for one year attended a course of post graduate study required by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education, and has been duly certified as having fulfilled the requirements of such course by the Director of the Institute; and

      (iv)   has passed such parts of the Legal Practitioners’ Qualifying Examination set by the Council of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education

[S 11 subs by s 2 of Act 17 of 2009.]

12.   Apprenticeship qualifications

   (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 11 and subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 13, a person shall be admitted as a practitioner if—

      (a)   he has completed the prescribed period of service in the Republic as an articled clerk under articles of clerkship to a practitioner of the prescribed standing; and

      (b)   the person has obtained a degree in law from a university established under, or registered in accordance with, the University Act, 1999, and whose programme has been accredited by the Council of the Zambia Institute of advanced Legal Education; and

[S 12(1)(b) subs by s 3 of Act 17 of 2009.]

      (c)   he has passed the Legal Practitioners Qualifying Examination set by the Council of Legal Education.

   (2) For the purposes of this section—

      (a)   the term “prescribed period of service” means such period of service as is prescribed by the Council of Legal Education, and in this regard the Council of Legal Education may prescribe different periods for different persons or different classes of persons having regard to the actual experience of such persons in the office of a practitioner of the prescribed standing and to such other matters as the said Council may deem relevant;

      (b)   the term “prescribed examination” means such examination as the Council of Legal Education may require to be undergone by any person or class of persons in lieu of the obtaining of a degree in law from the University of Zambia.

13.   Admission by the Chief Justice

   (1) Any person who—

      (a)   produces to the Chief Justice a certificate issued by the Council of Legal Education certifying him as having complied with the applicable provisions of section 11 or 12; and

      (b)   satisfies the Chief Justice that he is of good character;

may apply to the Chief Justice to be admitted as a practitioner.

   (2) Every application made under the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be by petition to the Chief Justice and shall include an undertaking in writing as to requisite practical experience in such form and manner as the Chief Justice may prescribe.

   (3) Upon application being made pursuant to this section and upon production of such testimonials as to character as he may require, the Chief Justice may, in his discretion, after the applicant has taken the oath or oaths set forth in the First Schedule, by writing under his hand grant to the applicant a certificate of admission as a practitioner.

[S 13 am by Act 21 of 1981.]

13A.   Undertaking as to requisite practical experience

   (1) An applicant to whom section 13 applies shall be deemed, in his undertaking as to requisite practical experience, to have undertaken—

      (a)   that he shall not, until he has satisfied the Association that he has gained the requisite practical experience—

      (i)   set up a legal practice, open a law office or in any way practice law on his own account;

      (ii)   establish or become a partner in, any firm of lawyers; or

      (iii)   appear before the Supreme Court; and

      (b)   that if he violates any of the terms of the undertaking, he shall, in addition to being in contempt of court, be deemed to be guilty of professional misconduct.

   (2) In this part, “requisite practical experience” means such active employment for a continuous period of, or for periods amounting in all to, five years as shall have been certified as being satisfactory by the relevant practitioner of the prescribed standing or head of the relevant department, as the case may be, in—

[S 13A(2) am by s 3(a) of Act 14 of 2006.]

      (a)   the office of a practitioner of the prescribed standing;

      (b)   a firm of practitioners where at least one supervising partner was, throughout the period of such employment, a practitioner of the prescribed standing;

      (c)   a judicial or legal capacity in the Judicial Department, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Directorate of Legal Aid, the Lands Department, the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Administrator-General’s Department, or any other department of the Government which may be approved for the purpose by the Chief Justice in consultation with the Attorney-General;

      (d)   the legal department of a district council, a statutory corporation, a company or organisation, where at least one supervising officer was, throughout the period of such employment, a practitioner of the prescribed standing; or

      (e)   such other capacity or office as the Chief Justice may, in consultation with the Association, approve for the purpose;

[S 13A(2)(e) am by s 3(b) of Act 14 of 2006.]

Provided that for purposes of appearing before the Supreme Court “requisite practical experience" means active employment for a continuous period of, or for periods amounting in all to, three years.

[S 13A am by Act 21 of 1981, s 13A(2)(e) proviso ins by s3(c) of Act 14 of 2006.]

14.   Admission fee

Every person admitted as a practitioner under the provisions of section13 shall pay to the Association the sum of four hundred fee units.

[S 14 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

15.   Entry of name on Roll

The Registrar upon production of—

      (a)   a certificate of admission signed by the Chief Justice pursuant to sub-section (3) of section 13; and

      (b)   a receipt from the Association acknowledging the payment of the fee prescribed by section14;

shall enter upon the Roll the name of the person admitted.

16.   Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Director or Public Prosecutions to be appointed State Counsel for Zambia

   (1) Upon the appointment of any person to the office of Attorney-General, Solicitor-General or Director of Public Prosecutions, the rank and dignity of a State Counsel for Zambia shall be conferred upon that person by the President.

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