Information & Applications » Application for Foreign In-House Counsel Registration » Application for Foreign In-House Counsel Registration
Rule 1:27-2A. Foreign In-House Counsel Registration
To be eligible to practice foreign law in New Jersey as Foreign In-House Counsel, a foreign lawyer (licensed outside the United States) must comply with the provisions of this Rule. Registration approved by the Supreme Court pursuant to this Rule shall authorize the foreign lawyer to practice solely for the designated employer in New Jersey. Except as specifically limited herein, the rules, rights and privileges governing the practice of law in this State shall be applicable to a foreign lawyer registered under this Rule.
- Foreign In-House Counsel Defined. Foreign In-House Counsel is a foreign lawyer who is employed in New Jersey for a corporation, a partnership, association, or other legal entity (taken together with its respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates) authorized to transact business in this State that is not itself engaged in the practice of law or the rendering of legal services outside such organization, whether for a fee or otherwise, and does not charge or collect a fee for the representation or advice other than to entities comprising such organization. The hiring company will evaluate and verify the lawyer’s foreign credentials when hiring him or her. A lawyer admitted in a foreign jurisdiction may provide legal services through an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction when the services are provided to the lawyer’s employer, do not require pro hac vice admission, and do not involve advice on United States or New Jersey law.
- Requirements. All applications under this Rule are to be submitted to the Secretary of the Board of Bar Examiners. A Foreign In-House Counsel who is admitted to practice law in a foreign country may register to advise on foreign law in this State under the following conditions:
- The applicant certifies that he or she is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of each foreign and United States jurisdiction in which the applicant is licensed to practice law and provides a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the applicant is admitted;
- The applicant certifies that: (a) no disciplinary proceedings are pending against the applicant and that no discipline has previously been imposed on the applicant in any foreign country or United States jurisdiction; or (b) if discipline has been previously imposed, the certification shall state the date, jurisdiction, nature of the violation, and the sanction imposed. If proceedings are pending, the certification shall specify the jurisdiction, the charges, and the anticipated time of their disposition. A lawyer registered under this Rule shall have the continuing obligation during the period of such registration promptly to inform the Director of the Office of Attorney Ethics pursuant to Rule 1:20-14(a) of a disposition made of disciplinary proceedings. Any questions concerning the character or fitness of a lawyer may be referred by the Secretary of the Board of Bar Examiners to the Supreme Court Committee on Character for review and recommendation (Rule 1:25). The submission of an application for registration as Foreign In-House Counsel shall be a consent to such investigation as the Secretary of the Board of Bar Examiners deems appropriate;
- The applicant certifies that he or she performs foreign legal services in this State solely for the identified employer, or that he or she performs foreign legal services in this State solely for the identified employer and its constituents (employees, directors, officers, members, partners, shareholders) in respect or the same proceeding of claim as the employer, provided that the performance of such services is consistent with RPC 1.13 and RPC 1.7;
- The applicant certifies that he or she will not advise the employer company on United States law; and
- The employer certifies through an officer, director or general counsel that the applicant is employed as a lawyer for said employer, that the applicant is of good moral character, and that the nature of the employment conforms to the requirements of this Rule.
- Compliance. A lawyer registered pursuant to this Rule shall comply with the annual assessments pursuant to Rule 1:20-1(b) (Disciplinary Oversight Committee), Rule 1:28-2 (New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection), and Rule 1:28B-1(e) (Lawyers Assistance Program).
- Limitation. Foreign In-House Counsel shall not appear as Attorney of Record for his or her employer, its parent, subsidiary, affiliated entities or any of their constituents in any case or matter pending before the courts of this State.
- Duration. The registration to practice foreign law in this State shall expire if such lawyer is admitted to the Bar of this State under any other rule of this Court, or if such lawyer ceases to be an employee for the employer or its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities, listed on such lawyer’s application, whichever shall first occur; provided, however, that if such lawyer, within ninety days of ceasing to be an employee for the employer or its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities listed on such lawyer’s application, becomes employed by another employer for which such lawyer shall perform legal services as Foreign In-House Counsel, such lawyer may maintain his or her registration under this Rule by promptly filing with the Secretary to the Board of Bar Examiners a certification to such effect, stating the date on which his or her prior employment ceased and his/her new employment commenced, identifying his or her new employer and reaffirming that he or she shall not provide legal services, in this State, to any individual or entity other than as described in paragraphs (b)(iii). The lawyer shall also file a certification of the new employer as described in paragraph (b)(iv). In the event that the employment of a lawyer registered under this Rule shall cease with no subsequent employment by a successor employer within ninety days, such lawyer shall promptly file with the Secretary to the Board of Bar Examiners a statement to such effect, stating the date that such employment ceased.
- Fee. Each applicant for registration as Foreign In-House Counsel shall pay the required fees as established by the Board of Bar Examiners and approved by the Supreme Court.
- Pro Bono. A foreign lawyer registered as Foreign In-House Counsel pursuant to this rule may not provide pro bono services in this state.
- Not Admitted. Foreign lawyers registered pursuant to this rule are not, and should not represent themselves to be, members of the bar of this State.
Note: Adopted August 1, 2016 to be effective September 1, 2016.