Representation is when another person acts and speaks on your behalf at NCAT. 

Representing yourself

Most people choose to represent themselves at NCAT.  NCAT encourages you to run your own case without needing a lawyer or other representative.  This provides a low cost, accessible and efficient means of resolving your dispute.

Representing yourself gives you direct control on how your case is presented.  With the right preparation and organisation, you can be your own best advocate.

How to request representation

A request for representation can be made in writing at any stage during the proceedings or in person at the hearing. 

A representative may be a legal practitioner, real estate agent, strata managing agent, an advocate, or friend or relative with authorisation to act on your behalf.

Before the hearing

Any requests for representation before the hearing must be made in writing. Your request must include:

  • File number and parties' names
  • Why representation is needed
  • Name and occupation of your proposed representative and if they are a legal practitioner
  • A statement that your representative has authority to make decisions on your behalf and in your absence.

At the hearing

You can ask permission in person at the NCAT hearing for legal representation.  

Alternatives to representation

Anyone can get legal help or advice to apply to NCAT or prepare for a hearing. You do not need to be granted leave from the Tribunal to do this.

If NCAT does not permit you to have a representative, they can still provide help or advice to you on an informal basis as a support person. 

Automatic right to representation

In some NCAT cases, you will have an automatic right to representation. This means you do not need to ask NCAT for leave (permission) to be represented.

You are automatically entitled to representation in the following cases:

  • Administrative review and regulation
  • Professional discipline
  • Retail leases

Refer to the relevant Divisional Guideline for more information about the types of cases where leave for representation is not needed.

If your case is managed in the Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division or Occupational Division, legal representatives should complete the Notice of representation by a legal practitioner or agent form (PDF , 59.2 KB).

Special types of representation

NCAT can appoint other special types or representatives for people who are:

  • incapable of representing themselves
  • incapable of giving proper instruction to a legal representative
  • under legal incapacity due to age, mental illness, disability or other special circumstances.

Guardian ad Litem

NCAT can appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) who speaks for the party at the hearing and resolution processes including mediation. The GAL is not a lawyer but may arrange to have a lawyer represent them. For more information read NCAT Guideline 2 – Representatives for people who cannot represent themselves (GALs) (PDF , 163.0 KB).

Separate representative

NCAT can appoint a separate representative to represent the best interests of a party with disability.  The separate representative is usually a lawyer from Legal Aid NSW.  Read the separate representation fact sheet (PDF , 84.4 KB) for more information.

Useful resources

Read the relevant NCAT Division publication for detailed information about representation for your type of case.


Fact sheets

Last updated:

08 Sep 2022

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