The Netherlands is judicially divided into eleven judicial districts (regions), the jurisdictions of the courts. The lawyers in a judicial district form the (local) bar within the judicial district where the lawyer holds office. Each local bar is chaired by a council of the local bar (raad van de orde) and a local bar president. A local bar president is chosen by the lawyers in the judicial district. The local bar president is responsible for the supervision of all lawyers in the judicial district.
The bar registration (tableau) contains all lawyers who may exercise their profession within the eleven judicial districts (regions) in the Netherlands. This national list is being maintained by the bar registration.
The NOvA was established by the Act on Advocates (Advocatenwet) with effect from 1 October 1952. All lawyers in the Netherlands jointly form the NOvA. The NOvA is established by law, but does not receive any government funding. All costs incurred by the NOvA are being paid for by the lawyers through an annual financial contribution to the Netherlands Bar. As a result, the NOVA is completely independent of the government.