The Legal Services Council (LSC) is seeking public comment on a draft Uniform General Rule to be made in accordance with s 471 of the Uniform Law. Indexation will maintain the Victorian and NSW Legal Services Commissioners’ jurisdiction to determine costs disputes in line with inflation.
Sections 291-293 of the Uniform Law refer to indexed amounts which include thresholds for costs disputes that designated local regulatory authorities (DLRAs) can deal with and make binding determinations on. Section 99 of the Legal Profession Uniform Application Act 2014 (Vic) refers to the determination of costs disputes by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The Council has considered different bases for indexation of amounts in the Uniform Law and consulted with DLRAs and other relevant stakeholders, such as VCAT and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
Since the Uniform Law commenced on 1 July 2015, there have not been any Uniform Rules which relate to indexation. Following this process of consultation and subsequent approval by the Standing Committee, the Council expects a new Uniform Rule may take effect from 1 July 2019.
This Consultation Draft Rule is publicly released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days until 15 October 2018 in accordance with s 425(3)(b) of the Uniform Law.
The Council’s proposal is to adopt a simple formula for the calculation of indexation of relevant amounts under the Uniform Law, for the Commissioner of Uniform Legal Services Regulation to publish each year on the NSW legislation website and on the LSC website. The formulation also takes into account the cumulative indexation from previous financial years.
Please email your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org