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Consultation and Engagement

Bringing together community, client and legal practitioner perspectives is vital to the work of the Legal Services Council and the Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation. We consult with our stakeholders widely and regularly in carrying out our functions.

The Legal Services Council liaises with other jurisdictions to inform them about the Uniform Law and encourage them to join the scheme. This includes interstate visits and keeping Ministers informed about implementation of the Uniform Law.


Current consultations

Have your say on the proposed new rule regarding the qualification of foreign lawyers for admission


Date issued: 8 August 2019


The Legal Services Council Admissions Committee (Committee) invites public comment on the draft Legal Profession Uniform Admission Amendment (Qualifications) Rule 2019 (Draft Rule) in accordance with s 426 of the Uniform Law (UL). The Draft Rule relates to the admission of foreign lawyers in NSW and Victoria, a function performed by the admitting authorities (Boards) in each State.

A paper outlining the background to the Committee's decision, attaching a copy of the Draft Rule and the text of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (Admission Rules) if the rule is made, can be accessed here.

A summary of the effect of the Draft Rule follows.

  • Currently the Admission Rules demand that the academic requirements are only satisfied by study in Australia. A foreign lawyer may be granted a partial or full exemption from further study by a Board. The proposed amendment formally acknowledges that a foreign lawyer who has complied with directions by a Board to complete further study, satisfies the specified academic qualifications and/or practical legal training (PLT) prerequisite for admission.

  • The proposed amendments attempt to draw a distinction between experienced and inexperienced foreign lawyers who apply for admission. When assessing the application for a direction by a foreign lawyer with five or more years of experience, a Board, prior to directing further study and/or PLT, will be compelled to take into account the applicant's legal skills and experience, with reference to specific factors such as whether the foreign jurisdiction in which the lawyer practised was codified or applied common law, whether the legal profession was regulated, the number of years and type of legal practice engaged in, and the nature of the applicant's previous work including their level of responsibility and handling of trust money.

  • Assisting the Boards to apply s 18 UL by listing in a new Admission Rule the factors the Boards must take into account when considering granting an exemption from further study and/or PLT.

  • Enhancing perceptions of transparency. If a request is made by the applicant, the Board will be compelled to provide reasons for giving a direction or for failing to give an exemption.

This Draft Rule is publically released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days in accordance with s 426(3)(b) UL. Submissions can be sent to the Committee to submissions@legalservicescouncil.org.au on or before Monday 16 September 2019.


Recent consultations

Have your say on the proposed new rule regarding law practice administration


Date issued: 17 July 2019

The Legal Services Council (LSC) invited public comment on the draft Legal Profession Uniform Amendment (Miscellaneous) Rule 2019 (Draft Rule) in accordance with s 425 of the Uniform Law (UL). As well as clarifying the usual duration of a practising certificate, the Draft Rule proposes to amend the Uniform General Rules (UGRs) that support various provisions in Chapter 4 UL.

In summary, the Draft Rule, if made, will amend the UGRs by:

  • Clarifying the duration of a practising certificate that is not suspended, cancelled or surrendered - to expressly include 30 June as its last day.

  • Assisting solicitors of law practices holding money received in certain circumstances for investment purposes and/or money received pursuant to a written direction, to comply with their obligations regarding these types of trust money - by creating new categories to account for them.  

  • Promoting efficiency, certainty and safety in complying with a client's directions to withdraw controlled moneys - by creating a hierarchy of authorised people who may withdraw money from the relevant controlled money account if the principal of the law practice is unavailable.

  • Promoting clarity and accountability - by specifying the details a law practice must record when payments are made from a controlled money account.

  • Enhancing order and transparency - by mandating that a solicitor's law practice opens and maintains a file for each matter.

  • Saving solicitors' time and increasing the efficiency of routine auditing - by mandating that a law practice record the location of any regulated property related to a matter in the register of files opened.

  • Allowing efficient auditing and file transfer by setting a standard as to how registers of files opened, registers of safe custody documents and registers of financial interests are to be maintained -  including legibly, in English, in one document and accessible at all times to an external intervenor, an investigator and a person conducting a compliance audit.

The Draft Rule was publically released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days in accordance with s 425(3)(b) UL. Submissions closed on Monday 19 August 2019.


How to provide feedback

Submissions and feedback should be forwarded to:

There is no set format for making written submissions to the Council and they need not be formal documents. Electronic submissions in Microsoft Word (.docx) format are preferred.

Submissions may be published on the Legal Services Council website, unless the information is provided in confidence. If you would prefer for all or part of your submission not to be published please clearly mark the material 'IN CONFIDENCE'. 

If you have any questions or would like to provide comments in an alternative format please contact the Legal Services Council's secretariat on phone (02) 9692 1300.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us through the National Relay Service. For more information, visit: www.relayservice.gov.au.


Consultative forums

Consultative forums which are rotated between States and Territories that have joined the Uniform Law scheme, provide:

  • a sounding board for the Council, the Commissioner and other key bodies to help inform how they exercise their functions, and
  • an opportunity to share information and ideas, explore issues about the Uniform Law and network with a broad group of participants.

The inaugural forum was held in Sydney on 20 November 2015 and three more have been held since then.

Email us at lsc@legalservicescouncil.org.au to register your early interest in future forums.


 

 

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