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For legal practitioners and law practices

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Legal Profession Uniform Law

The Legal Profession Uniform Law sets out regulatory arrangements for legal practitioners and law practices. Find out more about the Uniform Law's objectives and benefits.

The Uniform Law is applied in New South Wales and Victoria by local legislation. Uniform Rules provide the operational detail of the Uniform Law. Find out more about how the Uniform Law is applied and the core areas covered by the Uniform Law and Uniform Rules.

There are many benefits of adopting the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australia-wide. This document explains these in more detail.

Technological innovation that increases the efficiency and lowers the cost of delivery of quality legal services to informed consumers is consistent with the objectives of the Uniform Law.

Costs disclosure, costs agreements and billing

It is important that law practices comply with the Uniform Law's obligations about costs disclosure, costs agreements and billing. Practitioners should be aware of changes to costs disclosure obligations introduced by the Uniform Law. Find out more about the main requirements that apply.

The NSW Bar Association, Law Institute of Victoria and Law Society of NSW have published costs agreements and other precedents.

Costs disclosure forms

Costs disclosure can be made using a costs disclosure form where the estimated legal costs are not likely to be more than $3000 before disbursements and GST are added.

The forms are available in user friendly formats:

A ​Costs Disclosure Forms information sheet [PDF, 248KB]​ for legal practitioners explains how to use the forms.

Costs D​isclosure Form information sheet [PDF, 220KB] for consumers explains the purpose of the form and should be provided to clients by their legal practitioner.

Trust money and trust accounts

Part 4.2 of the Uniform Law and Part 4.2 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 set out the requirements for managing trust money and trust accounts. Most requirements are the same as those that applied under the previous Legal Profession Acts and Legal Profession Regulations. However, there are some changes to specific obligations.

Law practices are required to have their trust records externally examined once a year. The external examiner is required to give a written report of their examination to the local regulatory authority at a time or within a period determined by the Legal Services Council and published on the Council's website. ​

The trust year in both NSW and Victoria ends on 31 March and trust money statements should be lodged by 30 April. External examiners must lodge their reports by 31 May each year. 

Current external examiner registers:

Managed investment schemes (MIS)

On 1 July 2018, new laws for legal practitioners promoting or operating managed investment schemes (MIS) commenced in Victoria and New South Wales.  MIS are collective investments which include solicitors' mortgages and arrangements such as property syndicates or investment pools. 

The amendment of s 258 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law restricts the involvement of law practices in the promotion and operation of MIS, except as exempted by s 258(1A) and as specified in the Legal Profession General Uniform Rules.  The new laws also affect the provision of legal services in connection with mortgage practices.

This Managed Investment Schemes Information Sheet [PDF 166KB] explains your obligations under the new law.

Community legal services

Community legal services and the Australian legal practitioners who engage in legal practice for or on behalf of a service are bound by the Uniform Law and Uniform Rules. Find out more about what the Uniform Law and Rules mean for community legal services.

Corporate and government lawyers​

The requirement to hold a practising certificate applies to corporate and government lawyers in New South Wales and Victoria, subject to certain exceptions. Find out more about practising certificate requirements for corporate and government lawyers.

Other resources​

Legal practitioners and law practices can also: