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

17 July 2019

The Legal Services Council (LSC) invites public comment on the draft Legal Profession Uniform Amendment (Miscellaneous) Rule 2019 (PDF, 142.7 KB) (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 is publically released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days in accordance with s 425(3)(b) UL. Submissions may be sent to the LSC by email to: submissions@legalservicescouncil.org.au on or before Monday 19 August 2019.

Last updated:

10 Oct 2022

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The Legal Services Council and Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as custodians of Australia and pay their respects to Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge their ongoing connection to land, sea and communities throughout Australia, and their contributions to the lives of all Australians.

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