Committees

More than 30 active committees and working groups have been established by volunteer members of the Law Society, covering a range of substantive law and other areas of interest. Many of the Law Society’s committees are policy committees that deal with references for comment from outside organisations and initiate comment on various legal and practice issues as and when they arise.

Committee membership is an exclusive benefit for Law Society members. Joining a committee is a great way to give back to the profession, influence the agenda and develop networks in different sectors of the profession.  Committee members are expected to abide by the committee standing orders and code of conduct.

To join a committee please complete a Committee Expression of Interest form.

For more information about each committee, please select the relevant committee below.

Access to Justice
Greg McIntyre SC

2017/18 Annual Report

The 2017-18 year was another busy one for the Access to Justice Committee. The Convenor represented the Law Society on the Law Council of Australia Access to Justice Committee, coordinating the positions taken at a State and National level on relevant issues.

While a strong campaign from the Law Society, Law Council of Australia and other State law societies led to the Federal Government cancelling planned cuts to Legal Assistance Funding in the 2017 Budget, no funding increases have been granted and the sector remains in crisis. As a result the Access to Justice Committee continues to advocate for the implementation of the recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s Report Inquiry into Access to Justice Arrangements including immediate provision of a further $120m from the Federal Government to cover
civil legal assistance, and a further $8m from the WA Government.

The Committee has also advocated for the WA Government to introduce a requirement for pro bono legal work to be undertaken by firms seeking to tender for government legal work, consistent with the Victorian model.

The Committee participated in consultations for a feasibility study into establishing a Community Justice Centre in WA and recommended that the project be supported. It also assisted in the
preparation of the Law Society’s Unbundling Guidelines.

Law Access Limited continues to be represented at meetings through a position on the Committee and provides monthly reports, including in relation to its Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
Law Access is a not-for-profit organisation that coordinates the giving of pro bono (free or reduced cost) legal assistance by the Western Australian legal profession and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Law Society.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Greg McIntyre SC
Convenor

Maryse Aranda

Alexandria Bishop

David Blades

Mark Cox

Lara Gotti

Dominique Hansen
Observer

Gary Mack

Jenny McKenzie

Gregory Mohen

Steven Penglis

Nicholas Snare

Justin Stevenson

Heather Williams

Jo Wynaden

Accreditation
Trevor O'Sullivan

2017/18 Annual Report

The Accreditation Committee advises the Law Society’s Council on the rules and regulations that govern the granting of accreditation by the Law Society. In a secondary capacity the Committee acts as the advisory board for family law accreditation.

Accredited family law specialists practising in Western Australia must be members of the Law Society, and there are currently 47 accredited family law specialists accredited in Western Australia.

The Committee’s achievements in 2017-2018 include:

  • assessment of professional development activities submitted by accredited specialists, for which accreditation professional development points may be allocated;
  • finalisation of the biennial specialist accreditation assessment programme, with six newly accredited family law specialists attaining their accreditation this year;
  • re-accreditation and auditing of accredited specialists; and
  • the mutual recognition of interstate accredited specialists, in accordance with the national accreditation scheme.

The current accreditation assessment programme concluded in November 2017 and of the 12 candidates initially enrolled in the assessment programme, six passed the accredited specialisation assessment. For the first time in Western Australia, new specialists were acknowledged and presented with their Certificates of Accreditation by the President of the Law Society at the Law Week Awards Night and cocktail evening on 18 May 2018.

The high degree of difficulty of the accredited specialisation programme is reflected in the modest completion rate. This year’s completion rate is consistent with that across other States and Territories this year. Specialist accreditation provides formal recognition of a legal practitioner’s high degree of technical competency in the area of family law. The privilege of formally applying the accredited family law specialist designation, and distinctive logo, is reserved exclusively for accredited specialists. Appointment as a specialist is a significant milestone in the career of a family law practitioner, and the Committee congratulates those admitted as candidates and wishes them well for the assessment tasks ahead.

The Law Society also actively participates in the Family Law Specialist Accreditation National Steering Committee. This ensures that all States and Territories share information to facilitate a consistent approach to assessment and credentialing. In an assessment year, the National Steering Committee works to promote consistency and uniformity of approach. That has included the Committee working with representatives of the other law societies and institutes to review and settle the assessment tasks and marking guides for assessment. Western Australia is the only State in which accredited practitioners are required to submit requests to the Committee for the approval and allocation of professional development points. This task represents a significant commitment of time for the Committee and this year the Committee has discussed the potential to reduce the number of meetings required and to approve more of the requests for points via circular resolution.

For more information about this committee please email accreditation@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Committee Members

Trevor O'Sullivan
Convenor

Damien Bowen

Debbie Clinch

Samuel Fahey

Rodney Hooper SC

Elizabeth Hynes

Denby Kerr

Devin Sanghavi

Paula Wilkinson

Administrative, Constitutional and Migration Law
Greg McIntyre SC

2017/18 Annual Report

The Administrative, Constitutional and Migration Law Committee met jointly with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee during 2017/18.

An issue of concern which it confronted, and continues to be engaged with, is the suspension of regional certification body applications in Perth under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and the removal of the Perth metropolitan area from the Scheme. The Committee has also monitored proposed amendments to the Australian citizenship legislation and changes to employer sponsored visas.

The Committee maintained a liaison with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal through membership of its Users’ Group and has sought to re-establish regular liaison with the Department of Home Affairs. The Committee also endeavoured to maintain a liaison with the Migration Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Administrative Law.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Greg McIntyre SC
Convenor

Alexandria Bishop

Kendra Hagan

Peter Lochore

Janette McCahon

Martin Udall

Janet Woollard

Crawford Yorke

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Laurie James AM

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society is a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) and the Council of the Law Society will take into consideration the recommendations of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee in considering its decision on re-accreditation and accreditation. During the year, the Committee considered and recommended applications for accreditation and re-accreditation.

As an RMAB, the Law Society should have a suitable process for complaints against mediators it accredits. A suitable complaints resolution process is under consideration by the Committee and Nicoletta Ciffolilli and Marcus Pullen have been designated a working group for that purpose.

Also under consideration are amendments to the criteria for appointment to the Panel of Arbitrators and Panel of Mediators created by the Law Society. Those amendments are under further consideration by the Committee as a result of the input from the Council.

The Committee also discussed the difficulty of mediators in regional areas obtaining sufficient CPD points for compliance with the NMAS. Avenues for dealing with this are being explored, but without any immediate solution being seen.

The Committee also considered whether the Law Society should be proposing that there be a requirement for Genuine Steps Statements before litigation is commenced.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Laurie James AM
Convenor

Scott Ellis
Deputy Convenor

Mark Blundell

Graham Castledine

Maha Chaar

Nicoletta Ciffolilli

Michael Hollingdale

Stanley Kawalsky

Nathan Landis

Richard Lilly

Marcus Pullen

His Honour Judge Stevenson

Evan Sylwestrzak

Nicholas van Hattem

Brief Editorial
Jason McLaurin

2017/18 Annual Report

Published since 1974, Brief is the official journal of the Law Society. As such, it fulfils an important and public purpose. It informs members about the Law Society’s activities, its functions (in both senses of the word) as well as publishing articles of interest to all sectors of the Western Australian legal profession.

11 monthly editions of Brief were published in the past financial year. Examples of significant articles featured in Brief over the year include:

  • July 2017: Legal Traditions in an Age of Disruption by Katie Miller, Executive Director Legal Practice, Victoria Legal Aid, adapted from her keynote address to the Law Week Breakfast;
  • July 2017: Review with photographs from the Law Society’s 90th Anniversary Cocktail Party at Perth Town Hall;
  • December 2017: Interview with outgoing President Alain Musikanth and incoming President Hayley Cormann;
  • March 2018: An Advisory Body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia by Bertus De Villiers, Adjunct Professor, Curtin University; and
  • June 2018: Law Week review.

An example of an edition focusing on a more specific area was the April 2018 ‘Educating the WA Legal Profession’ issue, which included a number of excellent articles from Western Australian universities on legal education, as well as a comprehensive review of the Law Society’s 2018 Law Summer School conference.

Brief has also in the last financial year provided items concerning the many judicial appointments and farewells.

Brief regularly includes items designed to assist the profession in the broader concerns of general wellbeing and meeting the challenges presented by technology, including the November 2017 Future of the Legal Profession themed issue, which included a survey of lawyers’ cyber security practices, information on ‘unbundling’ and the future of legal education.

There have also been some new aspects of Brief in the last financial year, including the reintroduction of the Drover’s Dog column and greater emphasis given to the lighter (and also more social) side of the practice of the law, including the Ex Juris: Travel Tales from the Legal Profession feature and Aunt Prudence Juris advice column from the Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee. These have been well received by the profession, going on the feedback received to date.

The Committee thanks all those who submitted articles or items for consideration, and encourages anyone who is interested in doing so to submit material. Thank you also to those who make regular monthly contributions to Brief, such as Dean Alston for his cartoon, Robert Glade-Wright with Family Law Case Notes and Gino Dal Pont for his ethics column.

For more information about this committee please email brief@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Committee Members

Jason MacLaurin
Editor/Convenor

Gregory Boyle

Thomas Camp

Dr Rebecca Collins

John McKechnie

Fiona Poh

Dr Pat Saraceni

Robert Sceales

Verginia Serdev-Patterson

Eu-Min Teng

Commercial Law

2017/18 Annual Report

The Commercial Law Committee’s role is to report and make recommendations to the Law Society’s Council on commercial issues of significance to the Law Society and its members. The Committee has representatives on the following liaison groups:

  • State Revenue Liaison Group;
  • Consumer Protection Liaison Group;
  • ASIC Regional Liaison Group; and
  • Law Council of Australia, Business Law Section, Corporations Law Committee.

Members of the Committee attended meetings in order to obtain information and to provide feedback on behalf of the Law Society on various topics. For example, in August 2016, the Director of Legislation and Policy from the Department of Commerce, Penny Lipscombe, attended a Committee meeting to provide a comprehensive legislative and policy update to the Committee.

In 2016/17 the Committee considered a wide range of commercial issues and monitored legal developments and the progress of new legislation and reports in relation to a number of different subject areas, including:

  • ASIC consultations and amendments to ASX Listing Rules regarding admission criteria for backdoor listings, forward looking statements, resource statements and compliance with the JORC Code;
  • review of corporate tax and whistle blower protections;
  • the proposed ASIC industry funding model;
    amendments to the Privacy Act 1988;
  • amendments to Australia’s bankruptcy and insolvency laws including the new regime for administrators and official liquidators, safe harbour provisions protecting directors from liability for insolvent trading while restructuring a company, limitations to ipso facto clauses giving a party to a contract the right to terminate on the basis that the counterparty is in external administration; and
  • increasing the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies.

The Committee contributed to submissions or papers approved by the Law Society in relation to the following:

  • the Australian Consumer Law Review;
  • remote signing protocols for financial transactions;
  • unqualified people engaging in legal practice; and
  • draft revenue ruling DA19.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Jenny Cutri
Convenor

Bruce Meredith
Deputy Convenor

Bruno Camarri AM

Sonia Chee

Andrew Crean

Brahma Dharmananda

Paul Evans

Robert French

Maggie McGuinn

Robert McKenzie

Fiona Ng

Sarah O’Brien-Smith

Shane Stewart

Andreas von Altenstadt

Rachel Webber

Linda Widdup

Construction and Infrastructure

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Construction and Infrastructure Committee was established in August 2015. The Committee’s meetings are held in conjunction with meetings of the Law Council of Australia’s Construction and Infrastructure WA Group. This Group is part of the Law Council’s Business Law Section’s longstanding Construction and Infrastructure Committee.

Topics for discussion by the Committee have related to local as well as national issues relating to the construction industry.

The Committee’s activities for 2017-18 included the following:

  • Considering discussion papers provided by the Industry Advisory Group (IAG) appointed by the State Government to investigate and report on reform of security of payment legislation in the building and construction industry in WA and participating, on behalf of the Society, in the IAG workshops;
  • Preparing written submissions from the Society to the IAG;
  • Considering the report by John Murray to the Federal Government in relation to his Enquiry on Security of Payment Laws in the building and construction industry;
  • Considering decisions of the Supreme Court and the State Administrative Appeals Tribunal on cases of significance to the construction industry; and
  • Co-hosting a seminar for construction practitioners with Resolution Institute, the Society of Construction Law Australia and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in November 2017.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Gregory Steinepreis
Convenor

Jonathan Toby Browne-Cooper

Melanie Cave

Elizabeth Cubitt

Elisabeth Edwards

David Ellis

Basil Georgiou

James Healy

Laurie James AM

Michael Hollingdale

Nathan Landis

Katja Levy

Richard Lilly

Adrienne Parker

Chris Ryder

Robert Shaw

Costs
Stewart Forbes and Fraser Robertson

2017/18 Annual Report

The Costs Committee’s primary function is to make recommendations to the Law Society’s Council in relation to reviews conducted by the statutory Legal Costs Committee (LCC).

In 2017/18, the Law Society made detailed submissions to the LCC in relation to the reviews of the scales for litigious matters.

The Law Society also made a submission to the Chief Justice of Western Australia in relation to amending Order 66 rule 51 of the Rules of the Supreme Court 1971 (WA) to bring the rule into line with the current structures relating to the assessment of costs.

Other matters considered by the Committee in 2017/18 include:

  • progress on reform in respect to the Suitors’ Fund;
  • the processes and procedures in dealing with taxations in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, which included meeting with Magistrate Matthew Walton;
  • the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law in Western Australia; and
  • costs orders in interlocutory applications in the District Court of Western Australia.

Members of the Committee also presented the CPD seminar Beware the Ides of March – the dark arts of costs, a seminar on effective costs and billing practices.

On a sad note, the Committee lost a long standing member in Stanley Kawalsky who unfortunately passed away during the year. Stan’s contribution will be missed greatly.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Fraser Robertson
Convenor

Matthew Curwood
Deputy Convenor

Brendan Ashdown

Maria-Luisa Coulson

Stewart Forbes

David Garnsworthy

Richard Graham

Dr Eric Heenan

Lachlan Palmos

Amy Pascoe

Philippa Rezos

Milos Supljeglav

Country Practitioners

2017/18 Annual Report

The Committee’s strategic focus continues to be developed with a view to ensuring that it is representing, engaging, supporting and advocating for all members of the profession in rural, regional and remote areas.

The Committee continues to identify issues that country lawyers are dealing with that require support and promotion through the Law Society: in particular resources, mental health issues, remuneration, recruitment and retention, professional isolation, mentoring and the technological changes impacting on legal practice.

The Committee was involved in two high-profile events during the reporting period: firstly, the Social Justice Opportunities evening where members provided information to students and other practitioners, and then in Law Week at the inaugural CPD event for rural, regional and remote legal practitioners.

The Committee acknowledges the support from the 13th Chief Justice of Western Australia, the Hon Wayne Martin AC, QC, with his invitation to regional members to advise him (directly) of how the Courts can be more accessible and user-friendly.

The Committee has also maintained its representation on the Rural, Regional and Remote Lawyers Committee of the Law Council of Australia and continues to monitor the Justice Project. The Committee will consider the report’s recommendations and in particular those recommendations relating to access to legal assistance in the regions as well as recommendations about access to resources to support lawyers that practise in these areas.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Kerstin Stringer
Convenor

Clare Brennan

Peter Brindal

Amelia Englert

Amanda Sommerville

Courts
Clinton Russell

2017/18 Annual Report

The Courts Committee continues to play an important role as a conduit for two-way feedback, and the dissemination of information to practitioners, between the Law Society, the Federal Court, Supreme Court, Family Court, State Administrative Tribunal, District Court and Magistrates Court.

In 2017/18, the Courts Committee assisted the Law Society to make submissions on various reforms and rule changes, including submissions to:

  • the Supreme Court regarding the rules in respect to the amendment of writs, the timing of applications for special costs orders and the Practice Directions in respect to expert evidence;
  • the Law Council of Australia regarding the law of contempt;
  • the Magistrates Court regarding applications to set aside default judgment;
  • the Attorney General in relation to necessary amendments to the Suitors Fund Act 1964 (WA); and
  • the Attorney General and the Chief Magistrate regarding proposals for improving the efficiency of court processes in the Magistrates Court.

In addition, the Committee has monitored issues and liaised with the Supreme Court and District Court in relation to electronic filing and has considered ways to help address challenges that arise when a party to court proceedings is a self-represented litigant. The Courts Committee was also involved in consultations regarding a proposal for a community justice centre in Western Australia and the ongoing issue of delays in the Family Court.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Clinton Russell
Convenor

David Bruns
Deputy Convenor

Geoffrey Bourhill

Tim Carey

Raymond Christensen

Rick Cullen

Karen Farley

Stewart Forbes

Angelina Gomez

Richard Graham

Edward Greaves

Fiona Halsey

Jennifer Hill

Principal Registrar
George Kingsley

Nathan Landis

Aaron McDonald

Marshall McKenna

Mark Pendlebury

Martyn Plummer

Hon Justice Simon Moncrieff

Dr Pat Saraceni

Principal Registrar
Larissa Strk

Magistrate
Matthew Walton

Deputy Chief Magistrate
Elizabeth Woods

Criminal Law
David Davidson

2017/18 Annual Report

The 2017/18 financial year was once again a very busy year for the members of the Criminal Law Committee.

The Committee is well balanced with prosecutors, defence lawyers, barristers and sole practitioners but still lacks a voice from the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS). A representative from the ALS would be a welcome addition to the Committee membership.

The Committee continues to monitor the mandatory sentencing provisions under the burglary offences of the Criminal Code for unjust outcomes for offenders. Furthermore, the mandatory sentencing provisions for reckless driving under the Road Traffic Act are also being monitored for similar purposes. The Law Society remains committed to its opposition to all forms of mandatory sentencing.

The Criminal Law Committee has continued to advocate regarding issues within the prison environment and its non-workability for lawyers dealing with clients who are incarcerated. The Law Society met with the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services, and the report The Digital Divide: Access to digital technology for people in custody will hopefully bring a positive outcome for this matter. The problems that legal practitioners experience using the prisons to see clients on a daily basis has not improved, especially in the women’s prison.

The Committee also contributed to a number of Government initiatives relating to criminal law and procedure over the past 12 months, including a review of the proposed Commonwealth deferred prosecution agreements scheme, preparation of a position paper on the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Trial by Judge Alone) Bill 2017 and a submission to the Department of Justice regarding the adoption of the Uniform Evidence Legislation in Western Australia. The Committee has also been supportive of finding ways to reduce time delays in the District and Supreme Courts with the ever decreasing budgets and greater workloads.

The Committee maintains liaison with other relevant committees: Registrar Whitbread is a member of the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court Committee and the Convenor David Davidson has been appointed to the Law Council of Australia’s National Criminal Law Committee. The Committee has also contributed to the Aboriginal Incarceration and Justice Reinvestment Working Group and monitors the Disability Justice Centre with its member Karen Farley SC providing regular reports.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

David Davidson
Convenor

Karen Farley SC
Deputy Convenor

Patricia Aloi

Ryan Arndt

Avril Bartlett

Stephen Butcher

Katherine Gregory

Jodie Moffat

Carly Price

Kirsten Scott

Nicholas Snare

Registrar Whitbread

Education

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Education Committee oversees the Law Society’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, curated and developed by the Law Society’s Professional Development Team, and delivered by subject matter experts.

The Committee’s membership is strongly supported by the Western Australian legal profession, ensuring the Law Society delivers engaging and informed education, as well as offering a variety of formats to suit a range of learning styles and preferences.

In 2017/18, within the CPD programme, there was greater diversity of speakers and content, and many topics were offered for the first time. This included a day conference on Elder Abuse; a seminar on the innovations and partnerships of Community Legal Centres, and a workshop on ‘mindfulness’ as a tool for dealing with distressed clients.

Our inaugural ‘Country Practitioners’ Day’ as part of Law Week 2018, was oversubscribed, attracting delegates from as far north as Broome and the Pilbara, to Kalgoorlie and, from the south west as far as Esperance.

Our popular Ethics on Friday seminars continued, supported by experts from members of the Law Society’s Ethics Committee, the Legal Practice Board, and the Legal Profession Complaints Committee.

Our annual flagship conference, Law Summer School, in 2018 included substantive law topics, and invaluable sessions on cultural diversity and inclusion, with the closing address delivered by respected company director Diane Smith-Gander.

In 2017/18, we provided education focused on supporting core skills for today’s lawyers, with seminars on mental health and resilience, leadership, legal and operational risk mitigation, artificial intelligence, and implicit bias.

The Society also proudly worked together with other associations, including the National Environmental Law Association, Women Lawyers WA, Australian Legal Practice Management Association, and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association.

This year also launched the Society’s first research partnership, with the Edith Cowan University Security Research Institute and its Director, Prof Craig Valli. A survey of the Law Society’s members informed a series of seminars to improve the cybersecurity awareness of Western Australia’s lawyers, and also resulted in a research paper delivered at the University of Texas at
Austin in May 2018.

The Society gained momentum in providing greater access to all, but in particular regional and outer metropolitan members, by making a greater number of seminars available via webinar and on our online eLearning platform.

In 2017, the Society completed an external review of its CPD programme, which review demonstrated the Law Society’s strength in delivering valuable education for our profession. The review also provided important recommendations for future opportunities which were adopted by the Council in December 2017, for action.

We thank all members of the Committee, and we pay respect to long-standing Education Committee member, Su Lloyd, who sadly passed away in May 2018.

For more information about this committee please email cpd@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Adam Levine
Convenor

Rebecca Bunney

Shonelle Duthie

Angelina Gomez

Fiona Grgich

Timothy Houweling

Fiona Low

Glen McLeod

Elizabeth Needham

Dr Pat Saraceni

Alexander Ward-Noonan

Elder Law and Succession
Elizabeth Heenan

2017/18 Annual Report

The Elder Law and Succession Planning Committee’s particular areas of interest are:

  • power of attorney reform, including interstate mutual recognition;
  • legislative progress in succession law;
  • probate practice; and
  • the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA).

The Committee liaises with the Law Council of Australia National Elder Law and Succession Committee of which the Convenor is the national Chair, and with the Supreme Court of Western Australia Probate Committee on which a Committee member (currently the Convenor) represents the Law Society.

In the past year, the Committee completed its review of the Report of the Statutory Review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990. The Law Society made submissions to the Attorney
General on the recommendations in the Report, which have been provided to the Department of Justice for consideration when an amendment Bill is at the drafting stage.

The Committee has been monitoring the progress of the inquiry by the Legislative Council Select Committee into Elder Abuse. The Law Society has provided the Select Committee with the Law
Council of Australia’s submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Elder Abuse Inquiry, to which the Committee contributed.

Members of the Committee have also contributed to the Law Society’s briefing paper in relation to end of life choices.

The Committee is conducting the following reviews:

  • a review of the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) having regard to recent legislative reforms in Queensland; and
  • a review to extend Statutory Wills to minors.

The Committee also consulted with the Law Society’s Education Committee for a CPD seminar on Succession law and secret offspring, which examined the decision in Lemon v Mead, limited and special grants of administration and assets outside the will.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Elizabeth Heenan
Convenor

Michael Bowyer

Sally Bruce

Nicoletta Ciffolilli

Tara Connolly

Natalie Connor

Rob Durey

Susan Fielding

Daniel Gill

Craig Gregson

Dr John Hockley

Patrick Hughes

Amanda Liston

Janette McCahon

Peter Lochore

Dr Peter MacMillan

Peter Nevin

Nova Oldfield

Michaela Speering

Kerstin Stringer

Matthew Wallis

Gabriel Wong

Daniel Yazdani

Employment Relations
Daniel White

2017/18 Annual Report

The Employee Relations Committee is represented by practitioners who practice in the fields of employment, industrial relations and diversity (including discrimination and harassment).

The fields of law dealt with by the Committee are subject to considerable legislative change from time to time depending on the Government of the day. As a result, the Committee remains committed to its bipartisan cause and largely refrains from making submissions to the Law Society’s Council on proposed legislative changes in order to maintain its neutrality.

A significant focus of the Committee’s work in the last year has been on the Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System. The Committee has provided two submissions to the Review and is awaiting the release of the final report. In particular, the submission expressed the Law Society’s concern that the Interim Report appears to suggest the possible abolition of the Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC). Appeals direct to a Supreme Court judge from the WAIRC, as suggested by the Interim Report, may create significantly increased case load work for the Supreme Court.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Daniel White
Convenor

David Blades

Philip Brunner

Joseph Burke

Stephen Butcher

Mark Cox

Anna Creegan

Catherine Fletcher

Cory Fogliani

Kendra Hagan

Renae Harding

Dominique Hartfield

Michael Jensen

Kimberley Jones

Stephen Kemp

Clarence Paul

Ben Watson

Environment, Town Planning and Local Government
Denis McLeod

2017/18 Annual Report

The Environment, Town Planning and Local Government Committee had a busy 2017/18 year with outcomes including:

  • continued advocacy on the transfer of environmental appeals to independent adjudication in the State Administrative Tribunal. The Committee is committed to continuing its efforts to deprive Western Australia of the distinction of being the only State where planning appeals are not dealt with by an independent tribunal;
  • a number of submissions to Government, including on the recent waste reform consultation; and
  • monitoring of:
    • the review of the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (WA);
    • State Planning Policy 2.8, and the impact on landowners of its provisions for uncompensated setting aside of land for conservation purposes; and
    • the possibility of Third Party planning appeals.

The Committee maintained its participation in the activities of the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group.

A major project of the Committee during the reporting period was to assist in dealing with the apparent depletion of the planning law specialist adjudicating membership at the State Administrative Tribunal, culminating in representations made by the Law Society to the Minister for Planning and the Attorney General. The Committee was pleased to note the appointment of his Honour Judge David Parry to the Tribunal in September 2017.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Denis McLeod
Convenor

Charmian Barton

Andrew Carr

Graham Castledine

Martin Flint

Clare Gleeson

Steven Halls

Eve Lynch

Alexander McGlue

Glen McLeod

Belinda Moharich

Gregory Mohen

Linda Rowley

Julius Skinner

Craig Slarke

Elisabeth Stevenson

Dr Stephen Willey

Ethics
Julian Sher

2017/18 Annual Report

The Ethics Committee had another active year, with sub-committees reporting on a range of issues, culminating in the publication of the Law Society’s new guidelines on Unbundling of Legal Services and the discussion paper People Unlawfully Engaging in Legal Work: Protecting the Community.

The Committee continues its work in advocating for the adoption of the Uniform Law in Western Australia, including providing a submission to the Law Council of Australia on its review of the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules and participating in the Law Society’s new Legal Profession Uniform Law Working Group. The Committee has also contributed to the Law Society’s
discussion paper concerning the Future of the Legal Profession and will continue to contribute to the Law Society’s Futures Reference Group.

The Convenor has contributed to the Law Society’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism legislation and Future of the Legal Profession Working Groups. He is occasionally asked to provide ethical advice to members of the Law Society and speak at public events.

The Committee undertakes a monitoring role of new methods of professional advertising and alternative ways of providing legal services and other professional conduct matters as required from time to time.

The Committee has commenced its general review of the Society’s Ethical and Practice Guidelines to ensure they remain up to date. The Committee thanks Cinzia Donald for her continuing assistance with this task.

The Committee acknowledges the considerable contribution to the Committee’s activities of Fiona Vernon (now Her Honour Judge Fiona Vernon). The Committee congratulates her on her appointment to the bench and acknowledges her invaluable role as Deputy Convenor of the Ethics Committee.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Julian Sher
Convenor

Michael Cashman

Cinzia Donald

Paul Evans

Angelina Gomez

Nicola Jansen

Ashley Macknay

Alain Musikanth

Nova Oldfield

Craig Slater

Fiona Stanton

Nicola Watts

Francis Burt Law Education Programme and Old Court House Museum Advisory
The Hon Wayne Martin AC

2017/18 Annual Report

The Committee has continued to oversee the activities of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme (the Programme), including the Mock Trial Competition (the Competition), and the Old Court House Law Museum (the Museum).

During the year under review, more than 10,000 participants received the benefit of programmes and services provided by the Programme. The Cluedunnit Kids competition continued its success in 2018 with joint winners from Peter Moyes Anglican Community and St Lawrence’s Primary School in Geraldton.

382 primary and secondary students and teachers benefitted from the Subsidised Schools Programme thanks to sponsorship from the WA university law faculties. Approximately 100 people attended the 2017 Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture presented by the Hon Robert French AC.

Progress has been made with the Lore Law Project; a long-term Aboriginal youth-led, skills for life approach that acknowledges Aboriginal youth often walk in two worlds. The project involves building and training a strong Aboriginal Youth Leadership Team to facilitate a Human Centred Design process with high risk communities; Stage 1: Five years, Stage 2: 10 years and Stage 3: 10+ years.

The winners of the 2017 Mock Trial Competition were from Chisholm Catholic College; the second year in a row that a team from this school won the Competition. In the 2018 Competition, over 1,300 students from 53 schools in 124 teams participated. The support and assistance of volunteers from the legal profession, who take on the role of either a team coach or a judge, is invaluable to the success of the Competition.

The number of visitors to the Old Court House Law Museum in the reporting period was 6,971, a 28% increase. Temporary exhibitions during the reporting period included John Burdett Wittenoom, The Anatomy of Crime – Cracking the World of Forensics, Kate George: The First Aboriginal Person to Study Law at UWA and The History of the Law Society of WA. Public programmes delivered included My Culture, My Story: Aboriginal Women Leaders in Law, a talk by historian Dr Pamela Statham-Drew on John Burdett Wittenoom and school holiday programmes. The Museum’s Oral Histories Project focused on digitising and standardising the collection in order to make it more accessible.

In December 2017 the Department of Education advised that it would cease its funding of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme and the Mock Trial Competition as at 1 July 2019. The Advisory Committee has commenced a project of strategic planning, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to investigate ways in which funding might be obtained to ensure the continuation of these valuable community services beyond July 2019.

For more information about this committee please email schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

The Hon Wayne Martin Martin AC
13th Chief Justice of Western Australia

Dr Adam Tomison
Director General
Department of Justice

Professor Jürgen Bröhmer
Dean, School of Law
Murdoch University

Professor Paul Fairall
Dean, School of Law
Curtin University

Emeritus Professor Peter Handford
University of Western Australia

Katja Levy
Rossello Chambers

Marshall McKenna
Gilbert and Tobin

Stephen Powell
Department of Education

Krishna Prasad
Dean, School of Law and Justice
Edith Cowan University

Pip Schrape
Supreme Court of Western Australia

Associate Professor Natalie Skead
Law Faculty, University of Western Australia

Professor Joan Squelch
Dean, School of Law
The University of Notre Dame Australia

General Conditions for the Sale of Land
Frank Poeta

2017/18 Annual Report

The main focus of the General Conditions for the Sale of Land Committee’s work in 2017/18 was the full review of the Joint Form of General Conditions for the Sale of Land (Joint Form) to produce an updated 2018 revision. The 2018 revision incorporated the Foreign Residents Withholding Annexure and the Electronic Conveyancing Annexure and included a number of amendments to update the form including:

  • provisions to address the changes to the Sale of Land Act 1970;
  • updates to the provisions dealing with encumbrances;
  • provisions dealing with the Personal Property Securities Act 2009;
  • provisions dealing with electronic conveyancing;
  • provisions dealing with the CGT withholding tax regime;
  • updates to the provisions dealing with duty;
  • changes to the provisions dealing with the buyer’s right and time to inspect;
  • changes to the provisions dealing with the seller’s warranties; and
  • provisions to allow service of notices by email.

The 2018 revision of the Joint Form was approved by the Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia in October 2017 and released in February 2018.

In addition, the Committee produced an Annexure to deal with the Federal Government’s implementation of the new residential premises buyer GST withholding regime effective from 1 July 2018. This regime requires a buyer of new residential premises to withhold the GST otherwise payable by the seller to the ATO and pay that amount directly to the ATO, or for the buyer to provide the seller with a bank cheque for that amount payable to the ATO. The Annexure was approved by the Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia in June 2018. It is proposed
that the provisions included in the Annexure will be included in the next revision of the Joint Form.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Frank Poeta
Convenor

Christopher Booth

Meagan Johnston

John Prevost

Gary Thomas

Peta Whyte

Craig Bradley
REIWA

Hayden Groves
REIWA

Ross McCallum
REIWA

Deputy Convenor
Gary Thomas

Gabriel Wong

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Greg McIntyre SC

2017/18 Annual Report

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee met jointly with the Administrative, Constitutional and Migration Law Committee during the past year.

  • In 2017/18, the Committee monitored the work of the Law Council of Australia in developing policy positions on:
  • the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory;
  • the Closing the Gap Refresh;
  • the Religious Freedom Review; and
  • the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The Convenor is the Law Society representative on the Law Council of Australia’s National Human Rights Committee. Committee member Jennifer Hill is the Law Society representative on the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee.

The Committee is also represented on the Law Society’s Aboriginal Incarceration and Justice Reinvestment Working Group, which contributed to the Law Council of Australia’s submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into the Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Members of the Committee have also assisted the Law Society to develop a briefing paper in relation to end of life choices in anticipation of the Joint Select Committee Inquiry Report into the need for laws in Western Australia to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices.

The Committee is preparing a position paper on the introduction of a Human Rights Act in Western Australia.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Greg McIntyre SC
Convenor

Nicola Ashford

Alexandria Bishop

Zoe Bush

Rebecca Dennison

Alexander Griffiths

Kendra Hagan

Elizabeth Heenan

Jennifer Hill

Michael Jensen

Elizabeth Needham

Ilse Petersen

Rabia Siddique

Dr Carolyn Tan

In-house/Government Lawyers
Pamela Hass

2017/18 Annual Report

The In-house/Government Lawyers Committee aims to promote and support the specific needs of in-house and government lawyers within the Law Society. It particularly seeks to promote increased understanding in the wider profession of the in-house sector which constitutes over 30% of the national legal profession.

The Committee continues to support the Law Society’s CPD programme with suggestions for seminars and participation in seminars which not only engage the in-house sector but also inform and educate the private profession on the particular challenges facing in-house practitioners.

The Committee is in the process of preparing to host a Law Society social function for members from other in-house organisations such as AMPLA, ACC and SOUL to socialise with members of the Law Society. This will be the second function of this nature, the first highly successful function being in the 2016/17 year.

The Committee has continued its work of the last two years to improve the situation of restricted practitioners who are supervised by a non-prescribed agency under the Legal Profession Act 2008.

The Committee is also working to highlight other issues of concern to in-house and government practitioners including workload stress with numerous approved redundancies in the public sector.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Pamela Hass
Convenor

Elisabeth Edwards
Deputy Convenor

Avril Bartlett

Sarah Coxon

David Davidson

Peter Doherty

Ilse Petersen

Miriam Sauley

Zoran Vukojevic

Indigenous Legal Issues

2017/18 Annual Report

This year, the Indigenous Legal Issues Committee joined with representatives from the Law Society’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee and Access to Justice Committee to prepare a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into the Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The Committee continues to support the implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the Law Society, which entered into the ‘Innovate’ phase. The Innovate RAP establishes the Law Society’s approach for advancing reconciliation within the organisation and outlines its reconciliation strategies and initiatives.

The Law Society’s Mentoring Programme for Indigenous law students completed its eighth year. The Law Society will be looking to further develop its relationships with each of the universities to ensure the success of this valuable programme and that students are properly supported.

As part of the Committee’s activities the Law Society co-hosted with the Chief Justice of Western Australia, the Hon. Wayne Martin AC, a panel discussion that also provided a networking platform for Indigenous law students and members of the profession as well as profile the work of the Committee.

The Committee continues to work closely with the Francis Burt Legal Education Programme to provide input and advice in relation to programmes and initiatives being developed by the Programme. This includes the Lore Law Project, an educational campaign targeting Aboriginal youth in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia and providing education about legal rights and responsibilities to school and community groups.

The Committee maintains its commitment to communicating on issues of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recommended to the Law Society’s Council a set of cultural protocols and guidelines for practitioners representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia. The Protocols for Lawyers with Aboriginal or Torres Strait
Islander Clients in Western Australia are available on the Society’s website.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Hon Michael Barker
Convenor

Chloe D’Souza

Emma Garlett

Tegan Harrington

Marree Hart

Marshall McKenna

Jenny McKenzie

John Ralph

Tammy Solonec

Insolvency and Reconstruction

2017/18 Annual Report

The Insolvency and Reconstruction Law Committee is a committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

As in previous years, the Committee has continued to liaise with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Financial Security Authority and the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association, and the Committee is ably assisted by Adrian Saggers of ASIC and Paul Devellerez of AFSA who continue regularly attending its meetings
and provide invaluable insights.

The Committee also works with other members of the Law Council’s subcommittee in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. At the end of 2017, the Committee’s state and national Chair, Victoria Butler, retired her position after many years of service.

The federal reform agenda in the insolvency profession has continued this year, requiring substantial work from the Committee, which made a number of submissions to government, including on:

  • Treasury’s paper on proposals to combat illegal phoenixing;
  • the Inquiry into the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No 2) Bill 2017 (in conjunction with the Law Council’s Corporations Committee);
  • the Bankruptcy Amendment (Enterprises Incentives) Bill 2017; and
  • the ATO’s use of garnishee notices (in conjunction with the Law Council’s Taxation Committee).

In October 2017, Committee members attended the Law Council’s Insolvency and Reconstruction annual workshop in Sydney with members of the committees of the other states.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Chris Pearce
Convenor

Philip Blaxill

Victoria Butler

Paul Devellerez

Samuel Dundas

James Healy

Dr Eric Heenan

Richard Johnson

Robert McKenzie

Chris McLeod

Nino Odorisio

Claire Petersen

Adrian Saggers

Intellectual Property and Technology

2017/18 Annual Report

The Intellectual Property and Technology Committee liaises regularly with IP Australia, the statutory body that administers Intellectual Property laws in Australia, in relation to legislative proposals to amend intellectual property practice and procedure.

The Committee liaises with the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ), the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA), and the Federal Court of Australia regarding various educational seminars held in Perth.

As part of the expanded Terms of Reference to focus more broadly on technology and intellectual property issues, the Committee has provided detailed submissions to the Law Society’s Council in relation to the Review of the Law Council of Australia Cyber Precedent website. The Committee also liaised with the WA Committee of IPSANZ  to promote a trade mark law update presented by Victorian Barrister, Ed Heerey.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Nicholas Stamatiou
Convenor

Madeleen Rousseau

Stephanie Rowland

Joint Law Society/Women Lawyers of WA
Catherine Fletcher

2017/18 Annual Report

The Joint Law Society/Women Lawyers Committee is a liaison group between Women Lawyers of Western Australia (Inc) and the Law Society.

During 2017/18, the Committee:

  • conducted a review of the Quality Practice Standards (QPS) to identify opportunities where the QPS can address diversity and inclusion issues;
  • updated the Law Society’s Equality of Opportunity Model Briefing Policy, which now encourages all briefing entities to adopt the Law Council of Australia’s National Model Gender Equitable Briefing Policy;
  • hosted a very successful High Tea with keynote speaker Fiona McLeod SC, who delivered a presentation on the topic ‘Mind the Gap: It’s the journey as well as the destination’;
  • assisted in developing a seminar on workplace diversity initiatives chaired by the Convenor and presented by Libby Lyons (Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency), Margie Tannock (Squire Patton Boggs), Jake Howard (Norton Rose Fulbright), Elizabeth Macknay (Herbert Smith Freehills) and Leanne Nickels (DLA Piper); and
  • nominated candidates for the 2018 WA Women’s Hall of Fame and the WLWA Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards.

The Committee also assisted the Law Society’s Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession Working Group to implement the Law Society’s Final Directions Paper, a strategic plan for
addressing the recommendations in WLWA’s 20th Anniversary Review of the 1994 Chief Justice’s Gender Bias Taskforce Report. At the time of writing the Committee is developing an
exit survey to identify retention issues and trends in consultation with firms so that there is shared information about gender equity issues.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Catherine Fletcher
Convenor

Rebecca Lee
Deputy Convenor

Melanie Callow

Debbie Clinch

Hayley Dodson

Susan Diamond

Cinzia Donald

Malerie Durham

Jennifer Hill

Daniela Ion

Tuba Omer

Janette McCahon

Jasmine Sims

Charmaine Tsang

Mental Health and Wellbeing
David Davidson

2017/18 Annual Report

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee worked carefully through the 13 recommendations that were adopted under the Law Society’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Recommendations 2016-2020 (following the review of the 2011 Report on Psychological Distress and Depression in the Legal Profession).

An example of this was the review of Recommendation 12, which involved assisting the Law Society to develop a seminar on fostering healthy relationships with the bench.

In conjunction with the Young Lawyers Committee, the Committee developed a survey for junior lawyers in order to learn more about the issues they face as a result of their working conditions and to provide some context for potential initiatives aimed at addressing these issues.

The Committee has encouraged strong advocacy about the use and access of the Law Society’s LawCare WA programme and has monitored the use of the Member Assistance Programme (counselling service) and the Employee Relations Advice Line. The Committee promoted the use of the Locum Register and outlined the benefits, especially to small firms and sole practitioners, of taking leave and allowing another practitioner to operate their business.

Committee members are proactive in promoting the mental health services that the Law Society provides at events and seminars.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

David Davidson
Convenor

David Blades

Libby Fulham

Emma Griffiths

Justine Howard

Alyce Lynch

Philippa Rezos

Linda Richardson

Nicholas Snare

Amanda Sommerville

Matthew Wallis

Personal Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Gray Porter

2017/18 Annual Report

The Personal Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Committee has continued its involvement in matters affecting the administration of compensation claims and damages awards for personal injuries.

The Committee has recommended that the Law Society make submissions in relation to the Workers Compensation (Legal Practitioners & Registered Agents) Costs Determination, and a request has been made of the WorkCover WA Costs Committee that it convene and call for submissions.

The Committee continues to await draft regulations under the Health Services Act 2016 (Cth) regarding public hospitals’ claims for recovery of medical expenses from compensable patients post-settlement. The issue of access to hospital and medical practitioner files prelitigation was also an issue of consideration by the Committee.

Members of the Committee continue to participate in WorkCover WA’s Conciliation and Arbitration Service Users’ Group and Costs Committee. The Deputy Convenor continues to serve on the Law Council of Australia’s Personal Injuries and Compensation Committee which meets to discuss the compensation systems in the various states.

Other matters reviewed by the Committee this year included the Limitation Act amendment for child abuse and the Commonwealth redress scheme and amendments considered necessary to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.

Legislative review of the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 1981 remains pending. The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia’s project on Claims for Non-Economic Loss for Wrongful Death under the Fatal Accidents Act 1959 is expected to occupy the Committee during 2018/19.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Gray Porter
Convenor

David Bruns
Deputy Convenor

Michelle Antunovich

Mark Civitella

Dan Connor

Erica Dobson

Asanka Gunasekera

Karina Hafford

Vidal Pinckney-Hockless

Joel Trigg

Kerry Wood

Nakkie Le Roux

Professional Indemnity Insurance Management

2017/18 Annual Report

The Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee (PIIMC) has, as required by the Legal Profession Act, put in place the PI insurance arrangements for the 2017/18 financial year. The negotiations were similar to previous years. The insurance placement includes consideration of the actuarial report prepared by our actuary, advice of our broker and our staff.

Ultimately, the annual contribution rate decreased by an average of approximately 10%, primarily due to prudent capital management enabling the subsidisation of the rate. We hope to be in a position to stabilise or further reduce rates in future years. However, this, as always will depend on claims outcomes and underwriting market conditions. I would mention also claims numbers in the last two years have shown an increase on the five year average.

PIIMC has continued its focus on risk management initiatives that will, over time, lower the incidence and cost of claims leading to more stable contributions subject of course to the underwriting market. The most visible sign of this is the ongoing successful risk management seminar programme. However, we have continued to increase risk management resources initiatives. Importantly, we have targeted higher risk firms for specific risk management reviews.

We are pleased that they have all accepted the recommendations that resulted and are working to improve their internal risk management.

The Law Mutual team has highly experienced insurance capabilities that enabled us to fully analyse the PI insurance arrangements to ensure they are fair and equitable to practitioners and their clients while maintaining a very broad coverage at a reasonable cost.

Financially, Law Mutual is in a very sound position and neither the annual audit nor actuarial reports for 2016/2017 were qualified.

Finally I wish to thank PIIMC committee members for their diligence and contribution for what has been another challenging but rewarding year.

In particular, I farewell Laurie Shervington and Ian Williams from the PIIMC, with my personal thanks for their guidance and help during their term on the Committee. I also welcome our two new members, Peter Forbes and Robert Evans, who commenced on 1 July 2018.

For more information about this committee please email info@lawmutualwa.com.au

Committee Members

Dudley Stow
Chair

Peter Forbes

Robert Evans

Denis McLeod

Eric Heenan

Jocelyne Boujos

Paula Wilkinson

Professional Standards Scheme
Alain Musikanth

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Professional Standards Scheme commenced on 1 July 2014. The Scheme caps occupational liability of participating members at $1.5 million, $5 million or $10 million depending on the insurance policies and total annual fee income of the law practice.

The Professional Standards Scheme Committee was established to:

  • consider issues relating to the Scheme, the Professional Standards Councils (PSCs) and the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA);
  • act under specific delegation of the Law Society’s Council, where granted, to make decisions in accordance with the Scheme and the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA);
  • develop policy to assist in administering the Scheme;
  • make recommendations from time to time to Law Society’s Council regarding the administration of the Scheme; and
  • review the Scheme from time to time.

During the 2017/18 year, the Committee considered a number of applications for higher discretionary caps and made recommendations to Council. Four applications for discretionary caps were approved by Council during the course of the year. The Committee also oversaw the preparation and submission of the Law Society’s fourth annual compliance report to the PSCs and the second year of implementation of the Scheme’s risk management and compliance framework.

The Committee is pleased to report that as at 30 June 2018, the Scheme had 1,489 participating members; 204 more than the number of participating members a year earlier.

For more information about this committee please email pss@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Alain Musikanth
Convenor

Brendan Ashdown

Nathan Ebbs

Greg Pynt

Verginia Serdev-Patterson

Craig Slater

Property Law
Gary Thomas

2017/18 Annual Report

The focus of the Property Law Committee this year has been on the significant changes to the Strata Titles Act 1985, the new Community Titles Bill 2018, the implementation of electronic conveyancing and the consideration of the implications for the sale of the Western Australian land registry.

At the time of this report the Strata Titles Bill 2018 and the Community Titles Bill 2018 have been introduced and second read in the Legislative Assembly and it is the Government’s intention that both Bills be passed by the end of 2018. The Government has also announced that consistent with the Law Society’s Position Paper, Sale of the Western Australian Land Registry, it will not be
privatising the Western Australian land registry.

The Committee has worked closely with the Strata Titles Act Reform Team at Landgate to ensure that its comments on the Bills were considered by the Government in the drafting process.

Members of the Property Law Committee represent the Law Society on a number of external stakeholder groups and committees, the Law Council of Australia Legal Practice Section Australian Property Law Group, and the Law Council of Australia E-conveyancing Working Group. Notably during this period there was a lot of activity for Law Society representatives on the Landgate Industry Reference Group and the PEXA Industry Reference Group.

As in previous years, the Committee has continued to monitor issues arising in specific areas including the Contaminated Sites Act 2003, retirement villages, the Land Titles Registration Manual and the Business Focused Amendments to the Transfer of Land Act 1893.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Gary Thomas
Convenor

Marcus Easthope
Deputy Convenor

Mark Atkinson

Peter Beekink

Christopher Booth

Sarah Coxon

Susan Dukes

Malerie Durham

Craig James

Meagan Johnston

John Prevost

Doug Solomon

Peta Whyte

Gabriel Wong

Joel Yeldon

Quality Practice Standard
Craig Slater

2017/18 Annual Report

The QPS committee is proud to report that of the 45 accredited firms, 10 firms can claim 20 years as an accredited firm and 18 more firms have more than 10 years such experience. The committee celebrates and congratulates those firms on these important milestones.

In the last year the QPS Committee welcomed two new firms to the QPS scheme.

The QPS Committee continued to provide CPD programmes and assisted with other CPD training.

The QPS Committee introduced a networking event for QPS firms to coincide with the QPS training and the Committee looks forward to increasing the number and usefulness of such events for QPS accredited firms.

The QPS Committee was pleased to note that the Council of the Law Society agreed with the conclusions of the QPS strategic review that the QPS scheme has the potential to be a high value education service that responds to the needs of members when: tendering for work; complying with client requirements; marketing; complying with the Professional Standards Scheme
(PSS); and, meeting Law Mutual (WA) insurance discount requirements. The Committee looks forward to working on the recommendations of the review including: increasing the positive marketing for the scheme; addressing the risk management requirements of PSS and Law Mutual (WA); and, the operational review of the scheme.

The Committee in the coming year will consider how the scheme will change to address integrating the QPS with changes that will arise from WA participation in the National Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme.

The QPS Committee considered and discussed with a representative of the Joint Law Society and Women Lawyers Committee, the 2014 Gender Bias Taskforce Review by Women Lawyers of WA. Consistent with the Council’s resolution to implement aspects of that report as suggested in the Law Society’s Final Directions paper, the QPS Committee resolved to take a leadership position
with this issue and will consider how the QPS scheme can expressly address some of the recommendations on flexible workplace practices.

At the end of the financial year the Council of the Law Society deferred the completion of the operational review of the QPS scheme. The QPS Committee looks forward to responding and completing that review by 30 June 2019.

For more information about this committee please email qps@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Craig Slater
Convenor

Dorothy Guerini

Peter Liron

Andrew McGuiness

Julie Ots

Murray Thornhill

David Vilensky

Taxation
Dr John Hockley

2017/18 Annual Report

The Taxation Committee sits as a joint Committee of the Law Society of Western Australia and the Law Council of Australia. The Committee is an active one meeting monthly at the offices of the Law Society.

A new initiative in 2018 is that members of the Tax Committee have been working with the editor and committee of Brief, the Journal of the Law Society of Western Australia, to write regular columns on current taxation issues to further the education of readers and members of the Law Society.

In 2018 the Committee welcomed new members to the Tax Committee. Their willingness to join the Committee and contribute at the meeting is commendable. The Committee is actively seeking new members and will consider any applications to join.

In 2017-2018 the Tax Committee made submissions on various State and Commonwealth taxation issues. This work involved considerable effort by members resulting in an improvement in the taxation laws.

Further refining of the procedural requirements of the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Tax that came into force on 1 July 2016 occurred.

The Committee members have been involved in serving on various Committees of the Law Society, the Law Council of Australia and various advisory Taxation Committees involving
the Australian Taxation Office and other representative organisations.

The Taxation Committee has continued to be represented on the Tax Round Table, a practitioner’s forum to assist practitioners’ access to the ATO.

Members of the Committee have been active presenting Continuing Legal Education Seminars for the Law Society.

Members of the Committee are engaged in providing seminars for providers such as Continuing Legal Education and various professional associations.

Members of the Taxation Committee published articles of interest to the legal profession in Brief and other journals.

Members of the Committee would like to thank Grahame Young for keeping the Committee updated on all State and Interstate Revenue Issues and developments at the State Revenue Office.

Members of the Committee would like to thank Humphrey Faas for keeping the Committee informed of recent developments in taxation raised by the Taxation Committee of the Law Council of Australia (LCA). Humphry presents a report at Committee meetings on the activities of the LCA in the development of taxation laws in Australia. Members of the Committee attended the LCA Taxation Committee’s Annual Workshop held on the Twin Waters Resort in Queensland. Many attendees find this Workshop very beneficial and attendance is encouraged.

I would like to thank all members of the Committee for their support during the year. The Committee had a very successful year.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Committee Members

Dr John Hockley
Convenor

Humphry Faas
Deputy Convenor

Jocelyne Boujos

John Fickling

Fiona Halsey

Thomas Henn

Jonathon Leek

David Murphy

Sam Radici

Alex Sceales

Robert Sceales

Matthew Sunits

Clare Thompson

Zoran Vukojevic

Grahame Young

Chelsea Walsh

Young Lawyers
Young Lawyers Committee

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) is dedicated to providing key support to new members of the profession.

During the year the Law Society through the YLC provided a range of events focused on the young and emerging segment of membership including:

  • social events to promote collegiality, such as the Welcome to the Profession breakfast and inter-firm sporting events (volleyball and netball);
  • the Western Australian Golden Gavel Competition, which was held as an evening event instead of a breakfast event for the second time in 2017 and was a highlight of the social calendar;
  • the Practical Advocacy Weekend, including a preparatory seminar as well as a weekend of coaching sessions by judges and other senior members of the profession, which was held in the Children’s Court in Perth for the first time in 2017 instead of in Mandurah, in order to make the event more accessible for practitioners;
  • raising awareness about social justice issues through a panel discussion during Law Week 2018 on the topic of access to justice for Indigenous Peoples, chaired by Michael Lundberg, Quinn Emanuel Urqhart & Sullivan and attended by a panel comprised of the Hon John Quigley MLA, Attorney General of Western Australia, the Hon Justice Robert Mazza, Supreme Court of Western Australia, Peter Collins, Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and Tammy Solonec, Amnesty International;
  • informing junior lawyers about alternative career paths, with a focus on social justice and community legal centres, at the Social Justice Opportunities Evening;
  • mental health and wellbeing initiatives, including a Geoffrey Robertson QC-style mental health hypothetical panel discussion;
  • informal networking opportunities for lawyers in small to mid-sized firms through the Small Firms Network; and
  • the annual Law Student Mentoring Programme, which in 2018 included law students from all Western Australian law faculties for the first time and which continues to increase in numbers – from 50 students in 2017 to 76 students in 2018.

In recognition of the changing legal landscape, the YLC has maintained its focus on giving junior lawyers the opportunity to build their professional networks with young professional bodies from other industries, including accounting, consulting and engineering. This includes meeting with various young professional bodies, promoting their events and holding regular Inter Profession Networking events. In 2018, the Committee hosted a Speed Networking event, which gave young professionals the opportunity to develop “soft” skills and network with professionals from other industries.

In addition to these initiatives, the YLC also:

  • introduced a new agony aunt column, Aunt Prudence Juris, and interviews with members of the profession who have had diverse and interesting career paths, in the Brief journal;
  • continued to arrange monthly case notes and provide various articles for Brief;
  • conducted a survey of junior lawyers seeking feedback on issues facing junior lawyers and on the Committee’s activities;
  • continued to connect with the five Western Australian Law Student Faculty Societies and the Australian Young Lawyers Committee; and
  • continued to welcome observers at Committee meetings.

Role of the Young Lawyers Committee

The Young Lawyers Committee works to deliver key support for new members of the profession, including:

  • Networking and collegiality opportunities through social and sporting events
  • Career support with a job register for graduates, mentoring scheme, CPD events, LawCare WA, Vacation Clerk Recruitment Dates
  • Keep informed with newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Representation of Young Lawyers: your issues and concerns discussed at a state and national level

Please see our Young Lawyers legal circles page for more information, or read the YLC Strategic Plan 2015-18 for more information.

Initiatives

YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme

The YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme pairs emerging practitioners with current law students to provide guidance and support to the transition from student to law graduate and then to lawyer.

The Programme runs from May to November, commencing with a launch event and will wrap up with an end of programme event for all participants, as well as various touch points throughout the course of the Programme.

For students: This is your opportunity to gain insight into the profession, invaluable advice, skills and support during your studies.

For current practitioners: As former law students, we all know the importance of guidance and a helping hand from an experienced mentor. This is your chance to share your experiences from your first few years of practice and develop your mentoring skills. Students from all WA universities are invited to participate in the Programme so we need a strong uptake from mentors.

To participate you must be a current member of the Law Society.

Please note that applications for the 2019 Programme have closed.

If you would like to learn more about the programme, please email younglawyers@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Advice for Students

Watch our video of our members sharing their insights and stories into the different areas of law and their advice on navigating life at university.

Events

The Young Lawyers Committee, in conjunction with the Law Society, hosts a wide array of events throughout the year. Visit our Events page to find out more.

Focus Areas

The Young Lawyers Committee has a number of focus areas, which organise many of its initiatives.

Social & Sport

The group focuses on bringing events to young lawyers that encourage networking and socialising across the profession.

We ensure the young lawyers that work within small firms have the opportunity to participate in group social and sporting events. These activities also encourage young lawyers to build networks and friendships in order to work towards better mental health and a sense of belonging.

Education & Careers

The group contributes to the development and co-ordination of the YLC Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Human Rights & Social Justice

This group raises awareness and instigates debate about important human rights and social justice issues relevant to the profession. Its work demonstrates to young lawyers why engaging in human rights and social justice issues is valuable to the profession.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Join the Committee

Membership of the Young Lawyers Committee is limited to members of the Law Society. To express an interest in joining the Committee, please contact the Committee Secretary on (08) 9324 8600 or email younglawyers@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Committee Members

The Young Lawyers Committee is composed of members appointed by the Law Society. The Committee also includes representatives of the Law Society’s Council and is represented on the Australian Young Lawyers Committee of the Law Council of Australia. The current Committee members are:

Zoe Bush
Convenor
State Solicitor’s Office of Western Australia

Natalie Connor
Deputy Convenor

Jack Carroll
Deputy Convenor
Kott Gunning

Hayley Graydon
Deputy Convenor
DLA Piper

Melanie Callow
Vix Technology

Olivia Doray
Australian Government Solicitor

Sean Gomes
Leaker Partners

Angela Hayes
Kim Wilson & Co

Michelle Leach
Solomon Brothers

alyce-lynch

Alyce Lynch
Clayton Utz

Fiona Poh
Herbert Smith Freehills

Hague Skinner
DLA Piper

Alexander Noonan

Alex Ward-Noonan
Clyde & Co