2015/16 Annual Report

The Accreditation Committee’s role is to advise the Law Society’s Council on the rules and regulations that govern the granting of accreditation by the Law Society. In a secondary role, the Committee acts in an advisory capacity for family law accreditation, a specialist practice in which Law Society members can be accredited.

The main tasks for the Committee this year were primarily:

• assessment of both standard and relevance of activities for which points might be allocated to accredited specialists;
• finalising the biennial assessment and examination process for candidates seeking to be accredited;
• discussing the national examination results and formalising guidelines on the marking process for 2017 assessment programme;
• undertaking the audit for reaccreditation of existing accredited practitioners;
• undertaking the application for reaccreditation of existing accredited practitioners; and
• examining the guidelines for the use of the term specialist in Western Australia and making submissions in relation to same.

The Convenor and the Committee Secretary also attended regular meetings of the National Family Law Steering Committee conducted by teleconference.

The main issues the Committee took up with the National Family Law Steering Committee were:

• the examination and timetabling of the accreditation process and which is run nationally;
• uniformity/moderation of marking examination material;
• appeal processes;
• assistance to candidates contemplating undertaking the process; and
• the use of the term specialist in each state and the guidelines for the use of such terms in Western Australia.

This year the biennial family law accreditation assessment programme was completed and from the nine candidates who participated in the programme, the Committee would like to congratulate Denby Kerr of DCH Legal, Jane Johnson of Kim Wilson & Co and Julia Mansfield of Kennedy Partners on their successful completion of the programme and their appointment as Family Law Accredited Specialists.

The Law Society’s accreditation programme provides family law practitioners the opportunity to be formally recognised as having a high level of competency in their field. Accredited specialists have the added benefit of being able to use the family accredited specialist logo and branding on their marketing material to promote their high standing in the area.

The next accreditation assessment programme will commence in March 2017.

The Law Society has currently 42 accredited family law specialists in Western Australia.

List of current Accredited Family Law Specialists

For more information about this committee please email