Professional Standards Scheme

2016/17 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’s focus is 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 2016/17, the Committee considered a number of applications for higher discretionary caps and made recommendations to the Law Society’s Council. Six applications for discretionary caps were approved by the Law Society during the course of the year. The Committee also oversaw the preparation and submission of the Law Society’s third annual compliance report to the PSCs and the first year of implementation of the Scheme’s new risk management and compliance framework.

The name of the Scheme was changed from the Limitation of Liability Scheme to the Professional Standards Scheme in October 2016 to create consistency with the language of the Professional Standards legislation and to emphasise the Scheme’s role in delivering ongoing improvements to professional standards and consumer protection.

The Committee is pleased to report that as at 30 June 2017, the Scheme had 1,285 participating members; nearly 180 more than the number of participating members in the previous year.

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