Important Update on Uniform Law in Western Australia

Commencement Date in Western Australia

The Solicitor-General, Joshua Thompson SC, has advised the Law Society that the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly were prorogued on 7 December 2020 and the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Bill 2020 and the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application (Levy) Bill 2020 have lapsed.

The Attorney General has recently written to the New South Wales and Victorian Attorneys General seeking to extend the operation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Legal Profession Uniform Law Framework to 1 January 2022 and to confirm the State Government’s commitment to joining the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme.

The Attorney General has also advised that, if the McGowan Government is re-elected, then the proposed commencement date for the Legal Profession Uniform Law will be postponed to 1 January 2022 unless it can be implemented earlier.

Legal Profession Uniform Law Fact Sheets

These Fact Sheets provide general information of an introductory nature on various aspects of the Uniform Law.  The Fact Sheets will be added to and updated as the Uniform Law progresses in Western Australia:

1 – Overview of the Uniform Law
2A – Cost Disclosures Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law
2B – Legal Profession Uniform Law Cost Disclosure – Reasonable Steps
4 – Billing Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law
6 – Consumer Complaints Involving Costs Disputes Under the Uniform Law
7 – Prohibition on Engaging in Legal Practice by Unqualified Entities
8 – Incorporated Legal Practises Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law
9 – Law Practices – Unincorporated Legal Practice
10 – Practising in WA Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law – Individuals

Stay informed with the Law Society’s CPD Seminar Series

The Law Society is pleased to announce that our Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL) CPD Seminar Series is now available.

On Wednesday, 30 September 2020, an Introductory Information Session was held with The Hon John Quigley MLA, Attorney General of Western Australia, Joshua Thomson SC, Solicitor General, the Legal Practice Board, and more, to discuss the key changes that will affect legal practitioners.

Join us on Twilight Thursdays for focused sessions looking at some of the most impactful changes in more detail. All our sessions will be recorded and will be replayed on Mondays. Find out more here.

Sponsored by the Department of Justice.

The Law Society of Western Australia fully endorses the adoption of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and has campaigned for it since 2014. Find out more about the historical background by clicking on the link below.

Historical Background

On 5 February 2009, the Council of Australian Governments agreed that further work needed to be done to nationalise regulation of the legal profession in Australia and the National Legal Profession Reform Project was established. Background papers of the project are available at ag.gov.au.

The introduction of a uniform system of legal profession regulation has been a goal of the Law Council of Australia. This is considered to be a significant milestone towards a truly national profession, and a positive example of the profession taking a leadership role in setting its own standards.

The Law Council has produced a fact sheet which provides an overview of the arrangements that applies to interstate practitioners when practising in New South Wales and Victoria from 1 July 2015.

The Law Society of Western Australia fully endorses the adoption of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and has campaigned for it since 2014. See Briefing Paper here for more details.

Additional Papers:

Submissions to National Taskforce

Below are joint submissions by the various state and territory law societies and bar associations that have been submitted in response to the National Legal Profession Reform project taskforce’s discussion papers released in late 2009 and the Federal Government’s draft Bill consultation period in mid-2010: