Western Australia to Adopt Legal Profession Uniform Law
The Law Society of Western Australia has welcomed the announcement by the Attorney General, the Hon John Quigley MLA, that Western Australia will join the Legal Profession Uniform Law Scheme, providing another step towards a national legal market.
Following the announcement, the Attorney General, the Hon John Quigley MLA, advised in March 2020 that the Legal Profession Uniform Law will not commence in Western Australia before 1 January 2021. Read the Law Society’s media statement.
Uniform Law in NSW and Victoria
The Legal Profession Uniform Law commenced operation in New South Wales and Victoria on 1 July 2015, replacing the Legal Profession Act 2004 in both jurisdictions. The objective of the reform was to create a common legal services market in New South Wales and Victoria, underpinned by a uniform regulatory system.
This governs matters such as:
- practising certificate types and conditions;
- maintaining and auditing of trust accounts;
- continuing professional development requirements;
- complaints handling processes;
- billing arrangements; and
- professional discipline issues.
For more information please visit legalservicescouncil.org.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 will apply to interstate practitioners when practising in New South Wales and Victoria from 1 July 2015.
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.
- Legal Profession Uniform Law Policy Position (December 2016)
- The Law Society’s review of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Report (August 2014)
- Law Council of Australia Speech – National Legal Profession Reform (November 2011, Attorney-General Michael Mischin MLC)
- Taskforce Paper on Business Structures – Law Practices (25 November 2009)
- Hon Robert McClelland MP, Federal Attorney General’s speech at Law Summer School 2010 (26 February 2010)
- Hon Robert McClelland MP, Federal Attorney General’s interview with The Australian newspaper on the draft Bill consultation (14 May 2010)
- Overview of Regulatory Framework for National Regulation of the Legal Profession (22 December 2010)
- Draft Legal Profession National Law (December 2010)
- Draft Legal Profession National Rules (December 2010)
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:
- Business Structures – Law Practices
- Trust Money
- Fidelity Cover
- National Legal Services Ombudsman
- Regulatory Framework and Ombudsman
- Letter from LCA re Regulatory Framework
- Law Society of Western Australia Submission to the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce (August 2010)
- Law Council of Australia Submission to the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce (August 2010)