The Professional Standards Scheme provides a significant benefit for Law Society members. The (original) Scheme commenced on 1 July 2014 and does not apply to claims prior to that date or prior to your commencement with the Scheme. That Scheme ceases on 30 June 2019 and will be replaced by the second Professional Standards Scheme which will operate from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024.
Limitation of liability
Subject to any member’s application for a higher maximum liability cut-off, the Scheme caps occupational liability of participating members to an amount of $1.5 million, $5 million or $10 million depending on the insurance policies and total annual fee income of the law practice.
The Scheme applies to Ordinary, Life and Incorporated Legal Practice members. The Law Society requires members to whom the Scheme applies to complete a Participant Information Form and return it with the payment:
- 2019-20 Professional Standards Scheme participation information – New Member form
- For the new financial year: 2020-21 Professional Standards Scheme participation information – New Member form
Renewing members are required to complete and return the applicable Participant Information Form (payment will be made via the Law Society Membership Renewal invoice):
- 2019-20 Professional Standards Scheme participant information – Renewing Member Form
- For the new financial year: 2020-21 Professional Standards Scheme participant information – Renewing Member Form
A fee of $50 (per annum) GST exempt, to be remitted to the Professional Standards Council, will be payable for each Participating Member, including ILPs.
To join the Law Society as an Ordinary or ILP member please visit lawsocietywa.asn.au/join
This is an opt-out Scheme which, subject to the provisions of the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA) applies to Law Society members. Subject to the Act, members may “opt out” by applying for exemption from the Scheme by completing the Application for Exemption form:
- 2019-20 Online Application for Exemption form
- For the new financial year: 2020-21 Online Application for Exemption form
The Scheme will cease to apply to such a member from the date the exemption is granted.
Please be advised that due to COVID-19 we will be unable to process your exemption application via a hard-copy form until further notice and, as such, the form is no longer available to download from our website. Please forward all exemption correspondence via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Higher Maximum Amount
The Law Society has discretionary authority, on application by a participating member, to specify a higher maximum amount of liability:
Participating members need to disclose their limited liability status. Non-disclosure is an offence under the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA). Further information regarding disclosure is available in the Professional Standards Scheme Guide, and on the Professional Standards Council website.
- 2020-21 Professional Standards Scheme Guide
- 2019-20 Professional Standards Scheme Guide
- 2020-21 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2019-20 Frequently Asked Questions
- Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA)
- Professional Standards Regulations 1998 (WA)
- 2019-24 Law Society of Western Australia Scheme Document
- 2014-19 Law Society of Western Australia Scheme Document
- Law Society member agreement
If the Professional Standards Scheme Guide does not address your query, please contact the Scheme Coordinator on (08) 9324 8653 or email@example.com.