1 July 2015 will be a significant milestone in the way the legal profession in New South Wales and Victoria is regulated when the Legal Profession Uniform Law replaces the Legal Profession Act 2004 in both of those jurisdictions, and the regulations and rules made under those Acts.
The Uniform Law Framework is made up of a Legal Profession Uniform Law; Uniform General Rules; Uniform CPD, Legal Practice and Professional Conduct Rules for solicitors; Uniform CPD and Professional Conduct Rules for Barristers; and Uniform Admission Rules.
The Uniform Law was enacted in Victoria and adopted by New South Wales in early 2014. The Uniform Rules have now been approved by the Attorneys-General of New South Wales and Victoria and published on the New South Wales Government legislation web-site, with a commencement date of 1 July 2015.
An inter-jurisdictional Legal Services Council has been established to oversee and promote a uniform approach to regulating the legal profession and the delivery of legal services across New South Wales and Victoria, together with a Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation. Day-to-day regulation will remain the responsibility of the existing New South Wales and Victorian regulatory bodies.
The objective of the reforms is to create a common legal services market across New South Wales and Victoria underpinned by a uniform regulatory system. The Uniform Law 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.
The Uniform Law Framework preserves the existing rights of legal practitioners from other States and Territories to practise in New South Wales and Victoria. The Law Council has produced this fact sheet for the information of practitioners from other States and Territories.
More information about the changes can be obtained from:
Law Institute of Victoria
- Legal Profession Uniform Law page
- Uniform Law Background fact sheet
- Practice Support Resources
- Uniform Law useful links
- Latest news and publications page
- Professional development page
- Frequently asked questions page
- What is the Legal Profession Uniform Law
- Practising in Victoria – law practices
- Practising in Victoria – individuals
- Government lawyers – applying for a practising certificate
- Legal costs
- Trust money and trust accounts
- Complaints and dispute resolution
- Disciplinary matters
Law Society of New South Wales
- A new framework for practising law in NSW webpage.
- Links to professional development
- NSW transitional arrangements – corporate and government lawyers fact sheet
- Law Practices - Incorporated Legal Practice
- Law Practices - Unincorporated Legal Practice
- Billing under the Legal Profession Uniform Law
- Costs Disclosure Reasonable Steps
- Costs Disclosure under the Legal Profession Uniform Law
- Consumer Complaints Including Costs Disputes (Consumer Complaints) under the Uniform Law
- Transitional Provisions of the Uniform Law - Costs
- Unqualified Legal Practice
NSW Bar Association
- Uniform Law page
- Provides some information and includes factsheets on:
- Legal Costs under the Uniform Law- presented by Mark Brabazon SC at a Bar Association CPD seminar on 17 June 2015.
- Constitution, rules and regulations page.
Australian Bar Association
Legal Services Council
Cost disclosure forms
- For law practices (other than barristers)
- For barristers (briefed directly)
- Information sheet for legal practitioners- costs disclosure form
- Information sheet for consumers- costs disclosure form
- Overview of the Uniform Law
- Uniform Law Framework
- Legal costs and cost disclosure obligations
- Billing provisions
- Costs Agreements