Stephen Warne on professional negligence, regulation and discipline around the world

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Entries Tagged as 'Legal Services Commissioner'

Does the Legal Services Board have the power retrospectively to excuse inadvertently practising briefly without a practising certificate?

February 24th, 2017 · No Comments

As with most years, no doubt scores of Victorian lawyers forgot to renew their practising certificates last year.  For months, in some cases, this situation was allowed by the regulators to persist without intervention.  In Victorian Bar Inc v GSL [2006] VCAT 435 the VCAT, constituted by Judge Bowman, Peter Jopling QC, and Ms F […]

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Tags: Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · Practising certificates · Professional fees and disbursements · Professional regulation · Retainers · Uniform Legal Services Council and Commissioner

Legal Services Commissioner’s new decision making powers

October 11th, 2016 · No Comments

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner has published a report on his new proactive regulation of the profession.  It tells how risk profiles of practices are being constructed with the assistance of academics to target trust audits and audits of firms more generally (a new thing for law practices which are not ILPs).  It also tells […]

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Tags: costs disputes · Discipline · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations

Judicial review of decisions to dismiss disciplinary complaints

October 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

A man was acquitted of criminal charges.  The prosecution’s appeal failed.  He complained about the police’s lawyers’ conduct to South Australia’s Bureau de Spank, the Legal Practitioner Conduct Commissioner.  The Commissioner dismissed the complaint.  There was a statutory right of appeal in respect of some but not all categories of decisions at the conclusion of a […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · judicial review · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law

Privilege and disciplinary investigations

August 8th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Lawyers have an obligation proactively to assert and protect the privilege enjoyed by their clients and former clients: Re Stanhill Consolidated Ltd [1967] VR 749 at 752. I wrote about it in this post about the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic).  Lawyers have no implied or, I would suggest, ostensible authority to waive privilege belonging to former […]

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Tags: Client Legal Privilege · Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Retainers

Advocates’ immunity: at once more powerful and narrower than most yet understand

June 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Advocates’ immunity was, until recently, more powerful than many lawyers were aware. Since the 1 July 2015 introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and the High Court’s May 2016 decision in Attwells v Jackson Lallic Lawyers Pty Limited,[1] however, it may be narrower than many realise. And perhaps not everyone is aware that the […]

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Tags: Advocates' Immunity · Barristers' immunity · Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) · Costs Court · Discipline · Insurance · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · negligence as disciplinary breach · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations · The suit for fees · Wasted costs

The Bureau de Spank’s obligation not to publish about disciplinary orders until lawyers’ appeal rights are spent

June 19th, 2016 · No Comments

Parliament is considering a bill to re-instate the disciplinary register, and to prohibit the Bureau de Spank from trumpeting its successes before the respondent practitioners’ appeal rights are exhausted: Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Amendment Bill 2016 (Vic.).  Cl. 150E of the Bill proposes to prohibit the Legal Services Board from providing to the public information about disciplinary […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal Profession Act · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · Legal writing · litigation ethics · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional regulation · prosecutors' duties · regulators' duties · VCAT

Advocates’ immunity abolished in Victoria and NSW

March 14th, 2016 · No Comments

Ok, so the High Court is still ruminating after the recent hearing of an appeal from Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd v Attwells [2014] NSWCA 335 in which the immunity was again challenged.  And advocates’ immunity was probably already abolished in certain respects in Victoria by the Civil Procedure Act 2010, s. 29 of which gives anyone who […]

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Tags: Advocates' Immunity · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Negligence

VCAT gives expansive interpretation to civil complaint dispute resolution jurisdiction

February 28th, 2016 · No Comments

Updated post: The decision is under appeal: Champion v Rohrt [2016] VSCA 64. Original post: VCAT has taken a most expansive approach to its jurisdiction to rule on civil disputes involving lawyers in Rohrt v Champion [2015] VCAT 1875. The liquidator of a company served a notice on a solicitor under the Corporations Law, 2001 […]

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Tags: Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · VCAT

Admissibility of material relevant to penalty at the liability stage

October 7th, 2015 · No Comments

In my experience, the Legal Services Commissioner generally assumes that material relevant to penalty is inadmissible at the liability stage.  So, for example, the Commissioner applied recently for leave to re-cross-examine a practitioner in a disciplinary hearing, after the close of evidence, in order to adduce evidence relevant to penalty by reference to ‘disciplinary priors’, even though […]

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Tags: Discipline · Evidence · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · procedure · prosecutors' duties

A case about a bipolar lawyer

June 15th, 2015 · No Comments

My practice has had me thinking a lot recently about the professional discipline of the mentally ill.  The legal profession has caught up with the medical profession by coming up with good policies which make clear that where mental illness can be managed in such a way as to protect clients and others to whom […]

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Tags: Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · mental illness · Practising certificates