Legal Profession Uniform Law
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.
The Uniform Law Rules can be found on the Legal Services Council website.
If you have any comments about the operation of the Uniform Law, please email Uniform.Law@lawcouncil.au