Sole practitioners and law firms - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

Sole practitioners and law firms

Sole practitioners

A sole practitioner is an Australian legal practitioner who engages in legal practice on his or her own account. All barristers are sole practitioners.

A sole practitioner must hold a principal practising certificate and is a law practice for the purposes of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria). See also: Practising in Victoria.

Law firms

A law firm is a partnership consisting only of:

  • Australian legal practitioners; and/or
  • Australian-legal practitioners and Australian-registered foreign lawyers (where the partnership must include an incorporated legal practice or an Australian legal practitioner).

Notification of commencement or termination of practice

Sole practitioners and law firms must give notice to the Victorian Legal Services Board upon their intention to engage in legal practice, or their intention to cease legal practice in Victoria. Notice must be given at least 14 days before starting to engage in legal practice.

Sole practitioners and law firms should notify the Board within 14 days of any change to information recorded by the Board about the firm.

For sole practitioners:

Download the Notification of new law practice – local legal practitioner (112KB PDF).

For law firms:

Download the Notification of change of information – law practice (112KB PDF).

Professional indemnity insurance

The Legal Profession Uniform Law requires all Australian legal practitioners to hold or be covered by an approved insurance policy that covers that legal practice before engaging in legal practice in Victoria. Insurance must be maintained at all times whilst engaging in legal practice in this jurisdiction.

Those that maintain professional indemnity insurance in another Australian jurisdiction (in accordance with corresponding laws) may apply to the Board for an exemption from this requirement. For further information see Professional indemnity insurance.

Trust Accounts

Any law practice, including sole practitioners and law firms, that receives trust money must maintain a general trust account in Victoria in accordance with the Uniform Law and the Uniform Rules. For further information, see the Trust Accounts page.

Last modified March 21, 2016.