RPA News Blog - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

RPA News

RPA News is a blog published by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner. It is used to inform the lawyers and the public about the following:

  • changes to the regulatory regime, including legislation and regulations
  • disciplinary decisions handed down by VCAT or the courts
  • special events and public announcements
  • new resources available on this website, and
  • any other information we believe is relevant to lawyers and the public.

Please note: blog entries discussing disciplinary action are published by the Commissioner in line with the Commissioner’s long-standing objective to educate the legal profession. By publicising disciplinary outcomes, the Commissioner intends for lawyers to compare their conduct and business practices with those highlighted by VCAT and the courts. This will in turn assist lawyers to comply with the requirements of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and the expectations of consumers and the wider legal profession.


Lawyer struck off after trust account breaches, false invoices May 21, 2018

The Supreme Court of Victoria has ordered a former Dandenong lawyer, Mr Robert Anthony Hession, be removed from the Victorian roll of lawyers.

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner told the Court that Mr Hession had been banned from legal practice in late 2016 after he had been found guilty of 13 charges of professional misconduct. The Commissioner explained that the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Mr Hession had (more…)

Victorian Legal Services Board election 2018 – Call for nominations February 28, 2018

In April this year all Victorian lawyers will have the opportunity to vote for who will represent them on the Victorian Legal Services Board until 2022.

Every four years an election is held for one barrister and two solicitors to sit on the Board and contribute to decisions made about legal regulation in this state. The input of the Board’s three lawyer members is vital in guiding how the Board responds to all issues that impact on Victorian lawyers. (more…)

Solicitor reprimanded for contempt of Court February 26, 2018

A solicitor has been reprimanded by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after being found guilty of contempt of Court.

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner told VCAT that in 2016 South Yarra solicitor, Mr Michael Witt, had sent an email that the Supreme Court of Victoria had found was likely to be prejudicial to (more…)

External Examiners rule amendment- Legal Services Council February 21, 2018

The Legal Services Council (LSC) is seeking public comment on a draft Uniform General Rule to reinstate the power to revoke the status of external examiners (EE) as designated persons under the Legal Profession Uniform Law.

Under the Uniform Law, the LSC makes rules for carrying out or giving effect to the Uniform Law. Subsection 168(2)(e) states that (more…)

External Examiners reporting update January 29, 2018

At its last meeting on 19 December 2017, the Legal Services Council determined that, from 1 January 2018, an External Examiner must give a written report of an examination to the designated local regulatory authority (DLRA) by 31 May each year, unless (more…)

Scam alert: invoices sent to clients for payments to third-party companies (update) December 15, 2017

The Board and Commissioner are aware of a new sophisticated scam using the credibility of large law firms to try to extract money from companies.

The scam involves an invoice being sent to the accounts department of a company via a fake email address of one of the company’s staff members (for example, the CFO). The email instructs the accounts department to pay an invoice for legal work purportedly provided by a reputable law firm. (more…)

Former lawyer breached own undertaking to never practise again December 14, 2017

A former Eastern Suburbs solicitor has been found guilty of unqualified legal practise, six years after giving an undertaking to never seek a practising certificate again.

On 21 November 2017, Mr John Leo Lawrence appeared before the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court where the Victorian Legal Services Board told the Court Mr Lawrence was not licensed to practise law.

Mr Lawrence had not held a practising certificate since (more…)

Board-funded health-justice program receives award December 7, 2017

Justice Connect’s Seniors Law program, together with health services provider cohealth, have been honoured with an award for their health-justice partnership.

Health Minister, The Hon. Jill Hennessy MP, presented JusticeConnect and cohealth with the ‘Improving Health Equity Award’ at the 2017 VicHealth awards on 5 December.

(more…)