The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner, Fiona McLeay, was honoured to speak at the launch of the Women’s Legal Service report, Small Claims, Large Battles in May. The report presents the findings from their 18 month project investigating the experiences of vulnerable women as they seek fair financial outcomes through the family law system. (more…)
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.
The Law Council of Australia (LCA) recently conducted a review into the Australian Solicitor’s Conduct Rules.
In February 2018 the Legal Services Council endorsed the consultation discussion paper released by the LCA. Comments were invited from the public, with submissions requested by 31 May 2018.
The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner have made a submission to the review, which is available for download.
The Board welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that it is committing $1.6m in funding for 8 Health-Justice Partnerships across Victoria. 7 of these funded projects started life with funding from the Board’s Grants Program.
For further information, see the Government announcement.
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…)
The Victorian Electoral Commission has announced the official results of the 2018 Board election. The results were published this morning in the Victorian Government Gazette and name (more…)
A business owner who advertised legal services and represented a parent in a family law matter, has been found guilty of unqualified legal practice.
The defendant appeared before the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court in February 2018, after being charged by the Victorian Legal Services Board with (more…)
The candidates for the 2018 Board election have now been finalised by the Victorian Electoral Commission.
The list of candidates can be found on the Victorian Electoral Commission website.
The Legal Services Council has released draft changes to Schedule 2 cl. 5 of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 for public consultation. Schedule 2 of the Rules outlines the practical legal training competencies for entry-level lawyers.
For further information visit the Legal Services Council website.
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…)
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…)
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…)
The Legal Services Council is calling for submissions on the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules consultation discussion paper, as developed by the Law Council of Australia.
The consultation period is open until (more…)
Victoria Law Foundation is offering grants for Law Week 2018 events. You can apply for a Law Week Grant of up to $3000 (excl. GST). To be eligible, events must be for the community and delivered during (more…)
RPA News email bulletin #40 is available for download. This bulletin announces the Board’s new policy on granting principal practising certificates after 1 January 2019, and the Board’s guidelines for practice management courses.
Victoria has a new leader for its legal regulatory regime.
Ms Fiona McLeay commenced in her dual role as both Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Victorian Legal Services Board in January 2018. (more…)
The Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership for Youth is a program delivering an integrated health justice service for young people in the Central Highlands region of Victoria.
Commencing in February 2015, the program was a collaboration between (more…)
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…)
RPA News bulletin #39 is available for download. This edition is an early notice of the Board election scheduled to take place in early 2018.
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…)
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…)