The bushfires currently burning in Victoria are having a devastating impact on our regional communities, with 25 lives lost across the country, thousands of homes and properties destroyed and hundreds of thousands of animals killed or injured. And like the 2009 Black Saturday fires, Victorians are stepping up to help those affected in any way they can. We know our legal community is already incredibly generous in providing pro bono legal advice to so many Victorians in need. While Victorian communities recover from this terrible disaster, your skills and time will be needed again.
Many of you will know someone impacted by the fires, or you may be impacted yourself. Help is available, please read the below information to find out more.
Assistance for practitioners
If your practice has been destroyed or damaged in the fires, we can help. Along with the Law Institute of Victoria, and the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, we can help answer queries on:
- Trust accounting
- Professional support for loss of files
- Professional support in costs, ethics and regulatory compliance for any affected legal practice
- Advice in relation to management of professional risks
What can you do?
If you are able to offer pro bono legal support over the coming weeks and months, you can contact Disaster Legal Help Victoria (DLHV), a joint initiative between Victoria Legal Aid, the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Justice Connect, the Victorian Bar and the Law Institute of Victoria. DLHV provides free legal advice and assistance, as well as referrals to Victorians affected by a disaster.
As a Disaster Legal Help volunteer, you may be asked to visit affected community to meet with anyone needing legal information and assistance. Of particular help would be lawyers with experience in insurance, credit, tenancy and general legal issues.
To register to provide DLHV pro bono support you can submit your details and areas of interest here: DLHV registration
The Victorian government have also set up the Bushfire Appeal for financial donations at https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal
If you are impacted by the bushfires, please contact:
- DLHV www.disasterlegalhelp.org.au or 1800 113 432 for free information on legal issues and factsheets on common areas of legal concern including fencing, property, destroyed documents and dealing with insurance and mortgage problems.
- LIV’s Professional Standards team PSQA@liv.asn.au
- LPLC email@example.com or 9672 3800
- VLSBC enquiries on firstname.lastname@example.org
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