Legal Profession Act & Ethics Committee

How to lawfully hold and dispose of Wills and Safe Custody Documents

16 Mar 2022

How to lawfully hold and dispose of Wills and Safe Custody Documents

The Legal Profession Act & Ethics Committee clarifies how safe custody documents should be held and disposed of.

Ethics and standards in practice: Fundamental duties

20 Dec 2021

Ethics and standards in practice: Fundamental duties

In our regular in-depth ethics case study, Professional Standards Manager Rob Reis discusses a recent case. Under Rule 4 of the ACT Solicitors Conduct Rules, a solicitor must be honest in all dealings in the course of legal practice, and deliver legal services competently, diligently, and as promptly as reasonably possible. In this case study, disciplinary proceedings led to a solicitor being removed from the roll when a judge determined that the solicitor’s remorse and insight were not accompanied by evidence of genuine recognition of wrongdoing. From the Summer 2021 edition of Ethos.

Ethics and standards in practice: Communication with another solicitor’s client

20 Oct 2021

Ethics and standards in practice: Communication with another solicitor’s client

In our regular in-depth ethics case study, Professional Standards Manager Rob Reis discusses a recent case. A solicitor must not deal directly with the client or clients of another solicitor except in the circumstances prescribed in Rule 33 of the Legal Profession (Solicitors) Conduct Rules 2015 (ACT). This rule is known across the legal profession as the ‘no-contact’ rule. The following case studies are intended as guidance for members who might be faced with similar circumstances. From the Spring 2021 edition of Ethos.

Hearsay 14-2021

16 Jul 2021

Hearsay 14-2021

Nominations now open for the 2021 ACT Law Awards, New guidance note: Check in CBR and client confidentiality, Military Law Committee update, Court updates, Changes to the law in relation to the regulation of debt management services.

Does the Check in CBR app breach lawyer/client confidentiality?

14 Jul 2021

Does the Check in CBR app breach lawyer/client confidentiality?

The Legal Profession Act & Ethics Committee clarifies the interaction between client confidentiality and the Check in CBR app.

Ethics and standards in practice: On whose authority can a law practice disburse trust money?

5 Jul 2021

Ethics and standards in practice: On whose authority can a law practice disburse trust money?

In our regular in-depth ethics case study, Professional Standards Manager Rob Reis discusses a recent case. When acting for a client who is purchasing property or a business in circumstances where there is no listing or selling agent, and the seller is self-represented, ensure that if there is a deposit paid into the trust account of the buyer’s solicitor (i.e. your law practice trust account), that there are dedicated special conditions dealing with the disbursement of those funds on settlement of the contract. From the Winter 2021 edition of Ethos.

Ethics and standards in practice: Secure express instructions when dealing with trust money

30 Mar 2021

Ethics and standards in practice: Secure express instructions when dealing with trust money

In our first in-depth ethics case study, Professional Standards Manager Rob Reis discusses a recent case. When acting for more than one client in relation to a common fund held in trust on behalf of those joint clients, a law practice must obtain express instructions (and more prudently in writing) from all clients in the matter before dealing with the funds held in trust. This is particularly relevant when a government agency issues a demand notice on a portion or all those funds held in trust. From the Autumn 2021 edition of Ethos.

Answering ethics questions: A trust account dilemma or; “Let’s hold back some money in Trust…”

14 Dec 2020

Answering ethics questions: A trust account dilemma or; “Let’s hold back some money in Trust…”

Ross Watch from the Law Society’s Legal Profession Act & Ethics Committee provides some advice on the traps inherent in retaining money in trust accounts without express authority from your client. From the Summer 2020 edition of Ethos.

Remote working and confidentiality

15 Apr 2020

Remote working and confidentiality

Guidance for law practices on supervision of staff working remotely and ensuring confidentiality of client information.

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