Welcoming the LPUL: some things to remember

Welcome to the new world of the Legal Profession Uniform Law. As you know, there is an application Act and regulations here in NSW, then a law, regulations and five sets of rules that are uniform for NSW and Victoria.

The ethical conduct rules are one of those sets of uniform rules. You may remember that the old conduct rules also incorporated the practice rules and the CPD rules. Now, we have a separate set of practice rules and a separate CPD rule.

As for actual changes to the content of the rules, are there many? In our last column, we discussed how the fundamental ethical principles cannot change. Now, we have the final version of the new conduct rules and they are almost identical in wording to the old rules, as well as embodying the unchanging fundamental principles.

We are all officers of the court from the moment we signed our name on that roll in the Supreme Court with accompanying supporters taking photographs (or perhaps a selfie). We are our clients’ fiduciaries, irrespective of whether they treat us well or otherwise. We are all part of the same profession, full of colleagues who have the same rights and also obligations as (and to) us.

The practice rules and the CPD rules are a little different. We have been publishing details of the changes in Monday Briefs and this journal (see, for instance, the article by Paul Monaghan on page 76 of the July 2015 edition of LSJ).

Two points we will highlight. The first is the rule about advising borrowers/guarantors and the evidence provided about that remains. Also, the rule about the need to do one hour of ethics CPD also remains. In relation to the latter, the Society runs an ethics CPD at least once a month (and many more in February and March each year). Also, the Ethics Department travels to regional society events as well as to other groups (minimum numbers apply to these).

Please call either the Department or contact the CPD unit of the Society to discuss your CPD needs. Try to get in early, just in case your client demands your undivided attention for that whole last week of March when you planned to do all your CPD.

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