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The importance of staying up to date with legislation, adapting to pressure and thinking ahead were just some of the key messages at this year’s virtual Specialist Accreditation Week.

Normally a 1.5-day face-to-face conference, this year the Law Society of NSW hosted the week through an online portal from 23-27 November, with more than 280 participants and 58 speakers.

Each day focused on a different specialist stream: criminal law, property law, personal injury, commercial litigation, and business law.

Participants received 10 CPD units per stream, with six hours of live content and four hours of pre-recorded webinars per day. All sessions are now available to purchase on-demand for those who missed out.

The personal injury stream was a particular highlight, with over 600 views across the day.
In the panel session, Judge Gerard Phillips said we can expect the Personal Injury Commission, launching 1 March 2021, to be “fearlessly and fairly administered”.

“We plead for a bit of patience, because everything won’t be perfect from day one. Consider this to be a work in progress,” he said.

Panel moderator Ian Jones noted, “it is an exciting time for personal injury practitioners in NSW.”

“The clear message is business as usual round the title to benefits and timeliness for lodging applications. It’s the practice and procedure that will change within the structure of the commission,” Jones said.

For commercial litigation, Edwina Kwan, Partner at King & Wood Mallesons, led a timely and thought-provoking session on frustration of contracts and force majeure.

Obviously, in light of what’s happening in the world at the moment and the uncertainty, I think it’s really important to think forward in your contracts.

Edwina Kwan, Partner, King & Wood Mallesons

“Contemplate events that you might encounter and try and make that risk allocation quite clear from the outset,” said Kwan.

Similarly, Helen Kowal, a partner at Swaab Attorneys who presented at the property law stream, encouraged a proactive approach.

“Keep your eyes open. Make sure you’re up to date with the legislation and that you’re giving your client the right advice,” she advised.

“In NSW, 15 per cent of people live in apartments and that number is expected to increase.

“There is a lot happening in strata and if you’re working in property law, then you need to be aware of these developments.”

If you missed out on attending the week, you can register to view the sessions on demand. The event portal will be closing on 14 December 2020, after which you can access the content via your ‘My Learning’ tab on