- The Legal Profession Uniform Law will regulate the legal profession in both NSW and Victoria, encompassing almost three quarters of Australia’s lawyers.
- It is anticipated that the new regulatory framework will commence in mid-2015.
- There will be some changes to regulatory obligations for practitioners and law practices. The Law Society is developing a series of CPD sessions to assist solicitors with these impending changes.
Since 2004, States and Territories have enacted their legal profession legislation on the basis of a national Model Bill. However, a single national framework for legal profession regulation was not achieved because of variations between jurisdictions. It was in this context that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided to bring regulation of the legal profession onto its reform agenda in early 2009. This was followed by a long period of consultation and negotiation, which has ultimately resulted in the Legal Profession Uniform Law framework.
In December 2013 the NSW and Victorian Governments executed an Intergovernmental Agreement formalising their joint participation in the uniform scheme. The Legal Profession Uniform Law (‘Uniform Law’) was enacted in Victoria in in March 2014 and adopted as an applied law in NSW in May 2014. The Uniform Law creates a common regulatory platform across NSW and Victoria, encompassing almost three quarters of Australia’s lawyers.
The scheme aims to harmonise regulatory obligations while retaining local performance of regulatory functions.