National Legal Practice

The countdown has begun for the start of a national legal profession on 1 July 2015.

 

What are the Changes?

From 1 July 2015, New South Wales and Victoria will form a unified legal market with common regulation of lawyers. The scheme aims to harmonise regulatory obligations while retaining local performance of regulatory functions.

The Uniform Law creates two bodies: The Legal Services Council, and The Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation, who also acts as CEO of the Legal Services Council.

Together these bodies will set the policy framework for the new scheme and refine the way it operates by:

  • Making rules about how the scheme operates
  • Issuing guidelines and directions to local regulatory authorities to make sure the law operates consistently across jurisdictions, and
  • Advising Attorneys-General on any potential amendments

The new scheme has been introduced because providing unified laws with other jurisdictions will:

  • Reduce compliance costs for lawyers and law firms, particularly for those operating across jurisdictions
  • Harmonise consumer protections, so that consumers have the same rights and remedies available to them regardless of where they live, and
  • Provide new practical remedies for complainants.

History of National Regulation

Benefits to Barristers

The move to a unified legal market and eventually a national legal profession has been many years in the making and still only an arrangement between the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

However, as something like 70% of all lawyers are practising and regulated by these States, it i a significant beginning.

This common regulation of lawyers provides significant opportunities for Barristers in both States to develop their practice.

The pervasiveness of the internet and the increasing savvy of legal consumers (including corporate counsel) to seek out services directly, allows barristers to operate their practice nationally, if not internationally, through membership of a “virtual chambers”.

 

History of National Regulation