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WA to join Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme from July

West Australian Attorney-General John Quigley has confirmed that the state will officially join the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme at the start of the new financial year, meaning that three in four lawyers across Australia will now operate under the scheme.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 03 June 2022 Big Law
John Quigley
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In April of this year, enabling legislation was passed through the West Australian State Parliament for the state to join the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme, which harmonises regulation of the legal profession, cuts red tape and creates a single system to govern legal practice across participating jurisdictions.

The scheme came into operation in Victoria and NSW in July 2015, and in February 2019, Western Australia signed a landmark agreement with those two jurisdictions to join the scheme.

“The passage of the enabling legislation was required to enable the new uniform laws for the legal profession to commence in WA as required under the agreement,” the A-G’s Department said in a statement.

 
 

“Consumers of legal services will not only be afforded greater protection under the scheme and benefit from greater consistency of experience across jurisdictions, but they will also be empowered to make informed choices about their legal options, with a single framework governing legal practice which is administered by local bodies across participating jurisdictions.”

When Western Australia officially joins Victoria and NSW in the scheme on 1 July 2022, it will operate in respect of 75 per cent of the legal profession in Australia.

Joining the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme, A-G Quigley said, “has been one of the most significant and long-awaited developments in our state’s justice system”.

“I am pleased to confirm that WA is now officially on track to join the scheme from 1 July, alongside Victoria and NSW. The scheme reduces compliance costs for firms operating across participating jurisdictions by simplifying and standardising regulatory obligations, cutting red tape and creating a common market for legal services.

“Consumers will also benefit from greater protection and consistency of experience across jurisdictions under the scheme,” A-G Quigley continued.

“It is a significant milestone in creating a simpler and more efficient system of regulating legal practice in Western Australia. I am pleased that this government has been able to deliver this important reform.”

Law Society of Western Australia president Rebecca Lee added that the member association has “been in favour of Western Australia adopting the Legal Profession Uniform Law for many years and congratulates the Attorney General on today’s announcement”.

“A single, uniform set of professional conduct rules providing inter-jurisdictional consistency can only benefit consumers of legal services, the legal profession and regulators, especially with national and international firms now being commonplace.

“This is an exciting change to the regulation of the legal profession and the Law Society will continue to support our members to navigate the new regime,” Ms Lee concluded.