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WA Law Society, Law Access sign new MOU

Law Access – which depends upon the generosity of donors – has received a pledge for long-term financial support from the Law Society of Western Australia.

user iconSimon Levett 20 June 2022 Big Law
WA Law Society, Law Access sign new MOU
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A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Law Society of Western Australia and Law Access (a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and, in some cases, advice for people who have a legal problem).

The MOU will come into effect on 1 July 2022 and is part of a three-year commitment by the Law Society to provide ongoing funding and support to Law Access.

The MOU will commit the Law Society of Western Australia to the funding of Law Access from a minimum of $20,000 up to a maximum amount of $50,000 each year for the next three years.

 
 

There will also be a one-off payment upon the commencement of the MOU to Law Access of $20,000.

WA Law Society president Rebecca Lee stated that “Law Access provides a vital safety net for vulnerable Western Australians facing legal problems where no funded legal assistance is available. As the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia, the Law Society is proud to have established and to continue to support this valuable community service.” 

Law Access chair Matthew Howard SC said that “Law Access has grown significantly over the years, and legal assistance for those experiencing financial difficulties continues to be in high demand. Long-term and substantive funding increases are important to ensure access to justice for the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community.” 

The WA Law Society also led the successful push for Western Australia to join the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme from 1 July 2022. Ms Lee stated 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”.

She continued that “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”.

Ms Lee added that “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”.

It is predicted that joining the scheme will at least reduce compliance costs for firms operating across participating jurisdictions by simplifying and standardising regulatory obligations.