THE AUSTRALIAN Medical Association (AMA) Queensland has formed a partnership with Brisbane-based law firm Nicol Robinson Halletts.
The partnership includes the secondment to AMA Queensland of Nicol Robinson Halletts senior associate, Geoff Armstrong. Armstrong will be available two days each week to offer free legal advice to financial members of the AMA.
If the legal matter is a particularly complex one, members will be referred to Nicol Robinson Halletts where they will receive a discount on legal fees incurred.
Armstrong says the project is off to a good start. “During the first month we’ve dealt with 28 queries and I’ve referred to the firm about 25 per cent of those queries so far,” Armstrong says.
Joanna Minchinton, manager Workplace Relations and Legal at AMA Queensland said members are looking forward to receiving advice on a wide variety of legal queries on both personal and professional matters.
“The majority are to do with patient-related inquiries, such as keeping patient records and privacy issues when disclosing information. We also get lots of queries about employment contracts. We’ve had a recent inquiry regarding intellectual property, then there are whistleblowers and queries to do with immunisation,” Minchinton said.
Minchinton cites cases of doctors joining AMA Queensland so that they can access the service as a sign of its popularity. The partnership has been in operation since the beginning of November.
AMA Queensland elected to go into partnership with Nicol Robinson Halletts following a successful relationship with the firm over several years.
“We wanted a Queensland-based firm and something that wasn’t focussed on the big corporate picture,” Minchinton says.