find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
National practice on its way: Chief judge

National practice on its way: Chief judge

State jealousies have impeded the national practice of law but have “attenuated considerably over recent years throughout Australia”, according to NSW’s most senior judge.Speaking at…

State jealousies have impeded the national practice of law but have “attenuated considerably over recent years throughout Australia”, according to NSW’s most senior judge.

Speaking at a function to mark the opening of the NSW law term in Parliament House last week, the Chief Justice of NSW James Spigelman AC, said the next year would prove crucial in ensuring the regulatory regime was not only nationally consistent, “but also optimal”.

Chief Justice Spigelman told the NSW Law Society dinner that “whilst it remains the case that the overwhelming majority of legal practitioners operate within the confines of a state, or indeed of a local community, a substantial proportion of legal services, particularly when assessed in terms of monetary value, are performed at, or contestable at, a national level”.

Spigelman added that a state based and nationally consistent regulatory framework could satisfy both sets of demands.

Referring to lawyers’ perspectives on what he called the “likely” development of a regulatory framework for a national practice, Spigelman said that “lawyers in Sydney should be, and I believe are, particularly enthusiastic about the emergence of opportunities for a truly national practice”.

Another key issue raised by the Chief Justice was the legal profession’s preferred method of charging, that is, billable hours. He said that over a period of 10 years, time based charging had become almost universal and that he did not believe this method of charging was sustainable.

“It is difficult to justify a system in which inefficiency is rewarded with higher remuneration,” he added, raising loud applause within the Strangers’ dining room at Parliament House.

Spigelman said under the present system, lawyers did not have the financial incentive to provide their services as quickly as possible. He noted that for most legal practitioners the sense of professional responsibility was a real restraint, but a handful of members still exploited their position “by providing services that either do not need to be provided at all, or [they] provide them in a more luxurious manner than is appropriate”.

Law Society president Gordon Salier spoke earlier in the evening about this issue. He said that “perhaps some special inquiry might be established to look at the issue of costs and make appropriate recommendations”. In relation to this issue, he said it was preferable that justice was attained primarily through “good law”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

National practice on its way: Chief judge
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
07:04
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...