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
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Debus sings praise of legal quality assurance

Debus sings praise of legal quality assurance

EIGHT MONTHS in the making, a new certification program for the Australian legal profession was officially launched last week in Sydney.Speaking to an audience of nearly 100 people at the launch…

EIGHT MONTHS in the making, a new certification program for the Australian legal profession was officially launched last week in Sydney.

Speaking to an audience of nearly 100 people at the launch of LAW 9000, NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus said the program offered law firms the opportunity to develop their management systems “in ways which ensure efficient, effective and, hopefully, profitable business”.

Integrating the QL management framework, LAW 9000, which is based on international ISO standards, has been developed for the legal profession by SAI Global in close consultation with the College of Law, the NSW Law Society and the NSW Legal Services Commissioner.

The first of a two-tier program, LAW 9000 will be followed by ‘Excellence in Law’, based on Standards Australia’s Australia Business Excellence Framework.

Certification through LAW 9000 will enable firms to display the globally recognised ‘5 ticks’ standards mark.

Quoting the late Philip King, former partner of Allen Allen and Hemsley, Debus said that whatever structure a legal practice adopted, “there were certain essential components around management, service delivery, people and administration which a legal practice needed to ensure business success”.

“One of the benefits of being a member of a professional firm is thought to be its lack of hierarchy: its equality and collegiality — the notion that a professional practice is a college of priests practising an art which should not be sullied by the introduction of crude business procedures. This does not sit well with the realities of business needs,” Debus quoted.

Certification schemes in Australia had “hardly been overwhelmed by a stampede of legal practices clamouring to join”, Debus said. It was rumoured in some quarters that one of the top five national firms did not have a business plan until the mid 90s, he said.

The organisations involved in LAW 9000 have combined their efforts to develop a standard intended to offer guidance and assistance to law firms looking to improve their management practices and business efficiencies.

The College of Law’s managing director Neville Carter said the program was a result of months of planning, detailed discussion and hard work. “It is important to note this is a program developed by lawyers for law practices and will continue to be developed in this way.”

Echoing the A-G’s comments at the launch, Carter told Lawyers Weekly this was about faster and less expensive services to the community. “This is what brings [the College of Law] into it,” Carter said. “The College of Law needed to be working on levels to make firms see the importance of quality management as well as train people in it.”

Wollongong’s Russell McLelland Brown Lawyers (RMB) were celebrated last week as the first firm to be awarded the LAW 9000 certification. Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, partner Craig Osborne said there were two reasons RMB became involved in the program: If a firm’s internal processes are efficient and it turns over work efficiently, its cash flow will improve. Secondly, the standard will offer a recognisable sign to clients that the firm is efficient and of a high quality, Osborne said.

“With the five ticks, competitors will see that if they don’t have these, clients may go elsewhere. The five ticks are recognised worldwide.”

A-G Debus said he was responsible for promoting the highest ethical standards in the legal profession and ensuring they met the requirements of the regulators. “The LAW 9000 initiative includes provisions to meet regulatory requirements,” he said.

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

Debus sings praise of legal quality assurance
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
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 The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
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 & ...