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Symposium Series

This series is held as an ongoing partnership with the Griffith Socio-Legal Research Centre to bring legal practitioners together with legal academics and regulators to provide a forum for discussion on issues of topical importance to the legal community.

The Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law Series grew out of the first symposium held on Lawyers' Work Lawyers' Conduct, where the participants affirmed the need for an ongoing series of symposia which enable practitioners, academics and regulators to discuss ethical and conduct issues arising in the course of contemporary legal practice in Queensland and identify potential research collaborations.

Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law Series

Identifying and Supporting Good Practice
Brisbane, 8 May 2014

Professional service providers need to maintain their focus on quality in all its dimensions ‐ accuracy, client focus, timeliness, strategic worth, ethical rigor and value for money. The symposium drew on the expertise of leading policy makers who are concerned with developing effective frameworks for legal services and legal education.

The symposium drew on the expertise of leading policy makers who are concerned with developing effective frameworks for legal services and legal education.

The symposia series is a collaborative event between Griffith University and the Legal Services Commission. The symposium was a panel format with attendees invited to ask questions and debate issues following presentations from the panel members.

The Agenda is available here.

The panel members were (in order of presentation):

- Giles Watson, Manager, Practice Support, Queensland Law Society (powerpoints)
- Anthony Reilly, CEO, Legal Aid Queensland (powerpoints)
- Ronwyn North, Managing Director, Streeton Consulting (powerpoints; reference list)
- Sally Kift, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, James Cook University (powerpoints)
A panel Q&A was held at the end of the presentations.

Audio recordings of each presentation and the panel Q&A are available upon request. To enquire please email lsc@lsc.qld.gov.au your request with the name of the presenter or segment of interest.

Counting the Legal Costs: principles and practices in billing (Gold Coast)

We were encouraged by attendee feedback in Toowoomba to replicate this symposium in other regional areas. In June 2013 we presented this shortened version as a plenary session to the 6th Annual Gold Coast Symposium, which was organised by the Queensland Law Society in conjunction with the Gold Coast District Law Association.

The report of this symposium includes the scenarios and questions, with the results from the audience response system and some main points raised in the discussions, Counting the Legal Costs: principles and practices in billing (Gold Coast 2013) (PDF, 150.1 KB).

Counting the Legal Costs: principles and practices in billing (Toowoomba)

The seventh symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law series was held in March 2012 under the title Counting the Legal Costs: principles and practices in billing. The symposium was held in Toowoomba, and followed our On Costs symposium held in Brisbane in May 2011 where we announced and explained our intention to develop and publish a series of regulatory guides on the Australian Consumer Law, Itemised Billing, and Billing Practices - Key Principles.

The Brisbane symposium On Costs was the first consultation for drafts of the first two guides.  We finalised the first two regulatory guides and circulated them through our E-Newsletter to all solicitors in Queensland prior to the Toowoomba Symposium. We also circulated the first draft of our latest Consultation Paper titled Billing Practices - Key Principles through the E-Newsletter and to everyone attending the Toowoomba symposium, as preparation for the symposium along with the specific scenarios and questions we would be discussing, all drawn from the consultation paper and regulatory guides.

The report of the Toowoomba symposium includes the program, the scenarios and main points of discussion about the scenarios and questions raised to explore the scenarios, Counting the Legal Costs: principles and practices in billing (PDF, 276.2 KB). 

On Costs

The sixth symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law series was held under the title On Costs in May 2011. The symposium provided an excellent forum to announce and explain our intention to develop and publish a series of regulatory guides, and to be the first consultation in relation to the first drafts of two proposed guides as well as to flag some potential subjects for further guides.

Read the report of the On Costs (PDF, 623.4 KB) symposium held on 19 May 2011, including the program, the results of the pre-symposium survey, the consultation documents and notes of the group discussions.

Shouldering the Supervision Load

The fifth symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law series was held under the title Shouldering the Supervision Load, in August 2009. It provided an opportunity for the legal community to reflect on and discuss supervision practices.

Read the report of the Shouldering the Supervision Load symposium (PDF, 525.9 KB) held on the 6th August 2009 including the program, the scenarios, presentations and a report of the group discussions. 

Read the results of the Pre-symposium survey results (PDF, 68.5 KB) and the Feedback (PDF, 27.6 KB) on the supervision symposium.

Ethics and Creativity in Billing Practices

The fourth symposium of the Lawyers, clients and the business of law series was held under the title Ethics and creativity in billing practices, in May 2008. It provided an opportunity for the legal community to reflect on and discuss billing practices.

Read the report of Billing Practices symposium (PDF, 3.0 MB) held on 15 May 2008, including the program, the scenarios, the presentations and a report of the group discussions.

Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct 

The third symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law Series was held under the title Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct. It provided an opportunity for the legal community to reflect on and discuss the important concept of "unsatisfactory professional conduct" as it appears in the Legal Profession Act 2007. Read the report of the Unsatisfactory Professional conduct symposium (PDF, 179.8 KB) held on 19 July 2007, including the program, the scenarios and the presentations by the two panellists.

Conflicts of Interests: perspectives from diverse legal settings

The second symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law Series was held under the title Conflicts of Interests: perspectives from diverse legal settings.  It focused on the importance of conflicts of interest as an ethical issue and the challenges it has long posed for practitioners.
Read the report of the Conflicts of interests: perspectives from diverse legal settings (PDF, 126.4 KB) held on 15th March 2007, including program, scenarios, presentations by three panellists and a report of the group discussions.

Creative Practice or Profiteering?

The first symposium of the Lawyers, Clients and the Business of Law Series was held under the title Creative Practice or Profiteering? It focused on billing practices for charging outlays and issues surrounding litigation lending and the 50/50 rule in the context of personal injuries proceedings.
Read the report of the Creative Practice or Profiteering symposium (PDF, 185.4 KB) held on 7 September 2006, including the program, the scenarios, the presentations by the four panellists and a report of the group discussions.

The Lawyer’s Work, Lawyer’s Conduct Symposium

The Commission and the Griffith Law School held the Lawyer's Work, Lawyer's Conduct Symposium on 11 November 2005. Our aim was simple - to bring legal practitioners together with legal academics and regulators to establish linkages between people who have mutual interests but rarely meet and talk with each other; to identify research topics relevant to our shared interest in improving standards of conduct within the profession; and to explore potential partnerships in furthering that research.

Read the report of the Lawyer’s Work, Lawyer’s Conduct symposium (PDF, 131.3 KB) held on 11 November 2005.

Last reviewed
28 May 2014
Last updated
28 May 2014

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