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Obligations of LPDs

The legal practitioner directors (LPD) of an incorporated legal practice (ILP) are subject to the same professional obligations as other practitioners set out in the Legal Profession Act 2007, the Legal Profession Regulation 2007, the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules and the common law. However, legal practitioner directors have additional obligations and responsibilities. These include:
  • implementing and maintaining “appropriate management systems” to enable the provision of legal services in accordance with the professional obligations of solicitors (section 117);
  • ensuring that all reasonable action available to the legal practitioner director is taken to deal with any unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the practice. This includes taking appropriate remedial action in the event of such breaches. For example: the making of financial redress, improving management systems such as improved training or induction processes etc (section 118);
  • assisting an investigation or ensuring that an employee or officer complies with a requirement of an ILP investigator during an investigation (section 574).

The legal practitioner may also become liable for disciplinary action as a result of the conduct of an employee of the ILP. For example:

  • any unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct by an employed legal practitioner of the practice (section 118);
  • any conduct of a non-legal practitioner director of the practice that adversely affects the provision of legal services (section 118);
  • the unsuitability of a non-legal practitioner director to be a director of the corporation providing legal services - if, for example, an ILP has as a director a former legal practitioner who has been removed from the roll, or ‘struck off’ (section 118);
  • contravention of the disclosure obligations when a person engages an ILP to provide services the person might reasonably assume to be legal services (section 123);
  • contravention of the requirements relating to advertising (section 126), and 
    a failure to comply with any of these obligations is conduct capable of amounting to unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

Last reviewed
11 November 2013
Last updated
11 November 2013

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