A multi-disciplinary partnership (MDP) is a partnership between one or more legal practitioners and one or more persons who are not legal practitioners. The partnership provides legal services and other services in addition to legal services.
The Legal Profession Act 2007 establishes the regulatory framework for the provision of legal services by a MDP at Chapter 2 Part 2.7 (sections 109-110 and 144-161).
It is important that:
A legal practitioner who intends to engage in legal practice as a partner in an MDP must give notice to the Queensland Law Society (QLS) in the approved form, of his or her intention before commencing legal practice in Queensland as a partner in the MDP.
A legal practitioner partner of an MDP and any other legal practitioners who provide legal services on behalf of a MDP have the same professional obligations as all other legal practitioners.
A legal practitioner partner of an MDP has additional obligations over and above their professional obligations as legal practitioners. The Legal Profession Act 2007 makes them responsible for the management of the legal services provided by the MDP and, in particular, requires them:
- to implement and keep ‘appropriate management systems’ to ensure the MDP meets the same standards of legal practice expected of any other legal practice; and
- if those standards are breached, to take appropriate remedial action.