The Legal Services Commission was established in 2004 and continues its existence pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act). As an independent statutory body, the Commission has the power to regulate the legal profession, including receiving and, where appropriate, investigating complaints about the conduct of lawyers, their employees, and unlawful operators in relation to the provision of legal services in Queensland.
The Commission works with other regulatory authorities to administer the Act in the interests of justice, and for the protection of consumers of legal services, and the public generally.
Queensland Co-Regulatory Model
The Bar Association of Queensland (BAQ) and the Queensland Law Society (QLS) are the professional representative bodies of barristers and solicitors respectively, in Queensland. As regulatory authorities, the BAQ and the QLS perform certain functions under the Act including the issue and regulation of practising certificates, setting of legal profession rules and (in the case of the QLS) the audit of trust accounts and other practice matters.
The Legal Services Commissioner has the sole authority to prosecute lawyers or legal practitioners in relation to professional conduct matters. The Commissioner has the discretion to refer professional conduct investigations involving barristers to the BAQ; all other investigations are undertaken by the Legal Services Commission.