Rules and Regulations
Rules of Conduct and Client Care
The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act Rules 2008 provide for, among other things:
- standards of conduct, engagement, client service and client care
- the requirement that lawyers provide clients in advance with information on the main aspects of client service
- the kinds of conduct for which a lawyer or former lawyer may be disciplined
- invoicing and the setting of fees and conditional fee agreements
All lawyers should make themselves familiar with these rules.
These new rules, made under ss94 and 99 of the LCA, establish that it is not compulsory for lawyers to hold professional indemnity insurance. However, Rule 4(2) will require lawyers who are partners or directors of a practice to consider holding appropriate PI insurance. As stipulated in R 5(1) the Law Society has considered whether to require lawyers or incorporated firms to hold PI insurance. It was determined that it would continue with the current non-compulsory position.
Law practices need to prepare memoranda setting out information for clients required under Rules 3.5 and 3.6 of the Rules of Conduct and Client Care, with reference to the Law Society's determined minimum standards. Further information is available on the options and minimum requirements.
Made under ss94 and 108 of the LCA, these regulations relate to the issue of practising certificates, the register of lawyers, and lawyers’ obligations in respect of those. They also include provisions about approval for practice on own account, and about information that incorporated firms are required to provide to the Law Society, along with transitional provisions.
These regulations, made under s115 of the LCA, apply to both lawyers’ and conveyancers’ trust accounts. They relate to the management of trust accounts, training, the inspectorate and the Financial Assurance Scheme. They are broadly similar to, and replace, the Solicitors’ Trust Account Regulations 1998 and the Solicitors’ Trust Account Rules 1996.
These regulations, made under s108 of the LCA, establish the new Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund. Among other things, they set the maximum amount payable to an individual claimant at $100,000, the minimum size at which the fund is to maintained in any financial year, and the process for dealing with claims. The form for making claims, and the form of declaration in support of claim are set in schedules to the regulations.
Complaints Service and Standards Committees
These regulations, made under ss94, 108 and 122 of the LCA, establish the Lawyers Complaints Service and provide for the publication of information about it. Among other things, they set the process for making complaints, provide for the establishment and operation of Standards Committees, and the appointment of their members and convenors.
Legal Complaints Review Officer
These regulations are made under ss198 and 339(a) and (g) of the LCA. They set the form to be used for applications to the Legal Complaints Review Officer (LCRO), and the fee payable for applications for review ($30 GST inc).
These regulations, made under s339 of the LCA, provide for hearing charges and applications for interim suspension, for application for consent to employ and for sundry matters such as adjournments, evidence, method of service, filing and production of documents and exhibits, and records of proceedings.
Senior Counsel and Queen’s Counsel
These regulations, made under s119 of the LCA, prescribe the process by which candidates may be recommended for appointment as Senior Counsel, the application fees payable, the privileges and duties of Queen’s Counsel and Senior Counsel, and the conditions of appointment and practice.
These rules are made under s54 of the LCA and s51C of the Judicature Act, and replace The Law Practitioners Admission Rules 1987. They are in the form of regulations. They set the process for applying to the High Court for admission as a barrister and solicitor. The relevant forms are set in schedules to the rules.
These regulations, made under ss94 and 108 of the LCA, set out the circumstances in which lawyers and patent attorneys may share income. They prescribe the transitional requirements, as well as procedures for for giving notice to the Law Society and information to clients and potential clients.
Last updated on the 20th December 2016