Review of sole practice attorney arrangements recommended
The start of 2019 is a good time for sole practitioners to review their power of attorney arrangements, the Law Society says.
Sole practitioners are required by section 44 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 to appoint an attorney and an alternate under a power of attorney authorising them to conduct their sole practice if the sole practitioner is unable to do so.
"Start the year by making contact with your attorney and alternate and updating them on all aspects of your practice," says Law Society Registry Manager, Christine Schofield.
"If you have changed your password during 2018, upgraded your software, and if you have changed PI providers or made any other significant changes, your attorney needs to be advised of this.
“If you are the attorney for another sole practitioner, be proactive and make contact directly. Such updates may make all the difference in an unexpected situation where an attorney is required to step in to run a practice at short notice."
Ms Schofield says acting now can provide peace of mind for both attorney and donor by allowing them to discuss an action plan if a power of attorney is invoked. This may include how files will be referred on and who else might be able to provide some support to the donor (for example, does the attorney have a list of lawyer friends/colleagues who would be able to help if needed?).
Further information about the types of matters which sole practitioners and their attorneys should be aware of is available on the Law Society website.
Last updated on the 17th January 2019