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Rules of Practice 1994 (S.R. 1994, No. 229)
Requested:  27 Apr 2017
Consolidated as at:  17 Mar 2006

PART 2 - Professional practice and conduct

Division 1 - Place and conduct of business

4. Attendance at practice

(1) A practitioner must not carry on his or her practice at any place unless the practitioner or another practitioner –

(a) is in charge of that place; and

(b) spends substantial time at that place during its normal business hours.

(1A) A practitioner must not carry on a branch of his or her practice at any place unless –

(a) the practitioner or another practitioner is in charge of that place; and

(b) there is displayed in a prominent area in that place for inspection by members of the public a notice that –

(i) specifies the contact details of another office of the practice at which a practitioner may be contacted; and

(ii) if a practitioner is not in attendance, specifies when a practitioner will next be in attendance.

(1B) A notice under subrule (1A)(b) is to be in a form approved by the Council.
(2) A practitioner may apply to the Council for approval not to comply with subrule (1) or (1A).
(3) The Council may –

(a) grant the approval with or without conditions; or

(b) refuse to grant the approval.

(4) An application for approval is to be –

(a) in writing; and

(b) lodged with the Executive Director.

(5) The Council may withdraw an approval at any time.

5. Sharing of premises and carrying on another business

(1) A practitioner may only carry on another business apart from a practice and share premises with another business if –

(a) the conduct of that business is kept separate from the practice as far as practicable; and

(b) the carrying on of that business is not likely to lead to a contravention of the Act or these rules.

(2) A practitioner is taken to be carrying on another business if that business, although conducted by another entity, is carried on substantially under that practitioner's direction or control.

6. Firm names and professional description

(1) A practitioner may carry on a practice under a firm name that includes –

(a) that practitioner's name; or

(b) the names of any partner or former partner of the firm.

(2) A practitioner must not carry on a practice under a firm name, other than a firm name specified under subrule (1), without the approval of the Society.
(3) An application for approval is to –

(a) be in writing; and

(b) specify the proposed firm name; and

(c) be lodged with the Executive Director.

(4) The Society may –

(a) grant the approval; or

(b) refuse to grant the approval.

(5) The Society must not grant an approval if a firm name is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

Division 2 - Advertising and attracting business

7. Advertising

(1) A practitioner may advertise in connection with his or her practice if the advertisement –

(a) does not contain a statement that the practitioner knows to be false; and

(b) is not misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive; and

(c) does not make or imply a comparison with another practitioner; and

(d) is not vulgar, sensational or of a nature that, in the opinion of the Society, is likely to bring the practitioner, the legal profession or the legal system into disrepute.

(2) In respect of any investigation of a complaint or any disciplinary proceedings under Part 8 of the Act, a practitioner claiming expertise or specialty in a particular field of the law, if required by the Society, must prove that the claim is –

(a) not false; and

(b) not misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.

(3) Subrule (2) does not apply to the practice of mediation or arbitration.

8. Attracting business in offensive manner

A practitioner, directly or indirectly, must not –

(a) apply for, or seek instructions for, professional business from a person whom the practitioner knows is a client of another practitioner in a current matter; or

(b) do any act or thing, or permit or cause any act or thing to be done, that may reasonably be regarded as –

(i) attracting business in an offensive manner; or

(ii) using harassment or coercion; or

(iii) calculated to attract business unfairly.

Division 3 - Mediation and arbitration

9. Restrictions relating to mediation and arbitration

(1) A practitioner must not hold himself or herself out, or allow himself or herself to be held out, directly or indirectly, as being prepared to perform work as a mediator or an arbitrator or as both a mediator and an arbitrator without the approval of the Society.
(2) A practitioner may apply to the Society for approval to practise as a mediator or an arbitrator or a mediator and an arbitrator.
(3) The Society may –

(a) grant the approval with or without conditions; or

(b) refuse to grant the approval.

(4) An application for approval is to be –

(a) in writing; and

(b) lodged with the Executive Director.

(5) A condition of an approval may require the practitioner to comply with any rules of practice or guidelines –

(a) approved by the Society in respect of the practice of mediation; or

(b) approved by the Australian Institute of Arbitrators in respect of the practice of arbitration.

(6) The Society may withdraw an approval at any time.

Division 4 - Relationship and dealings between practitioner and client

10. Conduct of business

(1) A practitioner must do his or her best to complete a client's business –

(a) in a competent manner; and

(b) within a reasonable time.

(2) A practitioner must inform a client of all significant developments in that client's matter unless the client has instructed otherwise.

11. Disclosure of information and interest

(1) A practitioner must not disclose any information obtained in the course of handling a client's matter without the consent of the client other than to the administrator of a scheme relating to legal assistance in accordance with rule 16.
(2) A practitioner must disclose to a client –

(a) any interest that the practitioner has in any transaction in which he or she is acting for that client; and

(b) any matter which may reasonably be regarded as a conflict of interest on the part of the practitioner.

(3) Unless the client otherwise instructs, a practitioner must cease to act for a client if –

(a) that practitioner has an interest in the transaction in which the practitioner is acting for that client; and

(b) that interest is adverse to the interests of the client.

12. Acting for more than one party

(1) A practitioner may act for more than one party to any proceedings or transaction.
(2) A practitioner must not accept instructions from more than one party to any proceedings or transaction unless the practitioner is satisfied on reasonable grounds that –

(a) each of the parties is aware that the practitioner intends to act for another party or parties; and

(b) each of the parties is aware that as a result of acting for more than one party –

(i) the practitioner may be prevented from disclosing to any one of those parties the full knowledge that the practitioner has of matters relevant to the proceedings or transaction; and

(ii) the practitioner may be prevented from giving advice to any one of those parties if that advice is contrary to the interest of any other party; and

(iii) the practitioner must cease to act for all parties if the practitioner determines that he or she is not able to continue to act for all parties without acting in a manner contrary to the interests of one or more of those parties; and

(c) each of the parties, with full knowledge of the matters referred to in paragraph (b), has consented to the practitioner acting for more than one party.

(3) A practitioner who is acting for more than one party to any proceedings or transaction must immediately cease to act for all parties if that practitioner determines that he or she is not able to continue to act for all parties without acting in a manner contrary to the interests of one or more of those parties.

12A. Practitioner member of statutory tribunal

(1) A practitioner must not undertake work on behalf of a client in relation to, or appear in, any proceedings before a statutory tribunal of which the practitioner is a member.
(2) A practitioner must not appear in any proceedings before a statutory tribunal on behalf of a client if a partner, employer or employee of the practitioner is sitting as a member of that statutory tribunal for the purposes of those proceedings.
(3) A practitioner must not undertake work on behalf of a client in relation to, or appear in, any proceedings before a statutory tribunal of which a partner, employer or employee of the practitioner is a member unless –

(a) the practitioner advises his or her client and any other party to the proceedings that a partner, employer or employee of the practitioner is a member of that statutory tribunal; and

(b) that advice is given as soon as practicable.

(4) A reference to a partner of a practitioner is a reference to –

(a) a partner of the firm of which the practitioner is a partner; or

(b) a director of the legal practitioner corporation of which the practitioner is a director.

(5) A reference to an employee of a practitioner includes a reference to –

(a) a practitioner employed by a legal practitioner corporation of which the first practitioner is a director; and

(b) any other practitioner employed in the firm or legal practitioner corporation of which the first practitioner is an employee.

(6) A reference to an employer of a practitioner includes a reference to a director of a legal practitioner corporation of which the first practitioner is an employee.

13. Advice on costs

(1) This rule does not apply to a practitioner receiving remuneration under Division 2 of Part 7.
(2) As soon as practicable after first taking instructions, a practitioner, unless it is unreasonable or inappropriate in the circumstances, must provide a client with written advice as to –

(a) the reasonably estimated range of costs and disbursements that may be incurred by the client; and

(b) the method of calculation of those costs; and

(c) the condition upon which the practitioner accepts the client's retainer; and

(d) the frequency with which accounts are to be rendered to the client; and

(e) any Court scale applying to those costs.

(3) A practitioner may dispense with the advice if that practitioner already has an agreement with the client in which all work done by that practitioner is subject to an agreed charging rate.
(4) A practitioner must provide to a client if requested –

(a) a review of the estimated costs and disbursements of a matter; and

(b) the method of calculation used.

14. Advice on settlement

Before settlement of a litigious matter negotiated by a practitioner, the practitioner must advise the client of the likely minimum amount that the client will receive if –

(a) the matter is settled in accordance with the proposed settlement; and

(b) the payments due from the settlement are no more than those of which the practitioner is reasonably aware at the time of settlement.

Division 5 - Dealings with legal aid clients

15. Eligibility for legal aid

A practitioner must inform a client of any entitlement to apply for legal aid.

16. Changes in circumstances

(1) Subject to any guidelines issued by any scheme relating to legal assistance, a practitioner must inform the administrator of that scheme if the practitioner –

(a) forms the view that a client in receipt of legal aid no longer has a reasonable prospect of success; or

(b) is instructed about any significant change in the financial position or other circumstances of a client in receipt of legal aid.

(2) A practitioner must inform a client of any matter communicated under subrule (1).


CURRENT VIEW: 31 Dec 1994 - 1 Oct 2016
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