Stay on the estate

1 June, 2017

Practitioners handling estate matters should not get involved in family disputes. As disputes between family members arise frequently in estate matters, practitioners need to be alert to their duties to executors and beneficiaries as well as potential conflicts of interest. LPLC has received claims where practitioners handling an estate were not proactive in distancing themselves […]

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Be prepared

8 May, 2017

Office policies and procedures are good risk management. There are many risk management benefits to having well-written and implemented office policies and procedures, including enabling employees to clearly understand their individual and team roles and responsibilities within the firm. The LPLC has developed a list of policies (and some procedures) for legal firms. It can […]

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How to defend against cyber crime

26 April, 2017

Practitioners need to do more to keep the door locked. Virtually all law practices today are vulnerable to cyber attacks which have the potential to disrupt delivery of legal services and compromise the security of clients’ confidential information. All staff need to understand how cyber attacks commonly occur and firms need to implement appropriate risk […]

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When tax needs to be raised

1 March, 2017

Do you help your clients make informed choices about tax issues? Every year the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee receives notice of claims where one of the issues was the alleged failure by a practitioner to raise tax issues with the client. Family law In one claim a practitioner acted for a husband in a matrimonial […]

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Misplaced trust

1 February, 2017

There are some important steps to take when handling trust money. The LPLC sees numerous claims against practitioners who are alleged to have distributed trust money to a party not entitled to receive it. For risk management purposes, two critical points in time are when a client instructs a practitioner to receive money on trust […]

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Not seeing the forest for the trees

1 December, 2016

Focusing on small details only can sometimes blind practitioners to the bigger picture. Not seeing the forest for the trees refers to someone who can’t see the whole situation clearly because they are looking too closely at the small details or are too closely involved. LPLC receives claims where practitioners become too bogged down in […]

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Keep out of harm’s way

1 November, 2016

Practitioners should be aware of key risks when acting for plaintiffs in personal injury litigation. Reviewing the claims against personal injury practitioners, the LPLC found from 2005 to 2015 more than half of the cost of these claims were attributed to workplace injury matters. Most was due to missed time limits or missed causes of […]

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How thorough are you?

1 October, 2016

Properly advising a purchaser client at the start of a matter is good risk management. The new federal government CGT withholding regime, which started on 1 July 2016, is a timely reminder to keep up to date on legislative changes so thorough advice can be given to purchasers of real estate. You can find more information about the new CGT […]

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Near enough isn’t good enough

1 September, 2016

Be careful to do the little things on transactional matters to avoid claims. This column in May 2016 emphasised the need to plan a litigation matter at the outset. This is equally the case for transactional matters. Although these matters may not have the procedural and time limit imperatives of litigation, factors such as the […]

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Delegation and supervision are essential claims prevent skills

1 August, 2016

Good delegators and supervisors will  help your firm avoid claims. The LPLC regularly receives notification of claims where the main cause is ineffective delegation and/or poor or no supervision. Not only can this result in inefficiencies within the firm, discontent among more junior practitioners and complaints from clients who feel they received less than the […]

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