SMSF not so simple

1 December, 2014

Self-managed super funds have attracted many conveyancing claims. Practitioners need to be aware of the pitfalls. In the past five years there have been more than 60 claims involving superannuation funds. Claims have arisen in family law matters, wills and estates, drafting amendments to superannuation trust deeds and conveyancing. This column focuses on two of […]

Continue Reading

Growing pains

5 November, 2014

Planning is essential when lateral hiring or merging practices. In recent years, law practices in Australia and many other countries have increasingly chosen to expand through merging or taking on lateral hires, rather than growing organically. While both approaches present opportunities for firms when well executed they also carry inherent risks that require proactive strategies […]

Continue Reading

Old claims, new laws

1 October, 2014

Practitioners need to be aware of changes to section 32 of the Sale of Land Act. In the past three years there have been 36 claims where a practitioner acting for the vendor has not properly completed the section 32 statement and 43 claims where a practitioner acting for a purchaser has failed to properly […]

Continue Reading

Lessons to note

1 September, 2014

Recent cases confirm practitioners fail to record advice at their peril. The need for practitioners to keep proper written records of instructions and advice is a well-worn risk management message. Two decisions in New South Wales in the last two years have reminded us why this message is so important, especially where the practitioner is […]

Continue Reading

How to identify risks

1 August, 2014

There are many things practitioners can do to avoid claims. A good start is to consider ways you can identify risks in your office. Ask all staff to help identify risks and seek their input on how they believe things could be improved, such as the way processes and procedures are carried out. It could […]

Continue Reading

When family ties unravel

1 July, 2014

Practitioners need to be wary when acting for family members in asset transfers. The LPLC has seen a substantial increase in claims arising out of intra-family transfer of assets, reinforcing the need for practitioners to be careful when acting in such matters, especially if representing multiple parties or any party is unrepresented. Typically, when a practitioner […]

Continue Reading

Don’t forget the valuer

2 June, 2014

Failing to recommend that a client get a valuation can leave practitioners vulnerable. Over the past five years there have been a number of claims where practitioners have been caught out with valuations or dealing with valuers. The mistakes include failing to recommend a client get a valuation, not giving the client the opportunity to […]

Continue Reading

Mind your own business

1 May, 2014

Many claims could be avoided by firms investing in better practice management. Many practitioners think claims are avoided by knowing the law and making smart, pragmatic decisions about each case as they go about their work. In reality, a large number of claims could be prevented by firms investing in skills, staff, systems, policies and […]

Continue Reading

The cost of neglect

2 April, 2014

Contents Little supervision of lawyers and clerks equals big risk for principals. Kelly v Jowett [2009] NSWCA 278 ACT disciplinary action Test your own practice Little supervision of lawyers and clerks equals big risk for principals. We often make the point that legal practices cannot manage risk effectively without proactive supervision of employed lawyers and […]

Continue Reading

Land can be taxing

1 March, 2014

Addressing land tax issues before entering into a lease or contract can avoid problems later. Land tax of one sort or another has probably been around since the Roman times. For conveyancing practitioners, land tax can be a source of much grief, especially given the complexity of the land tax regime in Victoria. Claims in […]

Continue Reading