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We regularly receive calls from practitioners raising issues about a lender, usually a bank, with the most common being the use of solicitors’ certificates which do not comply with rule 11 of the Legal Profession Uniform Legal Practice (Solicitors) Rules 2015.

Practitioners asked to sign solicitors’ certificates evidencing advice to proposed signatories about loans, mortgages and guarantees should refer the lender to rule 11 and section 39 of the Uniform Law and only sign a certificate that complies with rule 11.

Section 39 provides that:

A person must not cause or induce or attempt to cause or induce a law practice or a legal practitioner associate of a law practice to contravene this Law, the Uniform Rules or other professional obligations.

Requesting a practitioner provide a certificate which does not comply with rule 11, is caught by section 39. Up to 100 penalty units may be imposed for a breach of this section.