Securities reform has significantly changed the way personal property is protected in Australia. This section contains information to assist practitioners in understanding the changes and avoiding the traps in the new requirements.
Mortgage claims are often one of our most expensive areas of claims. The claims usually involve acting for private or not sophisticated lenders and not ensuring the security was adequate either because the right checks and balances were not put in place, directors guarantees were not obtained or the security documents were not registered promptly.
Personal properties securities is a complex area of law that has caught out many practitioners. The mistakes include not recognising when there is a security interest, not adequately advising clients about the impact of a security interest and what steps need to be taken to protect the client and simple mistakes in registering or de-registering interests.
Solicitors certificates are fraught with difficulty if practitioners do not treat them seriously and have good systems in place. We regularly see claims where the client alleges they received no or inadequate advice about mortgage or guarantee they were entering into but the lawyer says they did give advice. Invariably there is not sufficient written evidence to show what that advice was.
Practitioners must take reasonable steps to verify the identity (VOI) of their clients both to avoid claims and comply with common law obligations and Victoria's electronic conveyancing Participation Rules. To help practitioners understand the importance of VOI and manage their roles and obligations LPLC has developed a range of resources and information.
Cyber-crime is a growing risk to law firms of all sizes as lawyers and the legal profession are increasingly becoming targets of cyber-criminals. Having strategies, policies and processes to boost a firm’s cyber-security is an essential part of practice management. LPLC provides a range of information and resources, including our Cyber Security Guide for Lawyers, to support practices to do so.
Engagement management is about choosing the right client and the right matter at the right time, and then properly scoping and documenting the retainer. We see claims where firms fail to do these things or they fail to manage the client’s expectations to the retainer or recognise when the retainer has changed.
Practitioner and client resources to provide information and advice about common issues leading to claims.