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Practitioners need to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of clients in order to avoid claims, as well as comply with common law obligations and Victoria’s electronic conveyancing Participation Rules.

Firms should have clear policies dictating how these requirements are to be satisfied, even where the client is known to the firm. Policies on verification of identity should be adhered to without exception, as illustrated by the following claim.

To help practitioners manage their roles and obligations LPLC has developed the following information.


Key Risk Checklist – VOI face to face information | Blog – Verify identity to avoid a claim

Additional VOI downloads

VOI flowchart

VOI flowchart – capacity, authority and notes

VOI client information

VOI client information for practitioners

VOI trouble-shooting


8 May 2017

Be prepared

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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27 March 2017

In Check Issue 74 | March 2017

Table of contentsWhat is new on LPLC’s website?What is happening in cyber risk?Are you ready for the DBDRV?Common GST questions – GST and adjustments for sale of commercial property2017 Risk Management seminars2017/18 Insurance renewalsLaw Institute Journal articles What is new on LPLC’s website? Cyber security page We have a new risk management page dedicated to […]

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7 December 2016

In Check Issue 73 | December 2016

Table of contentsCyber risk awareness for lawyers and clientsPPS – Raising awareness – how accurate is your registration?Termination of contract noticesA new GST checklistA new risk managerCommon GST questionBook now for our 2017 Risk Management SeminarsLaw Institute Journal articlesOffice closure over Christmas and New Year Cyber risk awareness for lawyers and clients We regularly hear […]

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1 December 2016

Not seeing the forest for the trees

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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28 September 2016

In Check Issue 72 | September 2016

Table of contentsClarifying some CGT withholding issuesPriority notices to commence in December 2016Unfair contract terms protection extended to small businessCommon GST question2016 Risk Management SeminarsLaw Institute Journal articles Clarifying some CGT withholding issues If you missed LPLC’s three recent bulletins about the new CGT withholding regime you can read them here. As our bulletins explain, the new regime […]

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19 October 2016

Cyber security cautionary tale

Table of contentsIntroductionThe realistic emailHijacking his emailLessons Introduction Cyber security needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether you are in a small firm or a large firm. The recent experience of a Victorian law firm is a good example of how easy it is to be caught out. The realistic email A […]

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23 May 2007

E-mail guidelines

Table of contentsSending e-mailReceiving e-mail Sending e-mail 1. Discuss with your clients at the outset what categories of communication they do or do not want via e-mail. 2. Consider if e-mail is the right medium for each communication. Would a posted letter, a face-to-face meeting or a telephone call be more appropriate? 3. Only put in an […]

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18 August 2017

Confirm agent’s instructions with your client

Recently LPLC has received numerous claims where there was ineffective communication between the practitioner and their client after the practitioner had dealt primarily with the client’s agent on the matter. In one claim, the practitioner acted for a lender on instructions from a broker regarding a loan. The practitioner was instructed to register an interest […]

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11 August 2017

Experienced lawyers also need supervision

Principals need to be proactive in supervising all employees, including experienced lawyers and clerks, to ensure the firm’s policies and procedures are followed and matters are progressed in a timely manner. Supervision will vary depending on the area of practice and experience of the employee but should always involve regular face-to-face meetings and file reviews […]

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4 August 2017

Continual improvement and risk management

Does your firm have a culture of continual improvement and best practice? Are your staff empowered to raise ideas and suggestions on how things can be done better or why things are not working well? Creating a culture where those things are second nature for staff has many benefits. Hearing about a practice management issue […]

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7 July 2017

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate

Effective communication is a core skill of legal practice and is the only way of ensuring your progress of a matter is aligned with your client’s expectations. LPLC often defends claims against practitioners from dissatisfied clients even though the practitioners did not get any of the legal issues wrong. In one claim, the practitioner acted […]

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30 June 2017

Documentation especially important when multiple operators are involved

When multiple operators work on a matter firms need to implement measures to ensure all instructions received from the client are properly documented and reviewed. This is particularly important in litigation matters, which are often unfamiliar territory for the client and emotionally-charged. In one claim a firm acted for a business owner who sought damages […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File transfer to another practitioner within the firm

    File transferred to another practitioner within the firm Yes No Comment or detail Has the client requested the change of practitioner? □ □ Has the practitioner receiving the file confirmed they have the knowledge and capacity to do the work? □ □ Has the transferring practitioner completed a detailed memorandum that: details the […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File closing

  Work completed Yes No Comment or detail Have we written to the client confirming: all required work has been completed? □ □ any outstanding issues that are the client’s responsibility? □ □ any critical dates and consequences? □ □ future actions (such as exercise of an option) that is the client’s responsibility? □ □ […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File transfer to another firm

  File transferred to another firm at request of client Yes No Comment or detail Before we transfer the file have we: spoken with the client about their concerns? □ □ accounted for all work and disbursements? □ □ Have we written to the client confirming: the status of their matter including work completed and […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: Client intake

  Client   Comment or detail Who is the client? (Individual or entity) Ethical Yes No   Comment or detail Is VOI required (or desirable)? □ □ Is there more than one client? □ □ Has the firm acted for or against this client previously? □ □ Are there any potential conflicts? (particularly if more […]

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8 August 2016

Key Risk Checklist: Face to face verification of identity

Doing VOI well protects you and your good clients and deters bad clients Face to face verification of identity – Steps for practitioners To undertake a VOI of a client you need to be familiar with the following documents as a minimum: ☐  Model Participation Rules. In particular clause 6.5 and schedules 8 and 9. […]

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11 May 2017

Know your limits

Table of contentsIntroductionLessons from the claimsTime limits most commonly missedClaims examples Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge […]

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20 July 2017

Working together – roles and obligations

What we will do when we act for you Be courteous and polite at all times. Act in your best interests only. Keep your information confidential unless you give us permission to disclose it or we are required by law to disclose it. To enables us to handle your matter as quickly and economically as […]

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