Many clients have never retained a lawyer before and do not know how to work effectively with them. This lack of understanding sometimes contributes to claims against law firms that could have been avoided or minimised if there had been better communication between the firm and the client about working together.

To help practitioners manage their clients’ expectations as well as explain both the client’s and lawyer’s roles and obligations in the relationship LPLC has developed a sample information brochure: Working together – roles and obligations to illustrate what could be done.

The brochure outlines what the law firm will do when acting for a client including when they will stop acting for a client. It also explains the law firm’s expectations of the client including at the first appointment, follow up appointments and during the course of the matter.

The information is available in a Microsoft Word version so firms can tailor the wording to suit their needs and insert their own branding. Firms are also welcome to use the sample brochure if they so wish.

The two-page brochure can be included in introductory information sent to the client, given to them in the initial contact, loaded on to the firm’s website and available in reception.

LPLC encourages firms to invest time into thinking creatively about ways to better communicate with their clients with a view to better managing the relationship and retainer with their clients.

Working together – roles and obligations (PDF Version) | Working together – roles and obligations (Word Version) 


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

19 May 2017

Destroy titles or make them invalid?

The announcement by Land Use Victoria that all land transactions will be conducted electronic by July 2019 is a timely reminder that practitioners need to implement a process to either destroy any paper titles or make them invalid in accordance with clause 6 of schedule 3 to the ARNECC Model Participation Rules. There are a […]

28 April 2017

Time to prepare for mandatory notification of data breaches

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (Cwlth) was passed on 13 February 2017 and will come into effect within 12 months. It amends the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) (Act) by introducing a scheme for mandatory notification of data breaches. The provisions apply to public and private organisations regulated by the Act, which include […]

21 April 2017

Just run your eyes over this

Practitioners who act repeatedly for a client need to document the scope of work for each matter, irrespective of its size. LPLC has received claims where a client made a casual request for a practitioner to conduct a cursory check of a document, only to later allege they expected the practitioner to advise on issues […]

7 April 2017

Money, money, money and risk management

There can be a number of reasons claims arise where trust funds are held by a law firm. In some claims trust funds were paid by the law firm to the wrong party, while in others trust funds were not invested in accordance with the client’s instructions or the option to invest was not raised […]

24 February 2017

The domino effect and a circuit breaker

A small mistake in one matter can cause a domino effect, resulting in a similar mistake occurring in many matters and if not identified early, can cause practitioners a series of problems. In one example a firm was migrating their trademark tracking system to new software. In the transition, either due to human or systems […]

19 October 2016

Key Risk Checklist: Cyber Security

It is essential that firms take steps to prevent cyber-crime as practitioners are increasingly at risk of cyber-attacks. This is a list of the things firms need to do to at least lock the door on cyber-crime. ☐  Ensure staff have regular training on cyber security and fraud prevention including: risks associated with clicking on […]

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 Additional VOI downloads VOI flowchart VOI flowchart – capacity, authority and notes VOI client information VOI client information for practitioners VOI trouble-shooting Steps for practitioners To undertake a VOI of a client you need to be familiar with the following documents as […]

7 June 2016

Delegation/supervision instruction sheet

Download Word Version Delegation/supervision instruction sheet Delegator:  [insert name] Who: [insert name of staff receiving work] When work due: /         /20   Scheduled dates to meet and review: /         /20 /         /20 What needs to be done: Format: [letter format, oral report, written report, email, in conference etc] Why: [for example, to help the client […]

7 June 2016

Tips for effective supervision

Table of contentsTips for effective supervisionHow to manage regular supervision meetingsAdditional resourcesPropositions derived from Malcolm CJ’s reasons in: D’Alessando and D’Angelo v Bouloudas (1994) 10 WAR 191 at 211-213 Tips for effective supervision 1. Treat supervision as the real and important work it is There are innumerable business and personal benefits of correctly supervising employees so give […]

2 December 2014

Policies for law firms

This document contains a list of policies (and some procedures) firms have told us they use. Not all firms have all of these policies. In some instances several of these policies could be amalgamated into one. For some of the policies we have commented on the risk management issues that should be considered when drafting […]

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 […]