risk-management.php

Wellbeing and mental health

The legal profession is overrepresented when it comes to mental illness and in Australia, lawyers are more likely than the general population to experience depression and anxiety. The Brain and Mind Research Institute reported in 2009 that almost a third of solicitors and one in five barristers surveyed suffered from clinical depression during their career.

Law firms and legal industry bodies across Australia are committed to the wellbeing and mental health of all lawyers and there are number of resources to encourage education and awareness of this important issue. Below are just a few.


Resilience@law

Resilience@law is a collaboration between major firms and The College of Law.  It aims to raise the levels of awareness and understanding of the nature and impact of stress, depression and anxiety across the legal profession. To encourage education and awareness of mental health and awareness in the legal profession generally Resilience@Law together with 10 other firms committed funding to work with Black Dog and artist Matthew Johnstone to create a series of videos for mental health month – Staying Well in the Law. Below are the links to the three separate videos and also a link to the full video.


LSSA’s free online health and wellbeing package – 1 CPD unit

The Law Society of South Australia, with a grant received from the Professional Standards Council of Australia, has developed a free online health and wellbeing package that aims to expand participants’ knowledge of mental health issues, and for participants to then contribute to building a culture of wellness and self-care throughout the legal profession. To access the program, go to the Law Society of South Australia ‘s website. You don’t have to be a LSSA member but you will need to create an account and login. Click on the wellbeing and resilience logo at the bottom of the front page to get to the page with the wellness and resilience online program. It should take between one to one and a half hours, and completing it earns you one CPD unit in the compulsory area of professional development.


Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation

The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation’s objective is to decrease work related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety. Since its beginnings in August 2008, the foundation has been at the forefront of building greater awareness of depression and anxiety across all areas of the legal fraternity. It continues to improve education and build effective models of support which focus on mental health wellbeing within the legal education system and the legal profession.  In particular their free Workplace Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines that provide a comprehensive set of resources designed to protect and promote psychological health and safety in the legal workplace.


Other useful links 

If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health concerns please contact the following organisations:

Vic Lawyers Health  T: 1300 664 744 | www.viclawyershealth.com.au

Lifeline Australia T: 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue  T: 1300 22 4636 |  www.beyondblue.org.au

SANE Australia  T: 1800 18 7263 | www.sane.org

Headspace (for up to 25 years of age) T: 1800 650 890 | http://www.headspace.org.au/

MensLine Australia T: 1300 789 978 | https://mensline.org.au/

Suicide Call Back Service T: 1300 659 467 | https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/

QLife on T: 1800 184 527 | https://qlife.org.au/


1 August 2018

When to say goodbye

Practitioners should act decisively on non-performing clients. Practitioners need to proactively manage clients who do not appreciate the value of their services. This includes knowing when to act decisively by not accepting a retainer or terminating a retainer within r13.1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015. Clients who do not value your services heighten your risks and […]

More
1 July 2018

When parents lend to children

Be alert to the risks when advising on parent loans to home buyers. Last year, financial services comparison site Mozo reported that young home buyers in Australia have borrowed $65.3 billion from their families, making the bank of Mum and Dad the country’s fifth biggest lender. The June 2018 LPLC column “Take a step back” […]

More
28 June 2018

In Check Issue 79 | June 2018

Download PDF New requirements for some purchasers to withhold GST – 1 July 2018 From 1 July 2018 purchasers of certain new residential premises and potential residential land will be required to withhold the goods and services tax (GST) and pay it to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Vendors of residential premises or potential residential […]

More
1 June 2018

Take a step back

Seeing the big picture is essential for good matter management. Experienced busy practitioners practising in their area of expertise are still at risk of claims. Unless you take time to stop and think about each matter it is easy to assume it is just like the last one you worked on. Don’t get so caught […]

More
1 May 2018

Post mortem risk management

Good risk management includes analysing mistakes and learning from them. IWhat has a post mortem examination to do with risk management? A doctor conducting a post mortem thoroughly examines the deceased to try to determine the cause and manner of death. The results are also useful for research and educational purposes. Consider doing a post […]

More
14 August 2018

Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic)

Download PDF Key points   Appointments of medical treatment decision makers and advanced care directives replace medical powers of attorney and refusal of medical treatment certificates from 1 July 2018. Medical power of attorneys entered into before 1 July 2018 are taken to be appointments of medical decision makers. Any refusal of treatment certificates created […]

More
7 August 2018

Some purchasers required to withhold GST from 1 July 2018

Download PDF Suggested resources: Vendor/supplier GST withholding notice Key points New GST withholding regime applying to some settlements from 1 July 2018. New notification obligations on vendors of new residential or potential residential land. New notification and withholding obligations on purchasers of new residential or potential residential land. Penalties apply for both vendor and purchaser […]

More
27 June 2018

GST withholding special condition

Download PDF GST withholding 1.1. In this special condition, section references are to Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cwth) as amended by Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.1) Act 2018 (Cwth) and asterisked terms have the same meanings as when used in that schedule. 1.2. If section 14-255(1) applies to the supply […]

More
25 June 2018

Security warning for PEXA users

Recent news reports and emails from PEXA have described a fraud involving the PEXA workspace. Any users of the PEXA workspace need to read this bulletin for tips on how to avoid this happening to them. The fraudster appears to have gained access to a subscriber’s email account and intercepted a change of password email […]

More
11 July 2017

Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cwlth) – background and key concepts

Published March 2012 – updated July 2017 The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cwlth) (PPS Act) commenced on 30 January 2012. Since then LPLC has received claims every year for mistakes by practitioners in dealing with PPS Act issues. This bulletin contains background information about the PPS Act and key concepts. Background NB: The PPS […]

More
17 August 2018

What did they expect?

When sued by a client, the reaction from some practitioners is ‘What did they expect for what I charged?’ However, a court will give little regard to your fees when determining the extent of your retainer and whether you discharged your duty. You need to be clear about the scope of your retainer, irrespective of […]

More
10 August 2018

New ipso facto regime has commenced

The amendments to the insolvency regime in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwlth) to restrict the rights of parties to enforce ipso facto clauses in new contracts came into effect on 1 July 2018. These clauses typically allow a party to terminate or exercise other contractual rights if the counterparty enters into an insolvency. Under the […]

More
3 August 2018

Beware of bad cheque scams

LPLC has previously warned practitioners about bad cheque scams, also known as advance fee scams. These appear to still be alive and well. The scam typically involves a firm being asked by a new, typically foreign-based client to bank a cheque on the client’s behalf for a matter in the firm’s jurisdiction. The client then […]

More
27 July 2018

Confirm when discrete tasks are completed in general files

One risk of running ‘general files’ is failing to confirm in writing when your obligations in connection with discrete tasks are to be treated as concluded. If you fail to clarify this, you might remain ‘on risk’ for issues beyond the discrete task. In one claim, the practitioner acted for the owner of a nursing […]

More
20 July 2018

A bad plan

A critical issue for any purchaser of an ‘off the plan’ property is ensuring the actual property accords with what they intended to purchase. Therefore, when giving pre-contractual advice to purchasers, it is essential to identify any deficiencies in documentation that could hinder a proper assessment by the purchaser. In one claim, the practitioner was […]

More
7 May 2018

Key Risk Checklist: Sale of land – questions for the vendor

Sale of land – questions for the vendor   Instructions ☐  Please circle yes or no as applicable. ☐  Please provide the additional information as indicated e.g. a copy of your title(s). ☐  If you do not know the answer or are unable to provide the additional information please insert the words ‘not known’. ☐ […]

More
24 April 2018

Key Risk Checklist: GST

GST is not simple but there are some easy steps you can take to help protect you and your clients. References to divisions and sections can be found in A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cwlth). GST alert – for contracts entered into from 1 July 2018, purchaser to collect and […]

More
27 January 2018

Risk management audit checklist

Don’t wait for the worst to happen – use this audit checklist to determine and monitor whether your practice is at risk of a negligence claim. Introduction This audit checklist is a risk management tool for legal practitioners to determine and monitor whether their practice is at risk of a negligence claim arising from poor […]

More
18 December 2017

Key Risk Checklist: Electronic property transactions – office management

Electronic property transactions – office management checklist Office policy content Below is a list of issues to consider when writing your office policy and recommended responses. ☐  Who will hold a digital signature? The digital signature is embedded in a USB. Preferably only partners have digital signatures. ☐  How a digital signature’s USB and pin […]

More
18 December 2017

Key Risk Checklist: Electronic property transactions

Electronic property transactions – matter checklist ☐  Is there an electronic transaction clause in the contract? ☐  Discussed with the client whether the conveyance can be done electronically or on paper. – Land Use Victoria has announced that all transaction will be electronic by August 2019. ☐  Client told consequences of conducting electronically. Any paper […]

More
6 August 2018

Pitfalls in personal injury litigation

Personal injury litigation Clients seek out litigation lawyers only when something has gone wrong. In the personal injury arena, they have the added difficulty of dealing with a physical or mental impairment and its consequences. This means the relationship is going to be challenging from the start. It can be made even more difficult if […]

More
24 July 2018

Keep managing mortgage risk

Additional mortgage downloads Solicitor’s Certificate – Direct Borrower Solicitor’s Certificate – Third Party, Guarantor etc Translator’s Certificate Client acknowledgement Introduction From 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2017 LPLC has received 43 mortgage claims at a total estimated cost of $3M. Smaller law firms continue to be more vulnerable to these types of claims. Of […]

More
24 April 2018

Avoiding superannuation claims

Introduction Every year LPLC sees claims involving superannuation funds. Claims sometimes arise because the practitioner does not have sufficient knowledge or experience with superannuation matters. Practitioners who regularly act in this area will agree that extensive expertise and understanding is required to properly advise clients and to have the best chance to avoid a claim. […]

More
24 January 2018

A guide for executors

18 frequently asked questions about being an executor. This booklet provides a guide, in question and answer format, for executors about their role, their obligations and what is involved in managing and finalising an estate in Victoria. For more information executors should contact their legal practitioner. 1 Who is an executor? An executor is a […]

More
24 January 2018

A guide for beneficiaries

20 frequently asked questions about being a beneficiary This booklet provides a guide, in question and answer format, for beneficiaries about what is means to be a beneficiary, what is required of them and what is involved in managing and finalising an estate in Victoria. For more information beneficiaries should contact their legal practitioner. 1 […]

More
6 July 2018

Risk video bite – Conflicts

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

More
1 June 2018

Risk video bite – Personal cost orders

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

More
4 May 2018

Risk video bite – Family law financial agreements

Presenter: Alex Macmillan, Claims Manager, LPLC

More
6 April 2018

Risk video bite – Drafting

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

More
2 March 2018

Risk video bite – Conveyancing

Presenter: Phillip Nolan, Risk Manager, LPLC

More
15 August 2018

Vendor/supplier GST withholding notice

There is no prescribed form for section 14-255 supplier GST withholding notice. Below is a suggested form of notice practitioners are welcome to use or adapt.Page two of the notice contains some notes for its use.   Vendor_supplier GST withholding notice(PDF Version) | Vendor_supplier GST withholding notice(Word Version)    

More
14 August 2018

Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic)

Download PDF Key points   Appointments of medical treatment decision makers and advanced care directives replace medical powers of attorney and refusal of medical treatment certificates from 1 July 2018. Medical power of attorneys entered into before 1 July 2018 are taken to be appointments of medical decision makers. Any refusal of treatment certificates created […]

More
7 August 2018

Some purchasers required to withhold GST from 1 July 2018

Download PDF Suggested resources: Vendor/supplier GST withholding notice Key points New GST withholding regime applying to some settlements from 1 July 2018. New notification obligations on vendors of new residential or potential residential land. New notification and withholding obligations on purchasers of new residential or potential residential land. Penalties apply for both vendor and purchaser […]

More
27 June 2018

GST withholding special condition

Download PDF GST withholding 1.1. In this special condition, section references are to Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cwth) as amended by Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.1) Act 2018 (Cwth) and asterisked terms have the same meanings as when used in that schedule. 1.2. If section 14-255(1) applies to the supply […]

More
16 April 2018

About LPLC – serving and protecting you!

It’s your insurance scheme! Your scheme provides universal, comprehensive and secure statutory professional indemnity insurance (PII). You get certainty of cover from year to year without the cyclical fluctuations of the commercial insurance market and automatic run-off cover to protect you from claims after you cease legal practice. The policy protects you from the financial […]

More