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.


LIV Member Assistance Program

The Law Institute of Victoria offers members an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide support to practitioners experiencing challenges, concerns or issues affecting them at work or at home.

For more information about this program and LIV’s other wellbeing support services visit their website.


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.


Minds Count Foundation

The Minds Count Foundation’s (formerly the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation) 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 744www.viclawyershealth.com.au

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6 March 2020

Choose your litigation clients carefully

Choosing the right client for you and your firm is never more important than in the litigation context. Litigation is stressful, costly and often confusing for any client, so making sure you are cautious when choosing to act for a client in a litigation matter is good risk management. There are often telltale signs at […]

More
18 February 2020

Keep your files moving

Files can stagnate for many reasons: make moving them on your New Year’s resolution.  Is one of your professional New Year’s resolutions to procrastinate less, to better move matters on or to ensure nothing gets left behind this year? Make this the year you develop good strategies for moving your files on promptly. Here are […]

More
12 December 2019

Manage for when, not if

Cyber attacks by email are on the rise and law firms of all sizes are at risk. Cyber attacks on law firms of all sizes, but particularly smaller practices without the necessary safety measures in place, are on the increase. It is everyone’s problem. What you need to know is set out here. How they […]

More
30 October 2019

Take steps to avoid GST claims

GST is not simple but there are some easy steps you can take to help protect you and your clients. Section 9 of A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) (GST Act) sets out the four legs of a “taxable supply”. The fourth, s9(d) is that the supplier is “registered or […]

More
17 October 2019

Bringing your A game

Working on practice management basics gives you a solid platform to provide legal services. Knowledge of the law is fundamental, but not the only ingredient when providing high quality legal services to your clients. LPLC sees claims against practitioners who know the law, but for a variety of reasons fail to discharge their duty of […]

More
9 April 2020

Video Conferencing in the COVID-19 era

This bulletin covers: Using video conferencing to take instructions and give advice Using video conferencing to do VOI in property transactions Risk issues with video conferencing and with solicitors certificates Risk issues with video conferencing to witness wills and affidavits In this current environment when we are all trying to minimise contact with other people […]

More
1 April 2020

Deferral option for LPLC 2020/21 premium renewals

For the upcoming insurance renewal LPLC will offer all law practices (solicitors and barristers) currently insured with LPLC the option to defer payment of their renewal premium to 30 November 2020. This measure is to give law practices financial breathing space and help to protect jobs in the legal community in this next critical period.  […]

More
23 March 2020

COVID-19 Update from LPLC

Like all law practices, LPLC is responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with the utmost thought to the health and safety of our staff, insured practitioners and the community at large. LPLC has not had any COVID-19 notifications, but in line with government advice and sound practice, our staff have moved to a mix of […]

More
27 February 2020

File sharing email scam – multi-factor authentication will help protect you

What is happening There has been a spate of fraudulent document sharing emails circulating within the legal community that look like they are legitimate emails from other law firms. They ask the receiver (you) to access documents by clicking on a link to a document sharing platform such as Skyfish or Dropbox. These emails won’t […]

More
28 January 2020

Windows 7 no longer safe – upgrade now

Keeping your firm’s software up to date is vital to the security of your practice and the interests of your clients. Windows 7 is 11 years old and Microsoft ceased supporting it on 14 January 2020. The most up to date version is Windows 10. This means users of Windows 7 will no longer receive […]

More
14 February 2020

A practical guide to help lawyers be cybersafe

LPLC has developed a Cyber Security Guide covering five key areas to help time-poor and information-overloaded lawyers understand the risks and act to make their practice safer. The guide has been designed for sole practitioners and small to medium firms as this is where most of the cyber claims occur, however it is equally relevant […]

More
10 February 2020

Beware the risk your client’s email system may have been compromised

Our latest cyber claim story is a salutary reminder not to be complacent about payment directions received by email or be lured into thinking that because your IT system is secure, you are not at risk from cybercrime. In this deceased estate matter, the estate had been wound up and most of the beneficiaries had […]

More
29 January 2020

What’s the difference between a default notice and a rescission notice?

A practitioner acting for a vendor contacted LPLC seeking guidance on how to prepare a default notice for a breach of a sale of land contract by a purchaser and what the difference was between a default notice and the rescission notice. Under most contracts of sale a party is usually required to provide a […]

More
24 January 2020

Handy hints for GST

Some of the enquiries on our GST hotline in the last few months required some basic GST knowledge and logical thinking to answer. Here are some handy hints to help you navigate your next GST question. The starting point for all GST questions should be: is the vendor registered for GST or required to be […]

More
4 December 2019

Success often comes at a price

Some of the firms we have visited as part of our Risk Assistance Program have been around for 20 to 30 years. They often have a sole principal and have grown over the years to have five to eight lawyers and multiple support and administrative staff. The principal works long hours and spends a large […]

More
6 May 2019

Develop the engagement habit

Lawyers can get themselves into hot water when they neglect to go through a thorough client engagement process. Our handy engagement decision tool can help you develop a more manageable approach. Make it routine for every client and every matter.

More
9 November 2018

Key Risk Checklist: Tax issues

This checklist contains the most common taxes and related charges and is not intended to be exhaustive. Ticking a box indicates who is responsible for considering the selected item. Both practitioner and client may be selected. A column has been included for initial comments. It is recommended that a memorandum be sent to the client […]

More
23 August 2018

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. Cyber security ☐  Always authenticate email instructions that involve sending money by speaking to the client in person […]

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
28 February 2019

Claim free conveyancing

Additional conveyancing download: Default notice Rescission notice Introduction Claim free conveyancing has been produced to help practitioners avoid the most common mistakes which have resulted in a claim in conveyancing transactions. By being aware of how and why mistakes occur, you will be in a better position to protect against claims. Claims against practitioners arising […]

More
17 September 2018

Small business big risk

Since LPLC published the first edition of Small business – big risk there have been some changes in the legal landscape which are particularly relevant to transactions for the sale of small businesses including the introduction of: the Estate Agents (General, Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2008, which has made substantial changes to both the form and content […]

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
7 June 2019

Risk video bite – Adequate security or loans

Presenter: Matthew Rose, LPLC Risk Manager

More
2 May 2019

Risk video bite – Attention to detail in wills and estates

Presenter: Heather Hibberd, LPLC Chief Risk Manager

More
5 April 2019

Risk video bite – Systems save claims

Presenter: Stephen Bubb, LPLC Risk Manager

More
1 March 2019

Risk video bite – Buying or selling a small business

Presenter: Matthew Rose, LPLC Risk Manager

More
1 February 2019

Risk video bite – Inadequate advice

Presenter: Phil Nolan, LPLC Risk Manager

More
29 March 2019

Retrospective changes proposed for residential ‘off the plan’ sunset clauses

key risk alerts New bill proposes changes to the operation of sunset clauses in residential off the plan sales contracts. Proposed new requirements will prevent a vendor rescinding ROTP contracts based on a sunset clause without: at least 28 days written notice a purchasers consent The bill provides that the ‘notice’ and ‘consent’ provisions will […]

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)

Key points Appointments of medical treatment decision makers and advanced care directives replace medical powers of attorney and refusal of medical treatment certificates from 12 March 2018. Medical power of attorneys entered into before 12 March 2018 are taken to be appointments of medical decision makers. Any refusal of treatment certificates created before 12 March […]

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