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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/


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 […]

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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 […]

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1 April 2018

Conveyancing claims on the rise

What risk management practices are you doing to avoid a conveyancing claim? In 2016/17 LPLC received 127 conveyancing claims and notifications which represented approximately 30 per cent of all claims and notifications received that year. The cost is currently estimated to be in excess of $10 million. This represents an increase in both the number […]

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27 March 2018

In Check Issue 78 | March 2018

Cyber fraud – it can happen to you No firm is immune from cyber-criminals and their fake emails. We are seeing an increase in attempts to steal money by hackers masquerading as either the client or the lawyer in fake emails. Below is a summary of two of our recent notifications. The law firm duped […]

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1 March 2018

Will it be right?

Mistakes in the preparation of wills can be avoided with careful proofreading. In the 2016-17 policy year, wills and estates claims accounted for 11.7 per cent of the total cost of claims and 8.4 per cent of the total number. In the previous 10-year period, these figures were 6.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent […]

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29 June 2017

Cyber security breach – claims caused by fake client email

It is no longer safe practice to transfer money to a client’s account based only on email instructions from your client. Always verify email instructions from a client, especially if it involves handling money, by confirming the details orally with the client. LPLC has received four notifications in the last two years, one only last […]

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6 November 2016

CGT withholding payments – practical examples

Updated July 2017 Introduction This bulletin contains practical examples of how the withholding requirements, which commenced 1 July 2016 and were amended with effect from 1 July 2017, work. For more general information about the new regime please refer to the following two LPLC bulletins: 1 July 2017 amended CGT withholding payments for real property […]

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19 October 2016

Cyber security cautionary tale

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 principal of one of our insured firms […]

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6 July 2016

Amended CGT withholding payments for options, company title interests and indirect Australian real property transactions

Updated July 2017 Introduction This bulletin contains information on the withholding requirements which commenced on 1 July 2016 as amended in June 2017 by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Payments) Act 2017 (Cwlth). This bulletin focuses on: options and rights to acquire company title interests indirect Australian real property interests. You […]

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2 June 2016

1 July 2017 amended CGT withholding payments for real property sales

Updated July 2017 Key points Amended withholding requirements for contracts of sale of real estate worth $750,000 or more from 1 July 2017. All purchasers of such real estate must register to withhold 12.5 per cent for acquisitions from 1 July 2017 (previously 10 per cent) unless they are given a clearance certificate by the […]

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15 June 2018

Attention to all the details

Attention to all the details in preparing a contract is crucial to ensure correct and intended execution of the contract as well as good risk management. Care must be taken when using standard form contracts and completing the variables. Near enough is not good enough! In one claim, the practitioner acted for the vendor of […]

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8 June 2018

Seven ways to avoid a solicitor’s certificate claim

Providing a solicitor’s certificate for a borrower or guarantor is risky. It is essential to treat it as providing professional advice and not just witnessing documents. Following are key things to do to stay safe when giving this advice. Don’t see walk-in clients. The highest risk factor for solicitor’s certificate claims is new clients, particularly […]

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25 May 2018

You need to take the good with the bad

When acting in litigation, it is essential to take detailed instructions about any circumstances that weaken your client’s case in addition to those that support the case. In one claim, the practitioner acted for a claimant in a claim under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) against the estate of her […]

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18 May 2018

Avoid the section 32 traps

Every year LPLC sees conveyancing claims where the cause of the claim is defective section 32 disclosure. To properly advise clients practitioners need to understand the vendor disclosure obligations in the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic). Reviewing relevant cases, attending seminars about conveyancing and reading relevant texts are other things practitioners can do to […]

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11 May 2018

Risks for the bank of mum and dad

Practitioners asked to act in transactions where parents lend money to their children to help them buy a house should stop and think about the transaction. Who are they acting for? Who else could think the practitioner is looking after their interests? If you are acting for the child in the purchase of the property […]

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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’. ☐ […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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5 February 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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6 November 2017

Looking after leases

Introduction Looking after leases contains details of claims, relevant cases and legislation affecting retail leases. It is designed to raise your awareness of common problems in commercial and retail lease transactions, and help you protect your practice against claims. Residential leases, crown leases, caravan park site agreements and retirement village agreements are outside the scope of […]

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1 June 2018

Risk video bite – Personal cost orders

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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4 May 2018

Risk video bite – Family law financial agreements

Presenter: Alex Macmillan, Claims Manager, LPLC

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6 April 2018

Risk video bite – Drafting

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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2 March 2018

Risk video bite – Conveyancing

Presenter: Phillip Nolan, Risk Manager, LPLC

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2 February 2018

Risk video bite – Personal injuries litigation

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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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 […]

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10 April 2018

Cyber fraud – five steps to protect yourself

Cyber thieves are clever. They target lawyers because we direct transfers of money and they want to steal it. DON’T FALL FOR IT! Be suspicious of email instructions. Cyber fraudsters will get in any way they can. Make sure it’s not through you. Five steps to protect yourself. Identify – Don’t accept email requests on […]

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6 February 2018

Cost estimates | Client brochure

Many clients have never retained a lawyer before and do not know how to work effectively with them or understand what a cost estimate is. 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 […]

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6 February 2018

Snapshot – Family law

Snapshots provide data and main causes of claims in areas of practice as well as risk management strategies at a glance. Click the image to enlarge or download above.                        

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5 February 2018

Cyber security – how to protect yourself | Client brochure

Our firm has proactive steps in place to protect you and your information from cyber-attack. We also need you to take some precautionary steps to ensure the security of your information. What we will do Tell you at the start of a matter what our payment details are and not change those details unless we […]

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