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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/

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/


schematic houseplan blueprint
15 March 2019

How to avoid an off-the-plan claim

Whether acting for vendors or purchasers in ‘off-the-plan’ sales, there are risks you need to be aware of and things you can do to avoid those risks. Acting for vendors Claims against practitioners acting for vendors include: transferring the wrong lot on a plan of subdivision the contract for the sale of a lot on […]

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6 February 2019

High risk lending alert

The current economic climate is increasing the risks for lenders and their lawyers We have seen a significant increase in mortgage claims involving inadequate security in the 2017/18 policy year. Many of these claims have in common private lenders providing urgent, short term, high interest rate loans, or risky joint venture arrangements.  The prevalence of […]

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18 December 2018

In Check Issue 81 | December 2018

Holiday season reminders The lead up to Christmas with the extra commitments and pressure is a high-risk time for mistakes and oversights. Be diligent and maintain your risk management practices— now is when you need them most. Here is a reminder of the top three areas where we see the most mistakes and oversights during […]

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3 December 2018

A good precedent

Using precedent documents effectively is essential risk management Most practitioners understand the value of having good precedents and it is an important investment for any firm irrespective of its areas of practice. However, precedents are not just a set and forget tool. If not used and maintained properly, precedents can increase your risk. Previous matter documents are not precedents Sometimes […]

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1 November 2018

Be secure when advising lenders

Making assumptions about your retainer with longstanding lender clients is risky In 2017/18, mortgage matters accounted for 19 per cent of LPLC’s total claims cost. Most of that cost was attributable to practitioners failing to ensure the lender client had adequate security. These mistakes are sometimes made by practitioners acting for private lenders who they […]

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25 September 2018

PEXA, email, electronic funds transfers and cyber-crime

PEXA, email, electronic funds transfers and cyber-crime On 25 June 2018 LPLC published a security warning for PEXA users arising from some recent instances of fraudulent activity impacting PEXA transactions. One of these (‘the MasterChef case’) involved a fraudster entering the PEXA workspace and changing payment account details to divert $250,000 of the proceeds of […]

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25 September 2018

GST withholding practical examples

Download PDF GST withholding practical examples This bulletin contains practical examples in question and answer format of how the purchaser GST withholding provisions work. For general information about the withholding requirements see the bulletin Some purchasers required to withhold GST from 1 July 2018. Contracts signed before 1 July 2018 Question 1 Our clients purchased […]

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4 September 2018

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

Update: the bill referred to in this bulletin lapsed before the state election last year (2018) and has not been reintroduced into parliament. The list of current bills can be found here. Download PDF Retrospective changes proposed for residential ‘off the plan’ sunset clauses The Sale of Land Act Amendment Bill 2018 (Vic) (the bill) […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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8 March 2019

No PEXA digital certificate policy? You’re at risk.

Does your firm have effective policies for maintaining the security of digital certificates? Are digital certificates being shared within your firm? Below are some of the risks and consequences and what you should do about it. PEXA digital certificates are a necessary part of the electronic conveyancing process in Australia. Digital certificates are an encrypted […]

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15 February 2019

5 things your purchaser clients really want to know

Last week’s blog post looked at three things all vendor clients want from their lawyer. This week we are looking at five key things purchasers want to know. Is the vendor entitled to sell the property? Verify the vendor’s title to sell, identify the property correctly and conduct all necessary searches. Build the cost into […]

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6 February 2019

3 things your vendor clients really want

Because conveyancing matters comprise a lot of moving parts, and often seems to be a routine process, it can be easy to lose sight of what is important to your client. Get into the habit of going back to basics and regularly remind yourself of the key things every vendor client wants from their lawyer: […]

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25 January 2019

Risks for lawyers in late FIRB applications

Do you warn your foreign investor clients pre-contract of the need to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval before they sign a purchase contract? Two claims this week show the risks of not doing this. The FIRB has issued infringement notices this week to foreign investor clients of two law firms who failed to […]

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17 January 2019

Inactive owners corporations – are they really?

Have you had vendor clients tell you their owners corporation is inactive because they have never had any meetings? If an owners corporation is ‘inactive’ as defined in section 32F of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) (SL Act) a vendor must state this in the section 32 statement but doesn’t have to provide […]

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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 […]

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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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28 February 2019

Claim free conveyancing

Additional conveyancing download: Default 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 from conveyancing […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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1 March 2019

Risk video bite – Buying or selling a small business

Presenter: Matthew Rose, LPLC Risk Manager

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1 February 2019

Risk video bite – Inadequate advice

Presenter: Phil Nolan, LPLC Risk Manager

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7 December 2018

Risk video bite – Define what you do

Presenter: Stephen Bubb, LPLC Risk Manager

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2 November 2018

Risk video bite – Stop and think

Presenter: Matthew Rose, LPLC Risk Manager

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5 October 2018

Risk video bite – Fake bank account details

Presenter: Heather Hibberd, LPLC Chief Risk Manager

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4 September 2018

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

Update: the bill referred to in this bulletin lapsed before the state election last year (2018) and has not been reintroduced into parliament. The list of current bills can be found here. Download PDF Retrospective changes proposed for residential ‘off the plan’ sunset clauses The Sale of Land Act Amendment Bill 2018 (Vic) (the bill) […]

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)    

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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 […]

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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 […]

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