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Ten areas to be addressed to demonstrate compliance with “Appropriate Management Systems” (1)

by on Nov.18, 2010, under Practice Management Services

The following infomation is from the website of the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner, NSW

Section 140(3) of the Legal Profession Act 2004 requires legal practitioner directors of Incorporated Legal Practices (ILPs) to ensure that “appropriate management systems” are implemented and maintained to ensure that the provision of legal services by ILPs complies with the requirements of the Act and Regulations.

Failure to comply can amount to professional misconduct.

While the legislation does not define “appropriate management systems”, the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner, working collaboratively with the Law Society of NSW, LawCover and the College of Law, has adopted an “education towards compliance” strategy and has developed a set of objectives covering the areas that must be addressed to demonstrate that the ILP has appropriate management systems in place.

Here is a link to those ten areas:

http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/olsc/ll_olsc.nsf/pages/OLSC_tenobjectives

The OLSC is developing a library of material relevant to the ten objectives and copies of helpful handouts/templates/guides are available upon request. Please contact the OLSC if you require such assistance. Alternatively, you may contact our Practice Compliance Manager on (02) 9377 1800 for further information.

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Ten areas to be addressed to demonstrate compliance with “Appropriate Management Systems“ (2)

by on Nov.18, 2010, under Practice Management Services

Negligence
providing for competent work practices

Communication
providing for effective, timely and courteous communication

Delay
providing for timely review, delivery and follow up of legal services

Liens/file transfers
providing for timely resolution of document/file transfers

Cost disclosure/billing practices/termination of retainer
providing for shared understanding and appropriate documentation on commencement and termination of retainer along with appropriate billing practices during the retainer

Conflict of interests
providing for timely identification and resolution of “conflict of interests”, including when acting for both parties or acting against previous clients as well as potential conflicts which may arise in relationships with debt collectors and mercantile agencies, or conducting another business, referral fees and commissions etc

Records management
minimising the likelihood of loss or destruction of correspondence and documents through appropriate document retention, filing, archiving etc and providing for compliance with requirements regarding registers of files, safe custody, financial interests

Undertakings
providing for undertakings to be given, monitoring of compliance and timely compliance with notices, orders, rulings, directions or other requirements of regulatory authorities such as the OLSC, courts, costs assessors

Supervision of practice and staff
providing for compliance with statutory obligations covering licence and practising certificate conditions, employment of persons and providing for proper quality assurance of work outputs and performance of legal, paralegal and non-legal staff involved in the delivery of legal services

Trust account regulations
providing for compliance with Part 3.1 Division 2 of the Legal Profession Act and proper accounting procedures

for more information go to: lawlink.nsw.gov.au/olsc

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