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Advocate’s Immunity – is it time to remove the immunity?

Published by in Advocates Immunity ·
What is advocates immunity?
1.      In Australia, an advocate’s immunity from lawsuit was first expressly recognised by the High Court in Giannarelli v Wraith [1988] HCA 52; 169 CLR 543. In that case, the High Court applied the common law principle that both barristers and solicitors are immune from civil liability in professional negligence or contract, in relation to the conduct of a case in court and for work undertaken out of court that is “intimately connected” with the conduct of a case in court.
Why does Immunity exist?
2.      The High Court’s decision in Giannarelli mirrored that of the majority of the common law world in deferring to a long jurisprudence from England that established advocate’s immunity e.g. Rondel v Worsely [1969] 1 AC 191.
3.      According to the many courts that have heard argument over the existence of the immunity, the reasons why such an immunity was established can be summarized by the following:
(a)    ‘Cab rank’ rule
The first basis that is often cited for the immunity is that barristers are subject to the cab rank rule. At a general level, the rule states that advocates are bound to accept briefs within their range of expertise. The contemporary notion of the rule is to be found in the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barrister’s) Rules 2015 (NSW), rules 101-105. The suggestion is that if advocates’ immunity is abolished, barristers can and should veto clients on the basis they may be expected to sue them – in direct contrast with the rule. It is doubtful that the existence of the rule remains relevant to a discussion of advocate’s immunity, especially since it is now perfectly acceptable for barristers to not accept briefs where they lack the capacity to fulfil the role i.e. when they are over-encumbered with briefs.
(b)   Advocate’s overriding duty to the court
Rule 23 of the Barrister’s Rules states: “A barrister has an overriding duty to the court to act with independence in the interests of the administration of justice.” Where this duty conflicts with a barrister’s duty to their clients, the duty to the court is said to be paramount. However, in circumstances where advocates face the possibility of liability as a consequence of their duties to their clients in court, it may be the case that advocates subordinate their duties to the court in preference to those owed to the client: Giannarelli (1988) 165 CLR 543, 572-3 (Wilson J). In the same decision, Mason CJ considered at 556-7 that there was a real risk that the exposure of advocates to potential liability in negligence would adversely affect the administration of justice. However, Wilson J further explained at 572 that an advocate “could never be in breach of any duty to the client by fulfilling the paramount duty” to the court.
(c)    No contract between the advocate and the client
The immunity had traditionally been justified by the absence of a contract between advocates and their clients (since any contract was normally formed between advocates and instructing solicitors). It was long held that a duty of care could not extend to a situation in which no contractual relationship existed between the two parties. This proposition was overruled by the House of Lords in Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465. Furthermore, barristers may now accept briefs directly from clients and solicitors are able to appear as advocates.
(d)   The ‘finality’ principle and collateral attacks
Perhaps the most enduring argument for the maintenance of the immunity has been that it prevents collateral challenges against judicial decisions by removing a potential avenue for disaffected parties to raise grievances that had been determined in an earlier proceeding. The concern with collateral challenges arises due to the possibility of different courts arriving at inconsistent decisions on the same matter, damaging public confidence in the administration of justice.
The notion there would be a plethora of litigation questioning judgements where it is alleged that advocates have been negligent is entirely arbitrary and without substance. Claims against advocates in these jurisdictions are not a significant category in the course of malpractice suits largely because they are extremely difficult to establish.
Furthermore, Lord Steyn in Arthur Hall at 678-680 considered that abuse of process, res judicata and issue estoppel granted sufficient powers to a court to make a decision about whether or not a collateral challenge should be permitted and that the defence of advocate’s immunity is not needed to protect the administration of justice.
(e)    Immunity extends to all other participants in judicial proceedings
There is clear authority that immunity from suit also extends to the actions performed and statements made by judges, witnesses, court staff and jurors in the course of judicial proceedings. These immunities do differ in terms of scope but they are all granted to protect the operation of the legal system and not for the personal benefit of those involved: Boland v Yates Property Corporation Pty Ltd (1999) 167 ALR 575, 613 (Kirby J). The common theme is that participants are protected for actions done in good faith, even if wrong or negligent. The point being that to exclude advocates would be anomalous.
4.      As can be seen by the brief discussion above, many of these reasons are no longer relevant to a discussion of whether the immunity should be maintained. The following sections of this paper will explore the acceptance of advocates’ immunity internationally, exactly how the immunity is applied in Australia, and finally what the future might look like for the continued maintenance of the immunity.
Does advocates’ immunity exist internationally?
5.      Debate over the existence of the immunity is not new. However, over a wide range of legal systems, slowly but surely, all of those reasons for establishing the immunity have been rejected. The notion of the immunity as a bar to suing an advocate for negligence in court has been rejected in the United Kingdom (Arthur JS Hall & Co v Simons [2000] UK HL38), New Zealand (Lai v Chamberlains [2003] 2 NZLR 374), South Africa, Scotland (Wright v Paton Farrell (Unreported, Scottish Court of Sessions, 27 August 2002)), Canada (Demarco v Ungaro (1979) 95 DLR (3d) 385) and the United States of America (Ferri v Ackerman, 444 US 193 (1979)). It is only Australia that still holds the view through two High Court cases (Giannarelli & D’Orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid [2005] HCA 12; 223 CLR 1: discussed further below) that the finality principle primarily justifies a defence of the immunity. Australia is in “splendid isolation” on the issue of advocate’s immunity.
6.      The most extensive judgment on the question of the immunity is probably Arthur Hall, a judgement delivered by the House of Lords in 2000. In that case, Lord Steyn recognised that perceptions of society are subject to change and should be reviewed to consider where public policy considerations apply. Whether one likes it or not those changes do take place, for instance in the case of gay marriage. 20 years ago the notion itself would have provoked a public outcry. Yet, in 2014-2015, the right to marry a same sex partner has been acknowledged and condoned in a sweeping change of attitudes in the Western world.
How is it applied in Australia?
7.      This section will explore the precise circumstances in which Australian courts have stated that advocates can utilize the immunity and the relevant legal tests involved.
8.      First, it should be noted that the immunity extends to persons acting in the capacity of advocates. This may include solicitors performing work that “is of a kind which falls within the area of immunity”: May v Mijatovic (2002) 26 WAR 95, 120 (Hasluck J).
9.      When an advocate’s conduct is called into question as being negligent, the “intimately connected to court” test must be satisfied for the advocate to be immunized from liability.
10.  The test requires a court to consider whether the advocate’s work was done in court or outside court but “intimately connected” to a case in court: Giannarelli at 560 (Mason CJ). Callinan J in Boland at 670-1 indicates that what is “intimately connected” is a strategic rather than temporal connection: 
“(His Honour did not accept that) simply because the work … was done over a long period of time, that in some way divorced it from work done closer in time to the hearing even though the former answered the description of work intimately connected with the forthcoming trial.”
11.  Nonetheless, what exactly falls within the category of “intimately connected” is unclear, with Kirby J describing the test as “imprecise” in Boland at 611. This is a “kind description” and the test brings no comfort to a practitioner or a judge in trying to determine what the limits of the immunity might be.
12.  Bell J in Goddard Elliot (a firm) v Fritsch [2012] VSC 87 gave a particularly wide interpretation to the phrase. His Honour found that he was bound by the interpretations of the High Court in Giannarelli and D’Orta. Despite this, he found that the application of the immunity in circumstances where a client’s capacity to give instructions was questioned “deeply troubling” (at [1145]). This case illustrates that Australian courts are unlikely to adopt a restrictive approach in applying the immunity although there is clearly judicial unease associated with it.
The erosion of the principle in Australia
13.  In the above sections of this paper, the reasons for the establishment of the immunity, its current international acceptance, and the test applied in Australia for its use were discussed. This section will explore the degree to which the immunity has been eroded, providing further arguments against its maintenance in Australia.
14.  A major erosion of the immunity occurred when it was decided (Eurobodalla Shire Council v Wells & Ors. [2006] NSWCA 5) under the rules of court that a barrister or a legal practitioner could be held liable for costs in circumstances where they advocated a case that was without merit. The rule is further incorporated in legislative provisions such as Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) s 99. Such a costs order clearly stands in conflict with the traditional immunity and one might wonder how they could continue to co-exist.
15.  In addition to costs orders against advocates, the immunity has been further eroded by a number of further “carve outs” which exclude the immunity from being applied in relation to certain subject matters, including:  
(a)    matters which cannot be said to be intimately connected with the conduct of a case in court;
(b)   advice in relation to questions of jurisdiction - if you are in the wrong court then you automatically lose, the arguments prepared are not in question at all and hence negligence in this regard cannot be said to be intimately connected with the conduct of a case in court: Donnellan v Woodland [2012] NSWCA 433, Beazley JA;
(c)    a failure to provide advice in relation to questions of who should be joined to proceedings - again it does not matter how you conduct yourself in court, you are going to lose: Donnellan;
(d)   providing advice for purposes not related to the proceedings (advice as to pre-trial investigations prior to summons etc): Donnellan;
(e)    advice on the prospects of success in an appeal: Symonds v Vass (2009) 257 ALR 689;
(f)     sheer delay or mere inaction: MM & R Pty Ltd v Grills [2007] VSC 528;
(g)    the negligent compromise of appeal proceedings leading to the loss of benefits gained at first instance, Donellan at [248]; 
(h)    Matters where the advocate has represented that he has special expertise when that is not the case [2015] FCAFC 80.
16.  The quantity and significance of these ‘carve-outs’ might actually mean that a reversal of the current position is more difficult to achieve given the degree to which it has already been achieved.
17.  The immunity rule is an offence to the principal that where there is a wrong there should be a remedy. That is a central principle to the law of contract and tort. In these circumstances, such an anomaly would ordinarily require cogent reasons for its application. It is certainly true that at one stage society thought such reasons existed. However, over a long period of time and through developments in the law, the rules of court and the safeguards built into the inherent powers of a court, these reasons have been relinquished in other jurisdictions – this is not yet so in Australia.
18.  On the issue of collateral challenges leading to inconsistent decisions, there is a great body of lawyers that dispute the reasoning. Where a court comes to a finding on the evidence placed before it, this does not mean that another court should not be entitled to arrive at a different conclusion where different evidence is placed before it.
19.  The public’s unease is amplified by the provision of an immunity from suit by the law to practising professionals of its own discipline. Lord Diplock in Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell Co (a Firm) [1978] UK HL6 at 220 noted that the work of advocates bore many similarities to that of other professionals who were also required to make difficult decisions under great pressure. The immunity actually harms the Bar in that it seems unacceptable that the only profession that does not have to suffer scrutiny is the legal profession whereas all others have to. Finally, it is difficult to accept the High Court’s contention that the public policy considerations that apply in Australia are somehow different to those that apply in the rest of the common law world.
The future?
20.  It is not clear what the future will hold for the immunity and the particular process through which it might change.
21.  In terms of a substantive change, the hurdles of proving causation, remoteness and breach of duty adequately protects advocates from vexatious attacks and the court process from being unduly abused. This is particularly likely given the provisions for the summary dismissal of baseless claims. The immunity is an offence to a judge in that they should be able to determine whether there really is a dispute and hence there should be no need for a blanket immunity.
22.  On the other hand, Brennan J concluded that until there was evidence of a clear decline in the standard of advocacy, the conduct of advocacy should be regulated by “the publicity of court proceedings, judicial supervision, appeals, peer pressure and disciplinary procedures to prevent neglect”: Giannarelli (580). In this regard, removing the immunity might only improve the standard of advocacy applied by lawyers and this is something that should be sought after rather than considered as a secondary objective.
23.  For the High Court to hear a matter, it requires that some hapless victim take the risk to bring it there through a series of hearings from lower courts bound by Giannarelli, through a special leave application and to a forum where the prospects of success can only be marginal in light of the previous authorities.
24.  On the question of whether the future of the immunity should properly be decided by the legislature as opposed to the courts, who seem to be confined in their ability to reform by the lack of ambiguity in their past rulings on the issue,  the current test for the application of the immunity remains imprecise and that the High Court could clarify the test with a more specific construction that limits the application of the immunity. The public interest motivation for the immunity leaves the door open to the High Court reinterpreting the application of the test in line with the changed public perception of the immunity, to restrict its scope.
25.  In November 2015 , the High Court will have the opportunity in the matter of actual versus Jackson Lalic to reconsider the question of immunity. Essentially there are three principal possibilities invading the following ;
(a)    That the High Court will continue to apply the immunity rule as it has done in June, early and the author ;
(b)   The High Court gives greater definition to the term “intimately connected to the conduct of the case in court.” And perhaps extends the category of carve-outs for exceptions to the immunity rule.
(c)    The High Court follows the international trend and holds that the basis of maintaining immunity rule no longer applies, and that the court has sufficient alternate power to prevent baseless collateral challenges and abuse of process.
Focus Case:
Stanton v Tyler [2015] NSWSC 797
Benchmark Link:
Arthur JS Hall & Co v Simons [2000] UK HL38
Boland v Yates Property Corporation Pty Ltd [2002] HCA 64
Demarco v Ungaro [1979] 95 DLR 3rd 385
Donnellan v Woodland [2012] NSWCA 433
D’orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid [2005] HCA 12; 233 CLR 1
Eurobodalla Shire Council v Wells & Ors. [2006] NSWCA 5
Ferri v Ackerman, 444 US 193 (1979)
Giannarelli v Wraith [1988] HCA 52: 169 CLR 543
Goddard Elliot (a firm) v Fritsch [2012] VSC 87
Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465
Lai v Chamberlains [2005] NZ CA 37
Leslie v Ball [1863] 22 UCQB 512
MM & R Pty Ltd v Grills [2007] VSC 528
Rondel v Worsely [1969] 1 AC 191
Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell Co (a Firm) [1978] UK HL6
Symonds v Vass (2009) 257 ALR 689
Wright v Paton Farrell (Unreported, Scottish Court of Sessions, 27 August 2002)
Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW)
Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barrister’s Rules) 2015 (NSW)
By: Martin Luitingh
IAMA Nationally Accredited Mediator
Arbitrator - CIArb ( Adelaide)
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Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

Published by in Reasons for Ruling on Disqualification Applications ·
Reasons for Ruling on Disqualification Applications

Commissioner Heydon

Royal Commission - bias - four Trade Unions brought Applications to disqualify The Commissioner Dyson Heydon on grounds of apprehended bias - applications were brought pursuant to an acceptance of an invitation to deliver Sixth Annual Sir Garfield Barwick Address, an event organised by Lawyer’s Branch and Legal Policy Branch of NSW Division of Liberal Party of Australia (agreement) – The Trade Unions contended agreement might cause fair-minded lay observer reasonably to apprehend Commissioner might not bring impartial mind to resolution of questions in course of Commission’s inquiries – The two principle submissions were

(a) Liberal Party Event’ submission and
(b) Liberal Party fundraiser’ submission

Heydon rejected ‘Liberal Party Event’ submission for three reasons he said

(i)  There was no ‘no apprehension of bias from non-political speech’,
(ii)  No logical connection between any predisposition and the issues’ and
(iii) No reason to find incapacity to deal with issues impartially

Heydon rejected ‘Liberal Party fundraiser’ submission for three reasons:

(i)  No apprehension of intention to raise funds or generate support,
(ii)  No logical connection between any predisposition and the issues’ and ‘no reason to find incapacity to deal with issues
(iii) Commissioner concluded it was not the case that fair-minded lay observer might apprehend Commissioner might not bring impartial mind to resolution of questions

The applications were dismissed.

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Published by in Strata Management ·
On 1 June 2015 the NSW Supreme Court introduced a specialist Equity Division list for Real Property matters. The Real Property List will include claims in relation to the legislation regulating the creation and management of strata and community title schemes. Current Supreme Court proceedings in the Equity Division may be transferred to the list if the matter falls within the subject matter of the specialist list. This effect of this change is that a sub-division list is created where the judges are familiar with and regularly deal with strata and community title matters leading to efficiency in the hearing of such matters, which was initially tested by the introduction of the Technology and Construction list, with much success. The division was probably created because of the increasing number of disputes in this area, justifying the additional resources from the department of justice.

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Barristers Immunity

Published by in Torte - Negligence ·
Stanton v Tyler [2015] NSWSC 797


PROCEDURE – Civil – Applications for summary dismissal of or alternatively an order striking out the Amended Statement of Claim pursuant to UCPR Rule 13.4 on the basis of advocates’ immunity from suit – First and second defendants were respectively a solicitor and barrister who had conduct of plaintiff’s proceedings in a cross-claim against an Owners Corporation in the Local Court and subsequent appeal to Supreme Court and Court of Appeal – Plaintiffs in Amended Statement of Claim alleged negligence by defendants, breach of fiduciary duty, misleading and deceptive conduct and other causes of action in relation to alleged negligent advice – Relevant advice was firstly advice to pursue cross-claim proceedings in the Local Court and secondly advice to pursue appeal to the Supreme Court – Local Court had dismissed cross-claim on the basis of an expiration of limitation period and on the plaintiffs’ lack of standing – Supreme Court appeal was also dismissed. ADVOCATES’ IMMUNITY FROM SUIT – Defendants claimed no cause of action was sustainable because of the doctrine of advocate’s immunity – Relied on D’Orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid [2005] HCA 12 – Plaintiffs relied on exception to doctrine where advice went to the issue of jurisdiction or locus standi to bring and pursue a cross-claim in circumstances where the alleged damage to property related to the common property on a strata plan not the plaintiff’s property – Held that whether the doctrine applied or not was a triable issue – There was a triable issue as to whether or not the legal advice was outside the scope of the doctrine because it went to the appropriate forum to commence proceedings in – The proceedings arguable did not constitute, directly or indirectly, a challenge to or traversing of the decision of the Local Court – Applications dismissed

Counsel for Plaintiff
Martin Luitingh

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Owners / Builders Liability for Defects

Published by in Building & Construction ·
Williams v Pisano [2015] NSWCA 177

Mr Williams and Ms Dandris purchased a “modest three bedroom home” in Dover Heights in New South Wales in 2003. In 2010 Dandris obtained an owner builder permit and engaged a builder to carry out the work on a “do and charge” basis under her supervision. When the renovations were completed, Dandris and Williams put the house on the market for $3.8m.

The home was marketed by the real estate agent as offering every conceivable luxury with no detail being spared in a meticulously designed and built home. The home was advertised on the website Domain. Mr & Mrs Pisano saw the advertisements and inspected the home. The agent told the Pisanos the house was built above and beyond the standard home and the builder was a real professional and very meticulous.

The Pisanos purchased the home for $3.35 million.

Defects Discovered.

  •  The air conditioning did not function,

  • door handles fell off,

  • the temperature of the hot water system was not controlled,

  •  the garage door malfunctioned,

  •  blinds became dislodged from brackets,

  •  the pool waterfall feature did not work,

  •  cupboard doors chaffed on the carpets,

  •  poolside tiles were excessively slippery,

  •  stormwater drain covers were not fixed in,

  •  the front garden path lights did not work,

  •  glass doors would not open and close properly,

  •  locks on doors unlocked themselves,

  •  the pantry sliding door fell off,

  • the front door was difficult to open and close due to warping,

  •  fumes emanated from the fireplace

  •  a crack appeared in the mantle above the fireplace whilst it was in operation,

  •  the bathroom and laundry doors leaked and mould appeared in various places
  •  the home leaked to the point of flooding in some areas, requiring the Pisanos to remove carpets and take action during the night to prevent the flooding spreading to downstairs.

  •  the water was penetrating the cavity walls of the home.

  •  Most of the 23 windows in the home leaked,

  •  On 11 June 2012, a major flooding event occurred resulting in water flowing through many parts of the home and the tripping of the electrical system.

Plaintiffs Court Action.

Dandris initially carried out some rectification work, but ultimately the parties fell into dispute and the Pisanos issued a claim in the District Court of New South Wales. The matter was transferred to the Supreme Court.

Claim 1. The Pisanos claimed that Dandris and Williams had breached the Australian Consumer Law 2010 (“Consumer Act”) by making false representations as to the home and they had breached the NSW Home Building Act 1989 (“Home Building Act”) by failing to comply with the warranties required of building work performed by any builder. Williams claimed the representations were “mere puffery” and not misleading and deceptive conduct. He said Dandris was the owner builder and he was not liable for any of the loss caused to Pisanos.

Claim 2. Dandris initially contested her liability under the Home Building Act but ultimately, her expert witness was found to be lacking in credibility. On 8 August 2014 the Supreme Court awarded the Pisanos compensation in the amount of approximately $1.2m.

The Supreme Court’s finding

The Supreme Court found;
1.  Dandris and Williams had renovated the home with a view to resale and on that basis were engaged in “trade and commerce” when they sold the home and made the representations as to its facilities in the advertisements.

2. Both Dandris and Williams had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of the Consumer Act when they provided false information to the agent. For example, the assertion the builder was a professional was clearly untrue as it was Dandris’ first building project. The Court said both Dandris and Williams were jointly and severally liable to pay the full judgment sum.

3. Dandris had breached the warranties in the Home Building Act by not performing the work in a proper and workmanlike manner, using unsuitable materials and building a home not fit for human habitation. The Court found Dandris liable in the same amount for breaches of the Home Building Act.

4. Williams was not named as the applicant for the owner builder permit and was not liable under the Act.

Note: The Pisanos also sued the real estate agent but by the time of the trial, the agent had entered liquidation and had no insurance. The claim against the agent was discontinued at the commencement of the trial.

Dandris may have been unable to pay the judgment sum ( On the Home Building Act Claim ) leaving the Pisanos only with recourse against Williams.

The Court of Appeal.

Williams appealed to the NSW Court of Appeal. The basis of the appeal was the finding the representations were made “in trade and commerce”. He said the home was constructed as a residence for him and Dandris and the decision to sell was made due to the eventual high cost of the renovations.

The Appeal Court found;

  •  the normal sale of a property by an owner is not an activity undertaken in the course of a trade or business.

  •  It is necessary to look at the motivation for the transaction.

  • A joint owner of a residential property joining in renovating and selling their property for a profit when they have been living in it for some years does not lead to the conclusion the sale of the property is “in trade or commerce”.

  • Under s84 of the Home Building Act, if an agent makes representations as authorised by an owner, the representations are to be considered as those of the owner as well as those of the agent. The Plaintiffs submitted a the agent was engaged in trade and commerce when making the representations and on that basis, the owners were also caught by the Act. However, the Court said the fact the agent is involved in trade or commerce when making the representations does not change the fundamental character of the owner’s activities, which in this case were not in trade or commerce.

  • Williams was not liable for misleading and deceptive conduct.

  •  Under the NSW Home Building Act an application for an owner builder permit must be refused if the applicant obtained an owner builder permit for another property within the previous five years.

  •  This restricts an owner builder in NSW more so than in other states.

  •  The restriction means owner builders in NSW cannot engage in sequential renovation projects and is likely to have had some influence on the Court’s decision that the sale was not “in trade or commerce”.

  •  Under s84 of the Home Building Act, if an agent makes representations as authorised by an owner, the representations are to be considered as those of the owner as well as those of the agent. The Plaintiffs submitted a the agent was engaged in trade and commerce when making the representations and on that basis, the owners were also caught by the Act. However, the Court said the fact the agent is involved in trade or commerce when making the representations does not change the fundamental character of the owner’s activities, which in this case were not in trade or commerce.


Williams was not found liable on the basis defects under the Home Building Act and was entirely successful on the issues raised in the appeal. The Plaintiffs had a pyric victory. The decision is important to the position in NSW in relation to whether an owner builder selling their renovated home is engaged in trade or commerce.

The owners in this case obtained a pre-purchase inspection but the defects were latent in nature leaving the plaintiffs without compensation.

The court of Appeal is often faced with difficult issues in law and between deciding on those issues and the reality of just and proper compensation a litigant may fail because of the need to address the law rather than adjudicate the case.

This is a good example of why Arbitration in building cases is a superior dispute resolution fit.

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Real Property List in the Supreme Court of NSW

Published by in Practice and Procedure ·
Chief Justice Bathurst has announced the establishment of the Real Property List in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court, to operate from 1 June 2015. The chief justice has designated Justice Rowan Darke of the Equity Division to be the list judge of the Real Property List. 

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Legal Profession Uniform Law

Published by in Legislation ·
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton has introduced legislation to prepare for a common legal services market encompassing New South Wales and Victoria. The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is another step toward ensuring NSW is ready for the new scheme on 1 July 2015. In addition, the national Legal Services Council will shortly publicly issue uniform legal profession rules. This announcement is expected in the next twenty four hours. The rules will be posted on the Bar Association’s website when available and included in tomorrow’s edition of In Brief.

Bar Association President Jane Needham SC said "The New South Wales Bar Association welcomes the introduction of the legislation, which provides a blueprint for a single national system of regulation for the legal profession that would bring tangible benefits for legal practitioners and their clients around the country. The commencement of the new scheme on 1 July will involve challenges for regulators and professional associations alike, however any issues in the transition to the new system will be more than outweighed by the certainty and consistency that the new scheme will deliver."

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