WA lawyers to join uniform scheme with passage of bill through parliament

By Melissa Coade

March 25, 2022

John Quigley
WA attorney general John Quigley. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

The regulation of the lawyers in Australia is one step closer to harmonisation, with Western Australia joining NSW and Victoria to create a single system in participating jurisdictions

Following consultation with stakeholders, the new regulations of lawyers in WA are expected to become effective from July 1 this year. In a statement, WA attorney general John Quigley said the changes would make the state’s legal system more accessible, efficient and cost-effective. 

“Not only will the scheme cut red tape for both lawyers and their clients, but it will also enable WA lawyers to practise seamlessly across jurisdictions under uniform legislation and regulatory standards,” Quigley said.

 “[Approximately] 68% of Australia’s practising lawyers are regulated by uniform law, and that will increase to 75% when the scheme comes into operation.”

The bill for WA to join the Legal Profession Uniform Law Scheme passed in the state parliament on Thursday. The law reform means cost savings for law firms participating in multiple Australian jurisdictions by simplifying their regulatory obligations and creating a common market for legal services in NSW, Victoria and WA.

NSW and Victoria were the first to join (and therefore establish) the scheme in 2015, with WA signing a landmark agreement in 2019 to also join. In effect, it creates a uniform law that covers participating jurisdictions and offers clients a more consistent experience when engaging in legal services. 

Quigley said clients of legal services will also be empowered to make informed choices about their legal options, with a single framework governing lawyers and to be administered by local bodies.

“I would again like to acknowledge the support of the legal profession, the Legal Practice Board, the Legal Profession Complaints Committee, the Law Society of Western Australia and the Western Australian Bar Association, together with many other stakeholders who have contributed to the development of this legislation,” the attorney general said.


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