Queensland Law Society

All QLS News Headlines

22 December 2017 – QLS Ethics Centre holiday contact

If you need ethical advice or have urgent practice support queries over the holiday period, you can contact one of our senior solicitors at the QLS Ethics Centre by calling 3842 5843.

15 December 2017 – QLS congratulates former president on appointment to Family Court

Queensland’s peak legal body has welcomed news of past Society president Judge Michael Baumann’s appointment to the Family Court of Australia.

13 December 2017 – President's Update

“I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”-Abraham Lincoln. Wise words from one of the world’s most famous – and effective – lawyers, and advice I intend to follow as best I can!

13 December 2017 – Foreign resident capital gains withholding

New simplified process for purchaser payments. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is simplifying the way in which foreign resident capital gains withholding (FRCGW) payments are made. From 11 December 2017, only one FRCGW payment is required per settlement, even if two or more purchasers are included in the transaction.

13 December 2017 – Streamlining Criminal Justice Committee: Working group (Bail)

The Society, as part of its role in the Streamlining Criminal Justice project is calling for expressions of interest from members who could assist the bail working group project.

13 December 2017 – Lexon risk alert

Lexon has released a new risk alert discussing cyber criminals attacking law practices right now, as well as other hot topics for practitioners.

13 December 2017 – Queensland Titles Registry Christmas/New Year closure

The Titles Registry, including all lodgement offices, will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday 22 December 2017 for the Christmas and New Year break, before re-opening for business at 8.30am on Tuesday 2 January 2018. 

13 December 2017 – Court Link commences operation in Brisbane Magistrates Court

Practitioners should be aware that Court Link began operating in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 27 November 2017. Court Link is a 12-week bail-based program that helps participants to access treatment and support services in the community to address the underlying issues driving offending behaviour.

13 December 2017 – Pre-order your Queensland Legal Yearbook 2016 today

Now in its 12th year, the 2016 edition of the Queensland Legal Yearbook is available for pre-order now!

11 December 2017 – Beware of the Leopard: How safe must safe custody be?

Solicitors store all manner of documents for clients, and have an obvious obligation to keep those documents sufficiently safe - but what will be considered safe enough?

11 December 2017 – Message from QLS president Christine Smyth

Milo – not the sweet, chocolate, belly warming-beverage, but Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right wing political commentator has garnered significant press recently. He is in Australia to spruik his version of society. His presence has drawn angry, violent crowds both in support and against. It makes for sensational news.

8 December 2017 – Is it Ethical (or legal) for law firms to pay cyber-ransom?

Is it Ethical for a Solicitor to pay ransom to unlock data?

6 December 2017 – President's Update

At QLS’s Succession and Elder Law Residential earlier this year, Dr Keith Suter lamented that Australians seem obsessed with cooking shows and not so concerned with current affairs and the future of our society. If there is anything that signals the approach of Christmas more than the joyous loop of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas...

6 December 2017 – Titles Registry update – settlement notices can only be deposited up to 22 December 2017

The Registrar of Titles has advised that the last settlement notices (current Form 23) will be accepted by the Titles Office up to close of business at 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

6 December 2017 – Changes to Sexual Assault Counselling privilege

The Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (VOCAOLA) amends a number of pieces of legislation including the Evidence Act 1977 to introduce protections for certain counselling communications.

29 November 2017 – Changes to Federal Circuit Court forms

The Chief Judge has approved changes to Notice of Withdrawal as Lawyer, Notice of Intention to Withdraw as Lawyer, and Notice to Admit Facts forms. Forms with marked changes are available on the QLS website and updated form are available on the Federal Circuit Court’s website.

29 November 2017 – President's Update

End of year celebrations are on us, rolling in like a good surf break. Wave after wave of celebratory events jolly us to the end of the year tempting us to down tools. But there is still so much to be done before we turn off the office lights.

29 November 2017 – Lord Atkin: from Queensland to the House of Lords

Supreme Court Library Queensland’s new exhibition, Lord Atkin: from Queensland to the House of Lords is now open.

22 November 2017 – President's Update

One of the best things members can do to both verify and improve their skills is to undertake a Specialist Accreditation course in their particular area of expertise. Specialist Accreditation involves completing an advanced, peer-reviewed assessment program specific to an area of expertise, requiring the demonstration of a very high level of knowledge and skills in that area.

15 November 2017 – QLS defends integrity of magistrates court

QLS President Christine Smyth has defended the integrity of the state’s magistrates after recent media attacks.

15 November 2017 – President's Update

Queensland is unique in many ways, including the way we are governed. With a unicameral legislature, QLS’ almost 30 committees are the closest thing Queensland has to an upper house. The dedication of QLS members who serve on our committees affects real change to legislation, protecting the rights of all Queenslanders.

14 November 2017 – QLS demands 2017 electoral commitment to ongoing funding and roll out of DV courts

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has welcomed the appointment of two new Magistrates to the Southport Domestic Violence Specialist Court.

14 November 2017 – Not all Security is Cyber

It doesn’t take a computer hacker or virus to violate client confidentiality - it can be done in the simplest of ways.

14 November 2017 – E-conveyancing membership survey now open – closing 24 November 2017

As foreshadowed in the last edition of QLS Update, QLS is seeking feedback from property and conveyancing practitioners on e-conveyancing in Queensland.

13 November 2017 – 2018 QLS Legal Profession Dinner and Awards - a catalyst for career progression

Mark your calendars for the most prestigious night on the 2018 Queensland legal calendar – QLS Legal Profession Dinner and Awards. In the past, the Society has recognised outstanding contributions to the legal profession across three separate award ceremonies. In 2018, QLS will amalgamate its respective awards into a single gala evening attended by the profession’s elite.

13 November 2017 – Statement re CCC charges

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has made the following statement in regard to Saturday's announcement of Crime and Corruption Commission charges.

13 November 2017 – State political parties must create judicial commission to ensure a robust and accountable judiciary for all Queenslanders: says QLS

The state’s peak lawyer group is demanding political parties commit to the creation of an independent judicial commission to ensure all Queenslanders can be confident they have an independent, fair and accountable judiciary.

9 November 2017 – QLS calls on political parties to appoint more solicitors to judicial roles

Queensland's peak lawyer group has called on the state's political parties to commit to appointing more solicitors to judicial roles.

8 November 2017 – President's Update

As I write this, the Melbourne Cup has just been run and won, and I hope you all had better luck than I did! The running of the Cup generally means the end of the year is, if not in sight, certainly just around the bend-but there is no slowing down here at QLS!

8 November 2017 – Court of Appeal two-monthly sitting system

The Court of Appeal has proposed to adopt a system of two-monthly sittings. Call-overs for the first of these sittings will be held in November, with the first of the two-monthly sittings in February and March.

8 November 2017 – New building and safety laws are now in effect

Changes to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1981 commenced on 1 November 2017. The changes aim to improve safety and will apply to everyone in the building product supply chain.

8 November 2017 – RSVP for the Annual General Meeting

Queensland Law Society will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 16 November 2017 at 5.30 pm in the Auditorium, Level 2 Law Society House, 179 Ann Street, Brisbane.

8 November 2017 – Not for Profit Panel Discussion

The Queensland Law Society and the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand Not for Profit Law Committees have worked together to create a NFP session to assist their members with “Managing and Influencing Not For Profit Boards to Work ‘With’” on 21 November 2017.

1 November 2017 – President's Update

Welcome to November. What a 10 months we have had so far for 2017! This week, I will share a couple of our most recent highlights with you. Last week we celebrated the first anniversary of our Modern Advocate Lecture Series (MALS), with the final lecture for the year, featuring the Honourable Justice Roslyn G Atkinson AO.

1 November 2017 – Calling all property and conveyancing solicitors

QLS is keen to hear from members about your experiences with e-conveyancing.  PEXA has been live in Queensland since mid-2015 and we would like to know what’s working, what’s not and what can be improved. 

1 November 2017 – Advocacy update and invitation to provide comments

The QLS Advocacy team works with our policy committees to engage with government on law reform proposals and matters affecting our members in their practice. Read more about our recent activities and invitations for members to provide their feedback.

1 November 2017 – The final LawLink session for 2017

Indigenous law students from across south east Queensland converged at Law Society House on Tuesday 24 October for the final LawLink session of the year.

1 November 2017 – A mislabelled file ends three careers: some practical steps to avoid e-discovery disasters

Learning from our mistakes is good, but learning from someone else’s is a lot less stressful.

30 October 2017 – QLD’s legal profession flags key election issues

Queensland Law Society’s Call to Parties statement has been unanimously passed by the QLS Council, ahead of the November state election. It highlights 10 key legal and social justice issues for political parties to consider as matters of priority for Queensland’s nearly 13,000 solicitors.

25 October 2017 – QLS applauds laws to bring back state’s drug courts

Laws paving the way for the re-opening of drugs courts would go a long way to targeting the problem of addiction and the reduction of spiralling crime, according to Queensland’s peak solicitor group.

25 October 2017 – Advocacy update and invitation to provide comments

The QLS Advocacy team works with our policy committees to engage with government on law reform proposals and matters affecting our members in their practice.  Read more about our recent activities and invitations for members to provide their feedback.

25 October 2017 – Call for expressions of interest to join a QLS Policy Committee

We are looking for members of the profession to get involved in a number of our Policy Committees develop policies and responses to government on proposed legislative amendments and consultation material by reviewing the proposals, discussing their impact on members and the public, and proposing any suggested amendments to address problems.

23 October 2017 – QLS president recognised for outstanding leadership

Queensland Law Society vice president Chris Coyne has congratulated president Christine Smyth on winning the Gold Coast Women in Business Creating Change Award for 2017.

18 October 2017 – President's Update

As all members will now be aware, the 2017 election has been decided and those who will guide the Society for the next two years have been elected. I congratulate them all and wish them well for their coming terms. I am now entering the fourth quarter of my time as President-the ‘championship quarter’ as so many sports coaches like to call it.

18 October 2017 – DocuSign scam warning

DocuSign scam another way to hack solicitor’s email: QLS repeats the warning not to use email alone to arrange trust transfers. The Society has been alerted to a new scam by which a sophisticated group of email hackers is using fake DocuSign links to steal email log on credentials.

18 October 2017 – Recognising and responding to mental health challenges

It is reported that one in three lawyers will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important for leaders to identify the signs of an emerging mental health issue in an employee, know the interventions that can be implemented to address mental health difficulties, and enhance employee wellbeing before it becomes a significant problem.

18 October 2017 – Inaugural meeting: Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement

The Society held the inaugural meeting of the Reconciliation and First Nations Advancement Committee (RFNAC) on 10 October. The Committee was established to further our commitment to our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

18 October 2017 – Updates to Land Title Practice Manual published

The Registrar has advised that the Land Title Practice Manual (Qld) has been updated, effective from 9 October 2017. Important changes have been made to a number of parts.

18 October 2017 – 2018 Specialist Accreditation program

In 2018, the Society’s Specialist Accreditation program will offer personal injuries law, business law, criminal law, commercial litigation, workplace relations and immigration law. Key dates for 2018 are available on the QLS website.

18 October 2017 – QLS function rooms for hire

Law Society House has rooms for hire in Brisbane CBD. Rooms have Wi-Fi, state-of-the-art facilities, catering options and can accommodate a mediation, team building event or conference.

17 October 2017 – QLS announces Council election results

Queensland Law Society's full members have elected 11 people during the 2017 Council election, with polls closing at 4pm Monday 16 October.

17 October 2017 – The ethical boundaries of a solicitor’s right to take security for fees

You work hard – how to negotiate some security over your fees?

12 October 2017 – Eight new magistrates a good start to better access to justice in Queensland: QLS

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has applauded the state government’s appointment of eight new magistrates across the state – including three charged with the specific task of helping combat domestic and family violence.

12 October 2017 – Expressions of Interest for the Appeal Costs Board

If you wish to nominate as the QLS representative for the Appeal Costs Board, please submit your expression of interest by midday Thursday 19 October 2017.

11 October 2017 – Court appointments welcome but numbers still critically low: QLS

QLS president Christine Smyth has welcomed the appointments of a new Chief Justice of the Family Court and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, while warning that judicial numbers remain critically low in these jurisdictions.

11 October 2017 – QLS Council election – time is running out

Time is running out for you to have your say in the Queensland Law Society 2017 Council election. With all positions contested, your vote will be crucial in shaping the QLS Council for the next two years. Voting closes at 4pm AEST Monday 16 October 2017.

11 October 2017 – Student engagement and QLS: LawLink

QLS supports our students, including those who identify as First Nations peoples. The QLS Equity and Diversity Committee established the LawLink program in 2003 to connect Indigenous law students with members of the judiciary, practitioners and other students.

11 October 2017 – Notice for members: BUPA

Access to BUPA corporate health plans has now changed. Please note that BUPA corporate health plans are now managed directly by our corporate partners Member Benefits Australia (MBA).

11 October 2017 – QLS annual report tabled

Queensland Law Society’s 2016-17 annual report has been tabled in Parliament by Queensland’s Attorney-General the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP. The report highlights a number of key findings for the past financial year, summarising the Society’s work for good law, good lawyers and the public good.

10 October 2017 – QLS backs government move on gun reform

Queensland Law Society has thrown its support behind changes to gun laws proposed by the state government. President Christine Smyth on Tuesday (Oct 10) welcomed reforms to restrict access to high capacity lever-action shotguns – a move QLS has supported and discussed at length with Queensland Police, Fire, Emergency and Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan.

6 October 2017 – QLS welcomes Supreme Court Justice’s appointment as QCAT president

Queensland Law Society has welcomed the appointment of highly-respected silk and Supreme Court Justice Martin Daubney to the role of Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal president. Society president Christine Smyth said the legal profession would be unanimous in its agreement that Justice Daubney would be a great servant to the people of Queensland in his new role.

5 October 2017 – Discourteous and offensive behaviour

To be honest and courteous in all of our dealings in the course of legal practice is a fundamental ethical duty.

4 October 2017 – Probate and advertising requirement changes

The Supreme Court introduced Practice Direction 14 of 2017 on 1 September 2017. The Practice Direction applies from the date that the amendments to section 67 of the Trusts Act 1973 (by virtue of section 252 of the Court and Civil Legislation Amendment Act 2017) are to come into effect.

4 October 2017 – QLS Council election – voting open

Voting in the Queensland Law Society 2017 Council election is now open for the positions of president, deputy president, vice president and eight ordinary members of Council. With all positions contested, your vote will be crucial in shaping the QLS Council for 2018 and 2019.

3 October 2017 – QLS backs former prominent judge’s call to maintain legal aid funding

Queensland’s largest lawyer group has backed former Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo’s warning that legal aid needed ongoing and sufficient levels of public funding to ensure access to justice for the states most disadvantaged.

27 September 2017 – OSRconnect changes are coming

As foreshadowed in QLS Update on 13 September 2017, the Office of State Revenue (OSR) is implementing a second stage of additional information requirements on 3 October 2017.

27 September 2017 – New Federal Court Practice Direction - Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT)

The Federal Court has revoked the Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) issued on 25 October 2016, and issued the new Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) taking effect from Monday, 18 September 2017.

27 September 2017 – New Queensland legislation website

The new Queensland legislation website went live on 25 September 2017. The Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel has a range of publications and frequently asked questions to help practitioners find their way around the new layout at
test. legislation.qld.gov.au.

27 September 2017 – QLS Council election – voting opens next week

There is one week to go until voting opens for the 2017 QLS Council election. With all Council positions contested, your vote will be crucial in shaping the QLS Council for 2018 and 2019.

20 September 2017 – New OSR forms available

As foreshadowed in the QLS Update 13 September 2017 edition, the Office of State Revenue has released a number of updated forms.

20 September 2017 – Interest on Judgments Practice Note

The Chief Justice of the Federal Court has revoked the Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) issued on 25 October 2016, and issued the new Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) which took effect from Monday, 18 September 2017. The new practice note is now available on the Federal Court website.

20 September 2017 – Invitation to provide comments

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

20 September 2017 – Expressions of interest: Join a QLS Policy Committee

QLS policy committees represent a foundational aspect of our organisation, and in the coming weeks we will call for expressions of interest to join our committees.

19 September 2017 – QLS seeks chief executive officer

Are you skilled in high-level stakeholder engagement and advocacy? Are you experienced in motivating and inspiring staff? Do you have the tertiary qualifications and legal practice experience to operationally lead Queensland’s peak representative body for solicitors?

18 September 2017 – QLS demands Fed Govt fund Robina Community Legal Centre

Queensland’s peak solicitor group has demanded the Federal Government find essential funds to ensure the Gold Coast’s most vulnerable people have access to justice.

18 September 2017 – QLS says more CLC funding necessary to ensure access to justice

Tens of thousands of needy Queenslanders will be denied access to justice in wake of the limited renewed funding grants announced by the state government this week, according to Queensland Law Society.

18 September 2017 – QLS welcomes move to remove 17-year-olds from adult prisons

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth today (Monday September 18) welcomed the state government’s announcement that it will begin removing 17-year-old offenders from the adult criminal justice system.

13 September 2017 – President's Update

While criminal lawyers may be one of the smaller cohorts of our profession, they are integral to the just and equitable administration of our legal system. It is with a mix of admiration and pride that I say all of our solicitors are inspired by their belief in the rule of law, and criminal lawyers are no exception.

13 September 2017 – OSRconnect changes from 3 October

As foreshadowed in QLS Update on 14 June 2017, the Office of State Revenue (OSR) will be implementing a second stage of additional information requirements on 3 October.

13 September 2017 – Note on Supreme Court Practice Direction 14 of 2017

Supreme Court Practice Direction 14 of 2017 was signed by Chief Justice Catherine Holmes on 1 September 2017. The court has also issued a communique which explains that the practice direction, together with the amendment of section 67 of the Trusts Act 1973 and an amendment of rule 599 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999...

13 September 2017 – Invitation to provide comments

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

12 September 2017 – Perfectionism – good or bad?

Perfectionism is commonly reported as being prevalent in the legal profession. There are multiple factors contributing to high levels of perfectionism.

6 September 2017 – President’s update

It is a pleasure to report that our Modern Advocate Lecture Series is continuing to break records.

Last Wednesday’s event, the third in our 2017 series, set a new record of 163 in-person registrants along with more than 500 online viewers via Facebook Live.

6 September 2017 – QLS Senior Counsellors' Conference 2017

On Friday 1 September, the QLS Ethics Centre hosted the annual QLS Senior Counsellors Conference.

6 September 2017 – Legal Profession Regulation 2017 commences

On 1 September, the Legal Profession Regulation 2017 (LPR 2017) commenced, replacing the Legal Profession Regulation 2007.

6 September 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries. This week these include property law, WHS and action on ice.

30 August 2017 – President’s Update

Tonight Queensland Law Society will present the third lecture in the 2017 Modern Advocate Lecture Series, and we have the honour of welcoming Justice Applegarth of the Supreme Court of Queensland, who will speak about ‘Issue Framing in Oral and Written Submissions’, a subject of importance to all advocates.

30 August 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries. This week’s topics include the Australian financial system; the Mining, Water and Other Legislation Bill 2017; mine safety; tow trucks; property law, and ice draft plan.

30 August 2017 – LawCare: Top prevention tips for lawyers

There are times as a lawyer when work has to be a priority, however it is still important to maintain positive functionality.

25 August 2017 – Equality before law: Queensland’s peak legal body cites deficiency in current marriage laws

Queensland Law Society today (FRI 25 AUG) released its position on the current marriage laws in Australia.

23 August 2017 – President’s update

Tonight I will be presenting 25 and 50-year membership pins to Queensland Law Society members in Brisbane at Law Society House.

23 August 2017 – Laws already exist to handle so-called offences of “industrial manslaughter”: QLS

Queensland’s peak solicitor body objects to the State Government’s plan to introduce the new criminal offence of “industrial manslaughter”, saying adequate laws already exist to cover such behaviour.

23 August 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries. This week these include treatment orders, child protection, housing, the Australian financial system and a plan for action against ice.

23 August 2017 – Aussie lawyers win World Cup

The Australian Lawyers’ Cricket Council team were crowned world champions at the 6th Lawyers’ Cricket World Cup on Sunday. The final was played at the famous Singhalese Sports Club Test cricket ground in Colombo where Australia narrowly beat the hosts, Sri Lanka, by six runs.

21 August 2017 – Mates Rates = Dire Straits

Free work for friends can cost more than you think - some tips to avoid empathy-induced ethical conflict.

21 August 2017 – Take control of your affairs - a will does not cover everything

A large percentage of Australians believe that filling out a will kit from their local news agency or downloaded from the internet, will cover them when they pass away. Decades ago that might have been true. But in a modern complex technological world, it is not.

19 August 2017 – Elder abuse awareness campaign garners support from community

Queensland Law Society’s recent awareness campaign highlighting the abuse of our elderly has seen an increase of community understanding and led to more victims seeking support.

17 August 2017 – New QLS/REIQ contract – Commercial Tenancy Agreement

Queensland Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland have jointly endorsed a new Commercial Tenancy Agreement for use by members.

17 August 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

17 August 2017 – President’s update

In past editions of my QLS Update column I have thanked various QLS staff for their excellent service. This week I will both draw your attention to the remarkable achievements of a QLS staff member and also seek your support for her.

15 August 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 8 September - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Friday the 8th day of September 2017.

11 August 2017 – QLS praises Victorian Government for appointment of first solicitor to top role

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has praised the Victorian Government for their forward thinking in the appointment of the first solicitor to the role of Chief Justice, Justice Ann Ferguson.

10 August 2017 – Cyber criminals successfully divert Qld Solicitor’s trust transfers

Due to recent email based cyber attacks, the QLS Ethics Centre recommends that caution should be exercised by solicitors in the manner in which they receive instructions for the transfer of trust monies that may be received by email.

9 August 2017 – President's Update

These are exciting times for women in law, with the announcement that Victoria’s Chief Justice Marilyn Warren will be succeeded by another woman, Justice Anne Ferguson. It is also particularly exciting that Victoria continues to recognise the extraordinary pool of talent available from the ranks of that state’s solicitors.

9 August 2017 – Invitation to provide comments

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

9 August 2017 – Are you ready to take up the mantle?

The QLS Council sets the strategic direction of the Society and guides the Society in advocating for and on behalf of the solicitors’ branch of the Queensland legal profession. Council comprises a president, deputy president, vice president, eight ordinary Council members and an Attorney-General’s nominee.

8 August 2017 – Pretend “Gumtree” lawyer’s bark muzzled by court to the tune of $2,500

Queensland’s peak legal body has fired a warning shot at uncertified “Gumtree’’ gun advisers after one was fined $20,000 for advertising to give legal advice under the guise he was legally permitted to do so.

7 August 2017 – QLS backs changes to legislation protecting community from nefarious tow-truck operations

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has welcomed proposed sensible legislative changes aimed at clamping down on disreputable tow-truck operators from ripping off the public when parking on private premises.

3 August 2017 – President Christine Smyth welcomes the opening of the new Legal Aid Office at Southport

President Christine Smyth welcomes the opening of the new Legal Aid Office at Southport.

2 August 2017 – President's Update

On Monday, it was with pleasure and pride that I welcomed former solicitor and QLS member Peta Stilgoe OAM to her new role as a member of the Land Court on behalf of the solicitors of Queensland.

2 August 2017 – Amendments to Legal Profession Act

On 5 June 2017 assent was given to the Court and Civil Legislation Amendment Act 2017, a piece of omnibus legislation. Among the Acts amended was the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act).

2 August 2017 – Invitation to provide comments

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

27 July 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 21 August 2017 - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Monday the 21st day of August 2017.

27 July 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 25 August 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Friday the 25th day of August 2017.

26 July 2017 – President's Update

Last week’s announcement of a state Crime Statistics and Research Unit (CSRU) is a significant win for Queensland, as it will play a major role in helping policymakers and legislators to employ evidenced-based policymaking when formulating policy and legislation.

26 July 2017 – Elder abuse awareness campaign update

The joint initiative between AMAQ and Queensland Law Society to raise elder abuse awareness in the community was launched on 15 June. ‘GP packs’ were provided to 321 clinics in the Brisbane North Primary Health Network area, and the campaign has been promoted across several media outlets throughout Brisbane and the regions.

26 July 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

21 July 2017 – QLS praises funding for independent crime stats

Queensland’s peak solicitor group has commended the state government’s $2.7 million commitment to fund a new independent body to collect criminal statistics.

20 July 2017 – QLS calls for second-hand law books to donate to the Office of the Public Solicitor in Port Moresby

QLS is calling for the following list of unwanted legal titles and editions to be donated to the Office of the Public Solicitor in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

20 July 2017 – Appointment of former solicitor to Land Court of Queensland an excellent example to profession: QLS

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has welcomed the appointment of former solicitor and current Senior Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), Peta Stilgoe OAM as a member of the Land Court of Queensland.

19 July 2017 – President's Update

Last week’s QLS and FLPA Family Law Residential was another excellent event in the QLS professional development calendar. Opening the three-day conference, I took the opportunity to acknowledge the great work that family law practitioners do in this often difficult area of law, with clients who can frequently be complex and emotional.

19 July 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

14 July 2017 – Criminal lawyer deserves harsh penalty for illegal conduct: QLS

Queensland’s peak lawyers’ association has backed the Brisbane Supreme Court’s harsh condemnation of the deplorable and illegal actions resulting in the jailing of former high-profile criminal lawyer Tim Meehan.

13 July 2017 – First response checklist for law firms subjected to a cyber incident

The QLS Ethics Centre first response checklist has been designed to provide invaluable assistance if you suffer a cyberattack.

13 July 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 4 August 2017 - Cairns

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Cairns, Queensland on Friday the 4th day of August 2017.

13 July 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 7 August 2017 - Brisbane

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland on Monday the 7th day of August 2017.

12 July 2017 – President's Update

Everything Queensland Law Society does is underpinned by the vision that is central to our strategic plan – Good law. Good lawyers. Public good. And if you look at all of our activities, you will find that they all meet one or more of these objectives. This week I’d like to draw your attention to our annual Access to Justice Scorecard survey, which is a notable activity within those for ‘public good’.

12 July 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

6 July 2017 – Peak legal body moving forward towards reconciliation

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has released the state’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for solicitors, during a launch attended by Indigenous Elders, government and judiciary representatives.

5 July 2017 – President's Update

This week is, of course, NAIDOC Week, a time for celebration across Australia. The NAIDOC acronym originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, which organised national activities during the week to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

5 July 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 28 July 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Friday the 28th day of July 2017.

5 July 2017 – Access to Justice Scorecard survey 2017

This month, QLS is asking members to identify existing barriers and propose ideas on how to improve access to justice for Queenslanders by contributing to the annual Access to Justice Scorecard.

5 July 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

28 June 2017 – President's Update

One QLS resource that has been evolving into an informative asset is our Law Talk blog, which is available at medium.com. It provides a platform for articles that offer more substance than those you may encounter on our Facebook or Twitter pages, or some of our other online outlets.

28 June 2017 – Survey: Independent Children’s Lawyer training

National Legal Aid (NLA) is redeveloping its national Independent Children’s Lawyer training program to replace the program previously offered by NLA in collaboration with the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.

28 June 2017 – QLS salutes appointment of former solicitor as new Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal president

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has applauded the appointment of a former solicitor as Australia’s new president of the Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

27 June 2017 – What’s in a name?

A rose by any other name may be as sweet, but the titles used by lawyers have specific meanings, and using the wrong one can get you into trouble. This handy table outlines to practitioners what they can call themselves, and what documents they can sign or witness.

26 June 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 17 July 2017 - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Monday the 17th day of July 2017.

26 June 2017 – Updated REIQ contracts now available

Queensland Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland have updated the standard joint contracts following amendments to the Federal Government’s foreign resident CGT withholding framework which will take effect on 1 July 2017.

23 June 2017 – Appointment of former solicitor to senior judicial position very welcome: QLS

Queensland Law Society has applauded the recent appointments of former solicitor Justice Ann Lyons as Senior Judge Administrator and Judge Helen Bowskill QC as Supreme Court Justice.

22 June 2017 – QLS disappointment over conduct of high-profile criminal solicitor Tim Meehan

Queensland’s peak solicitor group has voiced its disappointment over the conduct of high profile criminal solicitor Tim Meehan after his plea of guilty today (Thurs 21 June) to a string of serious criminal offences.

21 June 2017 – Budget changes: First Home Owners Grant, land tax, AFAD and more

On 16 June, the Queensland Parliament passed the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 as part of the Budget. Practitioners should be aware that the legislation introduces a range of changes.

21 June 2017 – President's Update

It’s a pleasure to report that our announcement of a campaign to encourage older Australians to discuss possible elder abuse with their local GP has gained enormous support. It has generated a lot of media attention, including a live national interview I gave on Sunday morning’s Sunrise program, and if successful this initiative could have the potential to be adopted across Australia.

21 June 2017 – ATO webinar: Foreign resident CGT changes

The Australian Tax Office will present a webinar for QLS members on Thursday 29 June to provide an overview of the foreign resident capital gains withholding framework and the recent changes. The webinar will run from 12:30 pm to 1:30pm.

21 June 2017 – QLS Essentials Conference 2017

Where does problem-solving end and innovation begin? “Problem-solving goes hand in hand with law; after all, it’s what lawyers do for a living. Not only do we solve problems, but we are also asked every now and then to dust off the ol’ crystal ball and do a little problem prediction.”

21 June 2017 – EHP to announce fee increases

Information about fee increases by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) will be available from 1 July on the EHP’s fees and services page.

21 June 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

21 June 2017 – AAT fees to increase

The Migration & Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) will increase fees for review of a migration or refugee decision from 1 July.

14 June 2017 – QLS welcomes Budget funding for justice issues

Queensland Law Society has welcomed the myriad justice initiatives announced in the 2017-18 State Budget – in particular the return of drug courts and extension of permanent specialist domestic violence courts.

14 June 2017 – Beware of dodgy legal advice: QLS

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth has issued a warning for people to avoid taking legal advice and representation from unqualified fraudsters posing as lawyers.

14 June 2017 – President's Update

Yesterday’s State Budget brought us a number of good news items. It was especially pleasing to see the Government’s commitment to fund the Southport specialist domestic violence court permanently and the announcement of new specialist courts for Townsville and Beenleigh. Our media release summed up my thoughts on why these will benefit Queenslanders.

14 June 2017 – Child and Youth Court Liaison Service

In March the Child and Youth Court Liaison Service was enhanced as a result of the Mental Health Act 2016 coming into effect.

14 June 2017 – OSRconnect changes 1 July

From 1 July 2017, additional information will be required when transferring real property in Queensland (either freehold or leasehold). This is a result of federal legislation requiring all states and territories to report certain identity and other information relating to property transfers.

14 June 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

14 June 2017 – Delivery of electronic bills

Electronic delivery of bills - Legislative change

14 June 2017 – QLS announces trial to raise awareness of widespread hidden elder abuse

Queensland’s peak legal body has launched a trial designed to raise public awareness of physical, emotional and financial abuse being suffered in silence by society’s vulnerable elderly community.

13 June 2017 – Return of drug courts will help addicts and reduce crime: QLS

The State Budget commitment to reintroduce drug courts in Queensland will go a long way to targeting the problem of addiction and reduce spiralling crime, according Queensland’s peak solicitor group.

13 June 2017 – Stamping out the scourge of DV one specialist court at a time: QLS

Queensland Law Society has praised the state government’s budget commitment to fund the Southport specialist domestic violence court permanently, and roll out two new specialist courts in Townsville and Beenleigh.

7 June 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

7 June 2017 – Foreign resident CGT withholding changes

On 1 June 2017, amending legislation was introduced to the Federal Parliament to amend the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) to modify the foreign resident capital gains withholding payments regime to increase the withholding rate to 12.5%; and reduce the withholding threshold to $750,000.

7 June 2017 – President's Update

Now that our QLS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been approved by both Reconciliation Australia and Council, we are set to launch it officially on 5 July and will soon be providing information on the events planned to mark this occasion.

31 May 2017 – Amended DV legislation in effect

The amendments contained in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016, excepting those which implement the scheme for national recognition of domestic violence orders, commenced on 30 May 2017.

31 May 2017 – President's Update

My highlight for last week, and no doubt for the hundreds of members who attended, was the annual QLS Ball at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. It was a wonderful night, with much fun and laughter, not to mention dining, dancing and collegial sharing.

31 May 2017 – QLS pays tribute to selfless service of QPS Senior Constable Brett Forte

Queensland's peak lawyer group has joined the nation in mourning the tragic and senseless murder of highly respected Queensland Police Service officer Senior Constable Brett Forte in the line of duty on Monday.

31 May 2017 – Federal Court crime practice note

The national Federal Crime and Related Proceedings Practice Note (CRIME-1) issued by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court came into effect on Monday 15 May.

31 May 2017 – Final reminder – external examination reports 2017

The external examination reports lodgment period ended on 31 March. Any outstanding reports must be lodged with Queensland Law Society today (31 May 2017). Please note there is no provision under the legislation for extensions to lodge reports.

31 May 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

26 May 2017 – QLS says “claim farming’’ is both unethical and breach of solicitors conduct rules

Queensland’s peak legal body has denounced the dubious interstate trend of “claim farming’’ creeping into the state.

24 May 2017 – President's Update

Last week was very much about celebrating the profession of law, and for us Law Week was definitely a tremendous success. It began for me on Tuesday in Cairns as I joined colleagues for the Queensland Legal Walk along the foreshore. There is something inspiring about hundreds of members of our profession walking together, united in a common cause – in this case access to justice – with the beautiful Queensland autumn weather across the state certainly adding to that special feeling.

24 May 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

22 May 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 12 June 2017 - Brisbane

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland on Monday the 12th day of June 2017.

22 May 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 16 June 2017 - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Friday the 16th day of June 2017.

22 May 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 23 June 2017 - Cairns

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Cairns, Queensland on Friday the 23rd day of June 2017.

22 May 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 23 June 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Friday the 23rd day of June 2017.

18 May 2017 – The Graduate

There is no such thing as a graduate solicitor or graduate lawyer, and giving such titles to unadmitted law graduates can create significant issues for law firms, including potential disciplinary action and/or accusations of misleading and deceptive conduct. This note explains how to avoid these issues and ensure that firms use the correct nomenclature for their graduate employees.

17 May 2017 – President's Update

Last Thursday I attended the second lecture in the 2017 Modern Advocate Lecture Series, delivered by the former President of the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank her for an entertaining and informative address which included many practical tips for advocacy both in and out of the courts.

17 May 2017 – WannaCRYpt ransomware – Just the tip of the cyber risk to law firms

Successful ransomware attacks on Queensland law firms are on the increase. Many firms can be hacked in minutes due to simple mistakes by computer users. This note identifies the issue and the desirability for education.

17 May 2017 – Invitation to nominate for rural mediator accreditation

The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) is inviting legal practitioners to nominate for mediator accreditation under the Farm Business Debt Mediation Act 2017 (the Act). QRAA will become the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1 July 2017 and be responsible for the administration of the Act and for the provision a Farm Business Debt Mediation (FBDM) program for Queensland.

17 May 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

17 May 2017 – Warning on new email scam

Practitioners are advised to take extreme care before opening or clicking on links in unexpected emails from government departments and other organisations. A practitioner has recently received an email purporting to be from ‘Applications Planning and Environment (City of Gold Coast)’ seeking further details to confirm an online payment for a planning application.

12 May 2017 – Closed courts have open ears

Solicitors are urged to keep in mind that in Queensland Courts, the recording devices in the courtroom are always active, unless turned off by order of the Judge or magistrate even during breaks in proceedings or after the court has been closed.

11 May 2017 – QLS praises state government move to expunge historical gay convictions

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has applauded the state government’s move to pave the way for the removal of historical criminal records of people convicted for having gay sex.

10 May 2017 – Much-needed safety net for CLCs very welcome: QLS

QLS president Christine Smyth has welcomed the Queensland Attorney-General’s announcement that the state government would guarantee a further three months of funding to community legal centres (CLCs).

10 May 2017 – President's Update

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting of the Queensland Government’s Better Regulation Taskforce, the object of which is to look at regulatory issues that are burdensome or inhibit small business. The group is tasked with reporting on the ‘red, green and blue’ tape areas across at least three industry sectors each year.

10 May 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – Personalised transport, Fair Work

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

10 May 2017 – Are you experiencing burnout?

‘Burnout’ is a stress condition brought on by being involved in an intense situation for a long period of time without adequate rest and recreation. It is also the result of feeling overworked and unappreciated. You may become disappointed, and sometimes cynical. Changes in your environment can prevent burnout.

4 May 2017 – Legal Aid’s choice of former COA President as their chair an inspired appointment: QLS

Queensland’s peak solicitor group has labelled the appointment of former Queensland Court of Appeal President Margaret McMurdo as chair of Legal Aid Queensland a coup for an organisation which works tirelessly for the state’s financially disadvantaged.

4 May 2017 – Further magistrate appointments a welcome announcement for Queensland’s justice system: QLS

The state’s peak professional body for solicitors has praised the announcement of further magistrates for Queensland’s courts.

3 May 2017 – President's Update

Last week ended on a high note as I disseminated the good news from Thursday’s QLS Council meeting – a 20% reduction in annual Lexon insurance levy rates. This very welcome cost reduction – delivered for the second year in a row – applies to virtually all Lexon-insured legal practices (bands two to nine) and reflects good governance within the profession as the level of insurance claims continues to approach an all-time low.

3 May 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries.

28 April 2017 – Historically low claims against solicitors lead to third fee reduction

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth announced up to a 20 per cent levy rate reduction in annual insurance levies for Queensland solicitors today, following three years of low claims from the profession.

27 April 2017 – QLS applauds government funding to implement youth detention recommendations

Queensland’s peak solicitor group has welcomed the state government’s $6.2 million commitment to improve services and care for juveniles held in corrective detention centres.

26 April 2017 – President's Update

What a great start to the week! We warmly welcomed Monday’s announcement by federal Attorney-General Senator George Brandis QC that the proposed cuts to funding for community legal centres would be reinstated. This was a wonderful victory that followed a campaign that was begun by my predecessor, Bill Potts, and vigorously pursued by myself.

26 April 2017 – Get ready for renewals – renew online from May 2

It is almost that time of year again. You can renew your practising certificate and QLS membership online from 2 May.

26 April 2017 – Avoiding the fiscal cliff but still on the edge

On Monday morning, Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth attended a press conference at the Women’s Legal Service where federal Attorney-General Senator George Brandis QC announced the reinstatement of funding to community legal centres across the country.

24 April 2017 – Reinstatement of previous funding appreciated: QLS

QLS President Christine Smyth has welcomed the news that the federal government will abandon planned funding cuts to Community Legal Centres in the upcoming budget, noting that the decision means that society’s most vulnerable people will continue to be able to access justice.

21 April 2017 – QLS calls on government to explain delays in judicial appointments

Queensland’s peak solicitor group says on-going and unexplained delays in the appointment of judges and magistrates across the state was causing critical backlogs and pressure on Queensland’s courts and judicial system.

19 April 2017 – President's Update

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with our members in areas affected by Cyclone Debbie, visiting Proserpine, Bowen, Airlie Beach and Mackay. The warm welcome our group received was heartening and it was appreciated that members took the time to brief us not only on the impact of the cyclone but also other, non-weather-related issues of concern to the local profession.

19 April 2017 – Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for a number of government inquiries.

13 April 2017 – Cyclones and CLCs

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth this week witnessed firsthand the extraordinary work being done by solicitors and community legal centres (CLC) to help re-establish regions left devastated by the Cyclone Debbie weather event.

12 April 2017 – ATO webinar: Requesting client tax documents via the business portal

From 1 July the Australian Tax Office will no longer accept requests for clients’ tax documents by post or fax, and requests will need to be made via the ATO Business Portal. A free webinar on 1 May will explain how to use the portal to request copies of client documents such as tax returns, payment summaries and notices of assessment.

12 April 2017 – President's Update

As the cleanup and repair work continues in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, it is timely to acknowledge the efforts of those who have given generously of their time and expertise in managing this catastrophic weather event.

7 April 2017 – QLS president embarks on tour to help rebuild cyclone-affected regions

Queensland was recently hit with not only Cyclone Debbie, but also many severe weather events over the following days. Throughout the events, QLS president Christine Smyth kept in contact with members as much as possible, endeavouring to send out as much information as possible as it came to hand.

6 April 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 2 May 2017 - Brisbane

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland on Tuesday the 2nd day of May 2017.

6 April 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 12 May 2017 - Cairns

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Cairns, Queensland on Friday the 12th day of May 2017.

6 April 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 12 May 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Friday the 12th day of May 2017.

6 April 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 15 May 2017 - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Monday the 15th day of May 2017.

5 April 2017 – QLS remembers the great contribution of leading legal light – former Justice Martin Moynihan

Queensland this week lost one of its most celebrated and leading legal minds with the passing of former Supreme Court Justice Martin Moynihan, AO.

5 April 2017 – Amendments to external examinations of trust records

On 30 March 2017 amendments were made to the Legal Profession Regulation 2007 (LPR) pertaining to the external examinations of trust records. The amendments were made to Section 62 of the LPR. The previous section was replaced in its entirety and replaced with ‘Exemption from requirement on a law practice to have its trust records externally examined’.

5 April 2017 – President's Update

There have been some new and significant developments in the practice of criminal law. Firstly, there has been a shift in procedure for criminal matters, with Justice Boddice confirming that, when an accused person’s matter has been listed for trial, and it resolves to a sentence, the sentence hearing is to occur at that point – the time when the matter was listed for trial.

4 April 2017 – Post-cyclone information: settlements, court closures & support

I would like to thank the members who have contacted us at QLS to make us aware of their situations following Cyclone Debbie. I hope that anyone who has been affected is receiving assistance where needed and anyone still facing the after effects is safe and as prepared as possible.

4 April 2017 – Cyclone Debbie weather event amplifies need to adequately fund Queensland CLCs

Community legal centres that provided essential free legal services after the 2011 floods would be forced to overcome massive government funding shortfalls if they were to provide similar assistance to victims of the damaging Cyclone Debbie weather event, according to Queensland Law Society.

3 April 2017 – Important update: Post Cyclone information

I sincerely hope that this message finds you, your staff and family safe as the after effects of Cyclone Debbie continue to ravage parts of our state. My thoughts are with those of you in particular who are currently in Rockhampton and surrounding affected areas as you evacuate and watch the rising Fitzroy River.

3 April 2017 – Community information following Cyclone Debbie aftermath

QLS president Christine Smyth encourages members of our community to contact your solicitor if you have concerns arising from the recent adverse conditions.

3 April 2017 – Guidance for law practices affected by flooding or extreme weather conditions

The QLS Ethics Centre has published guidance on the management of the issues resulting in the damage, destruction or loss of client documents or property by flood or extreme weather conditions.  

31 March 2017 – Court closures, affected areas and assistance

Skies across south-east Queensland are blue and sunny today, however, many are still feeling the after effects of Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath, specifically on the Gold Coast and in our more regional areas. There are numerous suburbs with power outages and other issues associated with flooding, dangerous winds and the storm in general.

31 March 2017 – QLS praises appointment of renowned silk as new Court of Appeal President

Queensland Law Society has applauded the appointment of esteemed silk Walter Sofronoff as the state’s new Court of Appeal president.

30 March 2017 – QLS: Stay safe in Cyclone Debbie aftermath

QLS president Christine Smyth has urged all Queensland solicitors to remain vigilant and stay safe in the Cyclone Debbie aftermath currently already hitting parts of the state. With heavy rain predicted for most of the state today, Ms Smyth said that the safety of practitioners, their staff and families was of upmost importance.

29 March 2017 – President's Update

With the Cyclone Debbie cleanup now under way in north Queensland, our thoughts are with our members in the affected regions. It appears all have made it through safely and we have not received any reports of substantial damage to practices.

27 March 2017 – QLS urges NQ solicitors to stay cyclone safe

QLS president Christine Smyth has asked for all Queensland solicitors in the path of Cyclone Debbie to remain safe and put the lives of themselves and others as the highest priority.

23 March 2017 – Farm debt Bill provides fairer deal for struggling rural sector: QLS says

Queensland Law Society has applauded the introduction of new farm business debt mediation laws – saying the laws would level the playing field between farmers and the banks.

23 March 2017 – QLS backs new DV laws

Queensland Law Society has thrown its support behind new legislation designed to make it harder for serious alleged domestic violence offenders to get bail.

22 March 2017 – Invitation for family lawyers!

Queensland Law Society is seeking applications from family lawyers who are interested in joining the Society’s Family Law Committee.

22 March 2017 – QLS applauds state government’s removal of “gay panic’’ defence

Queensland’s peak solicitor body has commended the state government for the removal of the antiquated and discriminatory "gay panic defence” from its criminal statutes.

22 March 2017 – President's Update

Last week was all about QLS Symposium, and what a great event it was! My personal highlights included the excellent opening address by Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, the eye-opening plenary by Holly Ransom and the insightful glimpse of the future from Gihan Perera at the closing plenary.

22 March 2017 – QLS delayed judgments service

Queensland Law Society provides members with a delayed judgments inquiry service under which the Society approaches the relevant court to inquire about specific judgments which have been delayed for three months or more. For the financial year of 2016-17 up to 16 March, the total number of delayed judgment matters received and actioned was 76.

18 March 2017 – QLS: Federal Government crippling vital justice safety net by cutting CLC funding

This morning, president Christine Smyth joined with Queensland’s Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath and Community Legal Centres Queensland Director James Farrell to urge the Federal Government to reverse the decision to cut $2 million in vital community legal services funding.

16 March 2017 – Ethics and client confidentiality in a digital world

One of the pillars of the solicitor-client relationship is the solicitor’s duty of confidentiality-a duty which is increasingly onerous in the face of the challenges of the digital world.

15 March 2017 – President's Update

The two stand-out events from last week were, of course, International Women’s Day and the first Brisbane sitting of the High Court with Chief Justice Kiefel and Justice Edelman.

15 March 2017 – Commissioner of Taxation’s remedial power

The Australian Tax Office has published information about the Commissioner of Taxation’s recently enacted remedial power. The commissioner’s remedial power (CRP) benefits the community by allowing the commissioner to modify the operation of tax and super law to resolve certain unforeseen or unintended outcomes.

15 March 2017 – National Close the Gap Day

This Thursday 16 March is National Close the Gap Day, which provides an opportunity to show support for closing the education and life expectancy gap for our First Nations peoples.

15 March 2017 – NEW: Invitation to provide comments – QLS advocacy

Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for a number of government inquiries.

9 March 2017 – CLC funding cuts to affect our ageing population

Recently the Queensland Government welcomed a Bill proposing changes that will provide vulnerable Queenslanders with options to tackle the burden of SPER Debts. However, president Christine Smyth, who practises in succession and elder law, wonders how our ageing homeless population will be affected if the Federal Government continue to cut funding to CLCs?

8 March 2017 – President’s update

A recent article in the print media has criticised the Fidelity Guarantee Fund. That criticism was unfair. The fund has been in place for many years. It is an initiative promulgated by the goodwill and personal funds of thousands of Queensland solicitors. It is not funded by government, it is not funded by members of the public – it is your money.

8 March 2017 – Launch of 2017 Modern Advocate Lecture Series

On Thursday 2 March, Queensland Law Society hosted the first lecture of 2017 in the QLS Ethics Centre’s Modern Advocate Lecture Series. This series aims to foster collegiality in the junior ranks of the profession and to imbue young practitioners with the knowledge and skills to sharpen their advocacy.

8 March 2017 – External examination period ends 31 March

External examination reports are to be lodged soon. Please note that the QLS Form 5 – External Examiner’s Report and QLS Form 4 – Law Practice Declaration and Trust Money Statement have been amended. The current forms (version 8) were approved in December 2016.

8 March 2017 – Changes to EFT guidelines

On 9 February the Professional Conduct Committee of the Queensland Law Society approved amendments to the QLS Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Guidelines for trust account operations (the guidelines).

1 March 2017 – QLS backs call for Federal Government to reinstate community legal centre funding

Queensland Law Society has backed the state government’s call demanding the Federal Government immediately reverse its decision to slash $3 million in vital community legal services funding to ensure society’s most vulnerable people have access to justice.

1 March 2017 – QLS launches search warrant guidelines

Queensland Law Society launched its historic Search Warrant Guidelines yesterday at Old Government House, Brisbane. QLS collaborated with Queensland Police Service to execute the guidelines that address the process to be followed and obligations to be met in the event of the execution of a search warrant on solicitors’ premises in Queensland.

1 March 2017 – QAI book aids clients with intellectual disability

A new publication by Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) will assist people with intellectual disability who have been charged with an offence.

1 March 2017 – President's Update

With federal legal aid funding set to fall by around 30% from July, there is a lot happening as community legal centres and other organisations seek to influence government attitudes on this crucial community service.

1 March 2017 – Access to Justice Scorecard released

To further our vision of advocating for good law and supporting good lawyers, Queensland Law Society has published the 2016 Access to Justice Scorecard Report. The annual survey is fundamental to QLS contributions to upholding the rule of law and highlights the barriers that QLS members see for Queenslanders accessing justice.

1 March 2017 – Join the ‘Justice Journey’ in Law Week

To celebrate the annual Law Week (15-21 May), the Department of Justice and Attorney-General will run the ‘Justice Journeys’ program for the second year.

28 February 2017 – QLS unveils ground-breaking search warrant guidelines to assist police

The state’s peak professional legal body will today launch its historic Search Warrant Guidelines – designed to assist solicitors and police when a search warrant is executed on solicitors’ premises.

22 February 2017 – President's Update

QPILCH was an unusual but memorable acronym, and it may take some of us a little while to become used to saying LawRight instead. Last Wednesday night marked the launch of the new name for the leading organisation in our pro bono community.

22 February 2017 – QLS honours outstanding solicitors at annual gala event

President Christine Smyth said it was an honour to begin her journey as the 2017 QLS president by bestowing awards at the Society’s annual premier event for members and legal and prominent dignitaries. Queensland Law Society added three awards to acknowledge the stellar achievements of solicitors across the state at its prestigious 2017 QLS Legal Profession and Awards Dinner at the weekend.

22 February 2017 – Have your say on the Queensland Building Plan

The Queensland Building Plan is billed as the most comprehensive review of the state's $44 billion building industry in generations. The Department of Housing and Public Works is inviting practitioners to have their say on the plan at a series of state-wide consultation sessions.

22 February 2017 – Payment scam warning

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is warning of a recent spike in the number of up-front payment and advanced fee frauds. The frauds, which are usually received via email, typically ask you to send money in order to later receive some sort of ‘reward’, such as a prize, discounted holiday, or pre-approved loan.

20 February 2017 – Building Closure: Brisbane’s Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law

UPDATE: Court matters will not proceed in Brisbane’s Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law today (Monday 20 February 2017) as previously listed. This is due to the closure of the building as a result of a fire which occurred on Level 11 on Friday night.

15 February 2017 – President’s update

The terrific feedback I’ve received since last week’s QLS Roadshow in Bundaberg is very heartening, knowing QLS is meeting its objective of being a membership organisation for all Queensland solicitors. When we plan new events, there is always a sense of will it work or not? Much to the joy of all involved, the three-day event was a success.

15 February 2017 – QLS voices concern over aspects of proposed DV bail law changes

Queensland’s peak lawyer group has voiced concerns about the state LNP’s proposed changes to domestic violence bail laws – saying they were unlikely to improve public safety. Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth acknowledged there was some urgency in discussing this extremely important issue given the horrific domestic violence murder-suicide on the Gold Coast last month.

15 February 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 17 March 2017 - Cairns

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Cairns, Queensland on Friday the 17th day of March 2017.

15 February 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 10 March 2017 - Rockhampton

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Rockhampton, Queensland on Friday the 10th day of March 2017.

15 February 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 20 March 2017 - Brisbane

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland on Monday the 20th day of March 2017.

15 February 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 23 March 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Monday the 23rd day of March 2017.

8 February 2017 – President’s update

The New Year Profession Drinks last Thursday was a great way to get our 2017 events program under way. With a record crowd of more than 200 in attendance, the function held in the Gallery at the QEII Courts of Law presented an ideal opportunity to explain my plans for raising the profile of the profession and its value to society, and I would particularly like to thank the many members who gave me positive feedback on this.

8 February 2017 – QLS RAP – Thank you!

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft QLS Reconciliation Action Plan. We received an overwhelming 145 responses and your feedback will help us to fine tune our RAP, which fulfils our commitment to advocate for good law and support good lawyers.

8 February 2017 – QLS Legal Profession Dinner and Awards

QLS Legal Profession Dinner and Awards night is just over one week away! Have you secured your ticket to the profession’s night of nights yet? QLS president Christine Smyth will address the profession and detail her commitments and aspirations for 2017, and announce the winners of four awards...

2 February 2017 – ATO website - FRCGW form outage

The ATO has advised that it is currently experiencing a temporary system issue which is impacting the online forms for foreign resident capital gains withholding (FRCGW). The ATO has provided PDF versions of the forms which members will need to use when applying for a clearance certificate or variation for settlements.

1 February 2017 – President’s update

It was an honour to attend the High Court of Australia on Monday for the swearing-in of Chief Justice Susan Kiefel. To see a Queensland practitioner – and the first female – elevated to our highest judicial office is something I will always remember.

30 January 2017 – Updated REIQ Contracts – 13th edition “Houses and Residential Land” and 9th edition “Residential Lots in a CTS”

QLS and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland have prepared new editions of the two standard residential contracts, updating the definition of “Compliant Smoke Alarm” as a result of recent legislative changes.

29 January 2017 – QLS reiterates support for nation’s first female High Court Chief Justice ahead of Monday’s swearing in

Queensland Law Society welcomes the swearing in of Australia’s first female High Court Chief Justice, the well-deserving Justice Susan Kiefel.

27 January 2017 – QLS applauds new High Risk Youth Court in Townsville

Queensland Law Society congratulates the Queensland Government on the launch of a new specialist High Risk Youth Court that will hold its first sitting next week.

25 January 2017 – President’s update

The ‘gay panic’ defence is in the spotlight today at the parliamentary Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee’s public hearing on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2016. Our immediate past president, Bill Potts, is front and centre on this, as we have several issues with this legislation because it is not well drafted.

25 January 2017 – Changes to CPD rules

A number of changes have been made to the continuing professional development (CPD) rules with which all solicitors in Queensland must comply. The changes, effective from 24 November 2016, clarify the position regarding the approved CPD activities set out in Rule 48.

25 January 2017 – LPAB strengthens commitment to resilience and wellbeing

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board (LPAB), the entry point for graduates wishing to be admitted as lawyers in Queensland, has strengthened its support for resilience and wellbeing in the legal profession.

24 January 2017 – QLS supports move to scrap lockout laws

Queensland’s peak solicitors’ body has backed the state government’s proposed scrapping of nightclub lockout laws and opts for a more measured mandatory digital screening process to identify potentially problematic patrons.

20 January 2017 – QLS welcomes return of Sentencing Advisory Council

Queensland Law Society has welcomed the re-instatement of the Sentencing Advisory Council – saying it was vital to the delivery of justice throughout the state.

18 January 2017 – New public rulings approved by Commissioner of State Revenue

The Commissioner of State Revenue has advised that a number of new public rulings were approved in December 2016.

17 January 2017 – Regional Roadshow to Bundaberg

Queensland Law Society is hitting the road in February 2017 and holding our inaugural Regional Roadshow in Bundaberg. Select from either attending the full conference program over three days or participate in sessions that suit your practice area or interests. We have created a flexible program that allows members to tailor the roadshow to their individual needs.

12 January 2017 – Message from the President Christine Smyth

Happy New Year and welcome to what I hope will be an exciting and prosperous 2017 for all Queensland Solicitors. It is an honour and a privilege to be elected to the role of President of the Queensland Law Society.  I am also proud to be the 5th female and the first Gold Coast woman lawyer to be entrusted with this position, in the long history of the QLS.

12 January 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 6 February 2017 - Brisbane

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland on Monday the 6th day of February 2017.

12 January 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 10 February 2017 - Cairns

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Cairns, Queensland on Friday the 10th day of February 2017.

12 January 2017 – Notice of Admission Sitting 10 February 2017 - Townsville

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board gives notice of an admission sitting to take place at the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville, Queensland on Friday the 10th day of February 2017.

12 January 2017 – Self-reporting obligations under the Legal Profession Act 2007 (‘LPA’)

End of year parties can leave a lot of mess to clear up. Unfortunately, this may include solicitors charged with criminal and traffic offences arising from festive celebrations.