Queensland Law Society Ethics Centre
Queensland Law Society Ethics Centre provides ethics guidance to assist legal practitioners to resolve ethical dilemmas and follow a course of action which is likely to withstand any later complaint that the practitioner has acted improperly.
Ethics guidance can relate to all aspects of professional conduct including the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules as well as more practical aspects of running a legal practice, such as file destruction policies.
The importance of this service is accepted and supported by the Legal Services Commission. The Commission is the regulator of the legal profession, and complaints about practitioners’ conduct are made to the Commission - Queensland Law Society no longer has this role.
While it is possible that opinions may differ as to the proper course of action to adopt in any given situation, and the ethics guidance given to a practitioner is not binding on the Commission, the fact that a practitioner has recognised that there is an ethical dilemma, has sought ethical guidance and has acted in accordance with that guidance will be a significant factor in the practitioner’s favour if a complaint is later made to the Commission.
QLS's ethics solicitors keep details of all conversations and keep all emails and other documents provided so that the Society has a complete and accurate record of the facts given by the practitioner and the guidance given based on those facts.
These records are confidential. They are available to the practitioner on request. They are not available to the Commission.
Our ethics guidance solicitors seek to:
- deal with enquiries in a consistent manner with reference to up-to-date authorities and guidelines
- encourage practitioners to properly consider all relevant issues and form their own views based on their greater knowledge of the subject matter, rather than simply adopting any guidance given.
This ethical guidance is not legal advice and does not attract legal professional privilege (client legal privilege).
Practitioners are also encouraged to consider the material available on the Ethics Centre website, in particular the Ethics FAQs.
If a complaint has already been made to the Commission refer to Free Legal Advice for Members.
Another source of guidance on ethics and other professional issues is QLS Senior Counsellors.
For more information contact us.