6 May 2020
As our time in unsettled practise continues, there are some important updates I’d like to share with you this week:
Firstly, QLS has negotiated with the Supreme Court Library Queensland (SCLQ) for a temporary extension of access to their popular Virtual Legal Library (VLL) service for a wider group of Queensland lawyers.
VLL provides free online access to a range of key legal commentaries, textbooks and reference works from commercial legal publishers.
Access is ordinarily restricted to full QLS members who are sole practitioners or from a firm with five or fewer practising certificates. However, the majority of VLL resources will be temporarily available to full QLS members in firms with between six and ten practising certificates during COVID-19, to assist you while you are working remotely.
This special extended access will initially be available from midday Thursday 7 May 2020 until at least the end of May, at which time the arrangements will be reviewed in light of prevailing pandemic restrictions, and potentially extended into June.
If you meet the extended eligibility requirements, visit sclqld.org.au/vll to apply for access.
SCLQ is grateful to CCH Australia and LexisNexis for generously agreeing to temporarily extend access to all their VLL titles at no cost, in response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the legal profession. SCLQ also acknowledge the valuable content provided via VLL by Federation Press and Oxford University Press.
Contact the library if you have any questions or require assistance accessing or using VLL.
We are continuing to engage with Government on changes to signing and execution of Queensland law documents to respond to the COVID-19 challenge. We hope to have this finalised very shortly. At the Commonwealth level, the Federal Treasurer has made a determination to amend the operation of the Corporations Act 2001 for the execution of company documents and holding meetings. More information is available in this edition of QLS Update and on the QLS COVID-19 webpage.
Additionally, I’d like to remind practitioners that now is the time to access the support for the legal profession announced by QLS last month. The 20% reduction in professional indemnity insurance base levy rates, the 26% reduction in practising certificate fees and the 50% reduction in QLS full membership are all part of the 2020-21 renewal process. Renewals is now open, and I invite you to renew or join before 31 May 2020 to take advantage of these subsidies. To renew, go to qls.com.au/myQLS and click on the Renewals tab.
I’d like to also again remind you of the expanded services provided by the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre to support practitioners through the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out more about the Employment Law Advice Service, General Manager Support Service and the Government Financial Assistance Service here. These are all free to eligible members and will assist you in dealing with COVID-19-related practice issues.
And finally, I’d like to draw all practitioners’ attention to the CPD content available in May. All of it is being delivered on-demand and you can view all the available and upcoming content here. Please do check back regularly as this page is updated as new CPD resources are confirmed.
As always, stay safe and well connected with your colleagues and the Society. Now, more than ever, we need to support one another and your Society is also here to support you.
Queensland Law Society
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