Queensland Law Society

Use of the word 'principal' in a law practice

On 24 October 2018, Queensland Law Society published a statement of the determination of its Council in relation to the use of the word ‘principal’ to describe the position or status of practitioners in law practices. Council determined the Society would not issue any guidance on the matter. Practitioners should use their own judgment in that regard.

Council also resolved to seek an amendment to the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act), to allow law practices to use terms such as ‘principal lawyer’ or ‘principal solicitor’ in the description of their staff. That submission was made and the Attorney-General has advised that the Government declined to make such an amendment.

The Society urges practitioners considering using the word ‘principal’ as position description to take into account the provisions of section 7(4) of the Act and to consider the statement issued by the Uniform Legal Services Commissioner.

The Society will continue to not issue principal certificates to practitioners who are employed in an incorporated legal practice but are not directors of that practice.