Working with your solicitor
For many people, using a solicitor’s services for a legal issue is unfamiliar territory. Some may be unsure about the legal process, concerned about the emotional toll of detailing a particular problem, or are apprehensive about costs.
Solicitors in Queensland operate under the Legal Profession Act 2007 which prescribes various legal obligations towards you as the client.
Queensland Law Society (QLS) can refer you to a conveniently located solicitor practising in the area related to your issue.
Before meeting with your solicitor you should conduct some research to identify:
- your solicitor’s background
- what you will need to bring to the first meeting
- whether the first appointment is free of charge.
Put simply – solicitors are here to help and you should feel confident that in engaging one, you are taking an important step in protecting your rights and interests. QLS has developed an information brochure Questions to ask your solicitor, with some recommendations regarding the selection of your solicitor and what you should ask.
QLS Limitation of Liability Scheme – Information for clients and the public
From July 1 2010, QLS members and their practices have been able to join a Scheme, approved by the Professional Standards Council pursuant to the Professional Standards Act 2004 (Qld), that caps their liability against negligence claims.
- "Liability" is the term used for a legal obligation one person might owe to another person because the first person acted, or failed to act, in a way that caused the second person loss.
- This scheme acts to cap liability - so that if one person sues another person in court for money, there is a cap on how much the court will award in damages against the person who was liable.
- The QLS scheme operates with caps at either $1.5m or $10m, depending on the size of the practice, although practices are free to apply for higher caps.
- All practices are required to have professional indemnity insurance up to the level of their cap.
- Only schemes which satisfy legislative requirements to improve professional standards and protect consumers are approved, so you should expect a high standard of service from QLS members
All solicitors who are members of the scheme should:
- clearly disclose on their business documents that their liability is limited, as required by legislation;
- be able to tell you the cap on their liability; and
- be able to direct you to, or pass your concerns on to, the appropriate organisation/person to handle any complaints you may have.