Queensland Law Society

 

Support package for Queensland’s legal profession

Queensland Law Society – the state’s peak legal body – will provide the state’s 13,000 practitioners with access to a support package worth $9 million in a bid to "keep the doors open and keep people in jobs" during the global coronavirus pandemic.

In accordance with QLS’s role in Queensland’s legal profession, for FY2020-21 the QLS Council has halved the price of full membership to QLS which grants access to significant benefits and protections to its members. In addition the support package will reduce the compulsory costs of practice by providing a subsidy to practising certificate fees and professional indemnity insurance levies.

For FY2020-21 this support package will provide Queensland practitioners with a:

  • 26% subsidy in the annual cost of individual practising certificates
  • 20% subsidy on the base professional indemnity insurance levy rates for practitioners insured through Lexon Insurance Pte Ltd as a result of funding QLS has released from its Law Claims Levy Fund. This has been supported by the Lexon Board and reviewed by Lexon’s actuaries.
  • 50% subsidy on the full membership fee for the Society’s more than 11,000 members.

QLS has secured a premium funding arrangement with Westpac bank, which allows the costs of renewals to be funded by the bank at 2.95% interest and payable over 12 equal monthly instalments.

The breakdown of the subsidies are:

 

Regular annual fee

COVID-19 subsidy
FY2020-21 renewal year

COVID-19 fee
FY2020-21 renewal year

QLS full membership

$505

50%

$252.50

Principal practising certificate

$1006

26.1%

$743.30
(saving of $262.70)

Employee practising certificate

$503

26.1%

$371.65 
(saving of $131.35)

 

These savings are significant. For example:

  • A solicitor who holds an employee practising certificate and is a QLS full member would pay $624.15 to renew both their practising certificate and QLS full membership in FY2020-21, a saving of $383.85
  • A  principal practising certificate holder who is a QLS member would pay $995.80 to renew both their principal practising certificate and QLS membership in FY2020-21, a saving of $515.20.

Additionally for FY2020-21, QLS will offer its full members:

  • A minimum of 10 free continuing professional development points
  • Free full membership of QLS for any practitioner who is stood down or made redundant between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

For more information about QLS support package for practitioners, read on or check out our FAQs here.

Find out more about the value of QLS membership here.

How has QLS funded the support package to the profession?

QLS is a not for profit organisation but has accumulated cash reserves primarily from membership renewals, events and practising certificates. QLS has released all available cash reserves to support the profession via the membership fee and PC subsidies. Further, following actuarial advice and with the support of the Lexon Board, QLS has released capital from the Law Claims Levy Fund to subsidise insurance levies to Lexon insureds.  

What do you need to do to access this support?

Right now, nothing. This package will be part of QLS’s FY2020-21 renewals process, which will commence on Tuesday 5 May 2020.

Why you need QLS membership

QLS can help you stay connected with your colleagues and the profession during these uncertain times. We have a comprehensive COVID-19 information hub which is updated daily with information from the Courts, guidance for firms and practitioners, and links to information to support practitioners to continue to practise during this difficult time.

Key benefits of QLS membership include:

Expanded support for COVID-19 related practice issues

QLS is now providing three significant new services as part of our support package for the legal profession via the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre. The Employment Law Advice Service (ELAS), the General Manager Support Service (GMSS) and the Government Financial Assistance Service (GFAS) offer guidance to members and their practices who are facing difficult times due to the current climate. Each service is provided via subject matter experts and is free for members who meet the eligibility criteria. They will benefit with up to two (three for GFAS) hours of advice.