Queensland Law Society

Ethics News

15 October 2019 – Ethics Reminder: Alternative Dispute Resolution

A reminder to solicitors as to informing a client with respect to alternatives to litigation.

13 June 2019 – Significant changes to the witnessing requirements for Titles Registry documents

Practitioners who witness documents for lodgement in the Titles Registry should read on.

25 September 2018 – Mirror wills – what you should consider if one client wishes to engage you after they split?

Practitioners are often asked to prepare mirror wills for couples who may later go their separate ways. Some issues to consider on whether they can act for one of the parties after they have separated.

3 September 2018 – OPG Guidelines for Witnessing Enduring Documents have been updated

Please note that the OPG Guidelines for Witnessing Enduring Documents were modified slightly in July 2018.

3 September 2018 – Confidentiality – information in the public domain

A reminder that information in the public domain can still be confidential to the client. Read more.

6 July 2018 – Salutation or opening salvo?

Correctly addressing colleagues is an ethical obligation

10 May 2018 – Will Danger, Robinson! (with apologies to Lost In Space fans)

Using a chatbot to provide legal services can get you in more trouble than the Lost in Space crew

4 April 2018 – Bragging is for the Boardroom

When solicitors deliver great results and unlikely victories for clients, the temptation to share that good news is powerful - and with social media a ubiquitous part of our lives, succumbing to that temptation has never been easier.

11 December 2017 – Beware of the Leopard: How safe must safe custody be?

Solicitors store all manner of documents for clients, and have an obvious obligation to keep those documents sufficiently safe - but what will be considered safe enough?

14 November 2017 – Not all Security is Cyber

It doesn’t take a computer hacker or virus to violate client confidentiality - it can be done in the simplest of ways.

1 November 2017 – A mislabelled file ends three careers: some practical steps to avoid e-discovery disasters

Learning from our mistakes is good, but learning from someone else’s is a lot less stressful.

17 October 2017 – The ethical boundaries of a solicitor’s right to take security for fees

You work hard – how to negotiate some security over your fees?

5 October 2017 – Discourteous and offensive behaviour

To be honest and courteous in all of our dealings in the course of legal practice is a fundamental ethical duty.

21 August 2017 – Mates Rates = Dire Straits

Free work for friends can cost more than you think - some tips to avoid empathy-induced ethical conflict.

10 August 2017 – Cyber criminals successfully divert Qld Solicitor’s trust transfers

Due to recent email based cyber attacks, the QLS Ethics Centre recommends that caution should be exercised by solicitors in the manner in which they receive instructions for the transfer of trust monies that may be received by email.

13 July 2017 – First response checklist for law firms subjected to a cyber incident

The QLS Ethics Centre first response checklist has been designed to provide invaluable assistance if you suffer a cyberattack.

27 June 2017 – What’s in a name?

A rose by any other name may be as sweet, but the titles used by lawyers have specific meanings, and using the wrong one can get you into trouble. This handy table outlines to practitioners what they can call themselves, and what documents they can sign or witness.

14 June 2017 – Delivery of electronic bills

Electronic delivery of bills - Legislative change

18 May 2017 – The Graduate

There is no such thing as a graduate solicitor or graduate lawyer, and giving such titles to unadmitted law graduates can create significant issues for law firms, including potential disciplinary action and/or accusations of misleading and deceptive conduct. This note explains how to avoid these issues and ensure that firms use the correct nomenclature for their graduate employees.

17 May 2017 – WannaCRYpt ransomware – Just the tip of the cyber risk to law firms

Successful ransomware attacks on Queensland law firms are on the increase. Many firms can be hacked in minutes due to simple mistakes by computer users. This note identifies the issue and the desirability for education.

12 May 2017 – Closed courts have open ears

Solicitors are urged to keep in mind that in Queensland Courts, the recording devices in the courtroom are always active, unless turned off by order of the Judge or magistrate even during breaks in proceedings or after the court has been closed.

3 April 2017 – Guidance for law practices affected by flooding or extreme weather conditions

The QLS Ethics Centre has published guidance on the management of the issues resulting in the damage, destruction or loss of client documents or property by flood or extreme weather conditions.  

16 March 2017 – Ethics and client confidentiality in a digital world

One of the pillars of the solicitor-client relationship is the solicitor’s duty of confidentiality-a duty which is increasingly onerous in the face of the challenges of the digital world.

12 January 2017 – Self-reporting obligations under the Legal Profession Act 2007 (‘LPA’)

End of year parties can leave a lot of mess to clear up. Unfortunately, this may include solicitors charged with criminal and traffic offences arising from festive celebrations.

25 November 2016 – How do experienced lawyers prepare a complex costs estimate?

The key to a good outcome for both the client and solicitor is a retainer agreement that is clear, precise and provides an accurate estimation of costs right from the beginning.