"The QLS Ethics and Practice Centre (The Centre) has for over a decade been the reliable source that members have used to be guided or counselled in making day to day ethical decisions. Legal ethics is more than a set of conduct rules, it provides a framework where by legal practices can grow with resilience and sustainability. The Centre is a partner with our member practitioners to allow them to achieve the best that they can."- Stafford Shepherd, QLS Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel
The Centre provides legal ethics and practice support guidance and education to Queensland Law Society (QLS) members. Practitioners are welcome to contact us on p. 07 3842 5843 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not provide guidance to members of the public.
What we do
If you are or work for, a QLS member practitioner, our solicitors are available to discuss and provide guidance on ethical and practice management issues. Even if the ethical issue relates to a sensitive matter, you can be comfortable knowing that talking to us is permitted under the ASCR (see Rule 9.2.3). All communications with us are strictly confidential except in certain cases eg: dealing with the reporting of certain irregularities or suspected irregularities in the administration of trust accounts or mandatory reporting obligations of child sexual offences under s229BC Criminal Code.
We do not:
- provide formal oral or written opinions
- give substantive legal advice
- advise on entire transactions
- review large volumes of documents
- assist with conduct complaints that have been made to the Legal Services Commission Queensland by members of the public or practitioners
- provide advice about another solicitor’s conduct (though we may comment on whether, in our view, another solicitor’s conduct appears to be appropriate. In such circumstances, our comments are intended to assist the solicitor to decide on their next steps)
- advise on technology or tax issues.
- assist practitioners with respect to queries as to the distribution of funds from their trust accounts.
The Centre reserves the right to decline to give guidance on any matter. Guidance from the solicitors is not a ruling or formal legal opinion, and it is not binding on the Queensland Law Society, courts or any tribunal. In accordance with these terms of engagement, completion of the phone call (and / or any subsequent email providing supporting documentation) will be viewed as an end to the engagement. Please note that in accordance with r 14 of the ASCR, we have your consent to destroy your documents (which includes the above recording) after a period of 7 years has elapsed since completion of the engagement.
Who we are
The QLS Ethics and Practice Centre is led by the Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel and is comprised of a team of solicitors and law clerks. With over 100 years of combined experience in legal practice, our solicitors are well placed to assist with most queries regarding legal ethics and practice support.
On the 1 October 2019, QLS Solicitor Support Pty Ltd* trading as QLS Ethics and Practice Centre, an incorporated legal practice was formed and sits within the Centre. QLS Solicitor Support is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Society and was created to enable practitioners who seek such guidance to claim client legal privilege over such counsel.
(For legal practitioners only)
The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules are an essential reference tool for practising solicitors. If you are a QLS member, log in to the website to see the Commentary. There are also other resources that are located at the bottom of the Rules / Commentary.
As part of the Centre’s commitment to assist QLS Members to practise in an efficient, practical and ethical manner, we provide resources and services to support the day to day operation of Queensland practices. This includes our Practice Advisory Service where members can arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors and our Practice Support Services that comprise of our Business Advisory Service (BAS), Employment Law Advice Service (ELAS), Cost Advisory Service (CAS) and Workplace Conduct Advisory Service (WCAS)More information