The Legal Profession Act 2006 (ACT) (LPA) empowers the Law Society of the ACT (Law Society) to make Rules for or in relation to practice as a solicitor, as an Australian-registered foreign lawyer and for incorporated legal practices and multi-disciplinary partnerships. The Rules apply to practitioners who are:
- legal practitioners who hold an unrestricted or restricted practising certificate issued by the Law Society; or
- legal practitioners who hold an interstate practising certificate that does not restrict the practitioner to practise only as a barrister; or
- Australian-registered foreign lawyers; or
- legal practitioners in an incorporated legal practice or a multi-disciplinary partnership.
The application of the Rules is not limited to practitioners in private practice but extend to practitioners employed by corporations and other entities as well as government lawyers who hold practising certificates. Section 585 of the LPA provides that the Rules are binding on legal practitioners to whom they apply. Failure to comply with the Rules can amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.
Purpose of the commentary and guidelines
These Guidelines and Commentary have been developed for the information of legal practitioners who are bound by the Rules. They do not constitute part of the Rules and are provided only as guidance.
The Guidelines and Commentary are intended to provide additional information and guidance to practitioners in understanding how particular Rules might apply in some situations, and to provide clear direction to legal practitioners as to how the Law Society will interpret the Rules.
Practitioners with any questions about the content of the Rules, Guidelines and Commentary are encouraged to contact the Law Society for assistance.