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New section to tackle costs concerns

Briefs

Cite as: December 2015 89 (12) LIJ, p.13

Lawyers' concerns about costs under the Uniform Law will be a focus of a new Costs Law Section of the LIV.

The Costs Law Section will replace the Cost Lawyers Executive Committee. Application for the new section was made in response to member concern about the cost disclosure requirements under the new Uniform Law.

More than 55 per cent of inquiries from members about Uniform Law involve costs regulations. Disclosure of charges and fees are also the most frequent subjects of complaint by consumers of legal services that are investigated by the Legal Services Commissioner.

The aim of the new section – expected to be operational in the new year – will be to educate the profession about the costs-related impact of Uniform Law, give them guidance on how to fulfil their compliance requirements and provide alternative costing methods to the billable hour. The section will also advocate on behalf of members on costs matters of concern.

The new Costs Law Section will be supported by the LIV and subject to its constitution and by-laws. It will have its own policy lawyer who will coordinate advocacy in relation to costs, and provide guidance and administrative support to the section. Unlike a committee of council, where member participation is limited, all LIV members are eligible to apply to participate in the Costs Law Section. Members of the Costs Policy Committee will continue to play what has been an important role assisting the LIV to advocate on behalf of members on Uniform Law costs matters.

Meanwhile, the Social Media Taskforce has been wound up. It provided members with education and guidance on using social media. The taskforce was established on 29 November 2012 and was chaired by current LIV president Katie Miller, with 45 members. In that time it developed a social media CPD plan, produced fact sheets on dealing with social media, hosted presentations by social media experts, and created the social media hub which aggregates the LIV’s social media activities and information (http://live/Media-Centre/Social-Media).

Now that social media is a mainstream communication, and the taskforce has achieved its key goals, its activities and functions will be delivered through the LIV’s regular programs and facilities.

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