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Economist to track legal value


Cite as: July 2015 89 (7) LIJ, p.13

Legal profession

The economic value of the Victorian legal profession in 2015 is to be measured.

Dr John Marsden has been appointed economist-in-residence at the LIV. He will look at quantifying the economic value of the legal profession and the legal system in Victoria.The residency is for six months.

The appointment was made after Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren asked the LIV and Monash University to attempt the measure.

LIV CEO Nerida Wallace said the LIV and the profession face immense challenges going into 2016 and all lawyers need to recognise the changing economic environment in Australia and Asia.

The key challenges are:

  • the start of Legal Profession Uniform Law on 1 July;
  • a new free trade agreement with China presaging export of legal services into Asia;
  • competition from non-legal providers;
  • alternate legal service delivery from disruptive technology;
  • law graduate numbers; and
  • access to justice for middle Australia and others.
  • Ms Wallace said an economic perspective on those issues would be of great benefit and the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and members of the Victorian government had expressed interest in the findings.

    Dr Marsden will direct a series of policy papers on the key issues for future use by the LIV and the LCA as source documents.

    “This is a great opportunity for the LIV. With his work as economist-in-residence, Dr Marsden will play an important role in shaping the future of the legal profession in Australia,” Ms Wallace said.

    Dr Marsden is founding director of Marsden Jacob Associates, an economic consultancy. He has extensive experience in providing strategic advice on economic regulation, governance and pricing and advised the LIV on common law initiatives in the 1990s.


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