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Large law firms to join LCA

Briefs

Cite as: (2007) 81(3) LIJ, p. 14


Legal representatives have reached an in principle agreement to add the Large Law Firm Group (LLFG) to the Law Council of Australia (LCA) board.

The LCA constitution will be redrafted to allow the group to vote alongside state and territory law societies and Bars.

The agreement was made at an LCA directors’ meeting in Canberra on 3 February, following months of discussion about moving towards a truly national body.

Also determined at the meeting was the decision to remove executive LCA positions and for all constituent bodies to pay equal capitation fees.

The amendments are expected to be officially approved at an LCA directors’ meeting on 23 March, which will be held in conjunction with the Australian Legal Convention in Sydney.

The in principle agreement means the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV), Queensland and New South Wales Law Societies will each hand over one of their four votes to the LLFG.

This would mean each major constituent body gets three votes, while other state and territory bodies have a sliding scale of votes, depending on membership.

LIV president Geoff Provis has supported the move as under the proposed structure large firm practitioners who are not LIV members have agreed to join their various state bodies.

“We expect to get about 200 additional members, which will strengthen the LIV and help give greater voice to influence government,” Mr Provis said.

LCA president Tim Bugg welcomed the progress made at the February meeting.

“There was overwhelming support to amend the constitution, which will add to the membership and broaden the base of the LCA,” he said.

Mr Bugg said the LCA would continue to strive to improve resources to better manage national and international legal issues on behalf of the profession.

“The LCA must also ensure that all constituent bodies are appropriately resourced,” he said.

The LLFG includes more than 6000 lawyers from Allens Arthur Robinson, Blake Dawson Waldron, Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Deacons, DLA Phillips Fox, Freehills, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Minter Ellison.

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