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LIV Update

Every Issue

Cite as: (2005) 79(9) LIJ, p. 90

LIV Council

Law Council of Australia (LCA) president John North, Secretary-General Peter Webb and executive member John Corcoran attended the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Council meeting on 21 July.

LIV Criminal Law Section chair Rob Melasecca and Section member Cosmas Moisidis also attended the meeting to put forward their case for the appointment of Senior Attorneys.

Other items discussed at the meeting included a six-month progress report on the College of Law Victoria practical legal training course, the approval of the LIV Charter of Human Rights submission, endorsement of the draft professional standards scheme and a report from LIV Advocacy and Practice manager Natalina Velardi on her trip to Canada to research e-conveyancing in that country. Council also received the final report on the 2005 Legal Services Delegation to China.

LIV CEO John Cain acknowledged Professional Standards manager Kevin Power, who had resigned to take up a position at the WorkCover Conciliation Service.

LCA president John North spoke to Council about a number of issues of mutual concern.

Earlier that day during a media conference at the LIV the LCA had released the latest report by its independent Australian legal expert observing the military trial of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks. At the media conference Mr North thanked the LIV for its assistance and said that the detention of David Hicks for three years and seven months without trial was something the LCA felt strongly about.

Mr North commented on the National Profession Model Bill and progress among the states and territories. He said there were matters that still needed work and these included professional indemnity insurance and fidelity funds.

He was keen to see the LCA as the peak national legal body able to speak for all lawyers but noted that some of the smaller states and territories were fearful of the concept.

Anti-money laundering legislation could have a real effect on client confidentiality and he said the LCA was trying to get government to recognise that the legal profession was already one of the most over-regulated bodies.

He recognised the fundamental importance of e-settlement and said it was a “bread and butter” issue for members.

Mr North said a Charter of Rights was something that he was personally very interested in and he was pleased to see the work being done in Victoria. He said until something could be done nationally, it was a case of introducing Charters or Bills of Rights state-by-state and territory-by-territory.

The LCA supported the retention of advocates’ immunity.

Tort reform was a major issue affecting the profession and the LCA and its constituent bodies needed to work together to wind back reforms, he said.

The LCA stood against terrorism but Mr North said it could not allow governments to introduce anti-terrorism legislation without strong argument against legislation it felt was unnecessary.

Senior Attorneys
Since the mid-1990s Council has been debating the issue of whether it was appropriate to introduce the appointment of Senior Solicitors/Senior Attorneys as an alternative to QC/SC and specifically for solicitors. Council established a working party to consider the options and among the material considered was a “Discussion paper on the future of specialisation” by Mr Moisidis.

Mr Moisidis and Mr Melasecca were invited to address Council to put forward their proposals in person for further debate.

Council acknowledged that the current SC appointment process was not providing the recognition it should for good solicitor advocates. Council asked that its executive give further consideration to pursuing this issue on behalf of criminal lawyers.

College of Law Victoria’s PLT course
A progress report was provided on the College of Law Victoria (COLV). One important issue for the COLV had been the passing of legislation approving the courses for FEE-HELP, which enables students to qualify for financial assistance via federal government payment.

Enrolments were strong for the courses and several strategies to market the courses were in place.

Professional Standards Act 2003 – approval of LIV Scheme
The Professional Standards Act 2003 was passed by the Victorian Parliament in late 2003. The Act replicates the NSW Professional Standards Act and allows professional associations to make application on behalf of their members for approval of a professional standards scheme to limit the civil liability of professionals and members of occupational associations and groups.

The Act also aims to facilitate the improvement of occupational standards of such persons and protect consumers of their services.

Council endorsed the draft professional standards scheme for solicitors and authorised its executive to approve the final application and scheme. Council also authorised the CEO to lodge the scheme for approval with the Professional Standards Council once it was finalised.

LIV Human Rights Charter submission
Council approved the Human Rights Charter submission to the government’s Human Rights Consultation Committee.

The submission had been developed following consultation with Sections and their committees, individual members and other external bodies.

The submission can be viewed on the LIV website at

Ms Velardi presented a written and verbal report on her visit to Canada to investigate electronic systems implemented in that country.

She told Council that the LIV had a role in educating the profession on e-conveyancing together with its current role in representing members’ interests in the negotiations with Land Exchange (LX) and Land Registry (LR).

She had several recommendations arising from the trip. They included:

  • maintain a close eye on the regulatory environment in Australia, particularly with the known customer changes which are currently being considered by the Australian Government Information Management Office;
  • continue to work with LR and LX to develop rules. Investigate whether there is scope to have the concept of a “law statement” introduced into the LR rules. This also requires the Legal Practitioners Liability Committee to agree to the concept;
  • use the work undertaken by the Law Societies of Upper Canada and British Columbia on the respective law society rules and guidelines to inform the process and development of LIV rules and guidelines; and
  • investigate further title insurance operators and their US/Canadian experiences to fully understand the implications for the Australian legal market and for the possible effect on work currently undertaken by solicitors.

Report on the Delegation to China
Council received the final report on the 2005 Legal Services Delegation to China which was organised by the LIV through a grant from the Department of Innovation and Regional Development. The aim of the trip was to provide opportunities for Victorian law firms without a current presence in China to better understand China’s legal services market.

Kevin Power
Following an email to Council members, Mr Cain confirmed that LIV Professional Standards general manager Kevin Power would be leaving on 29 July to take up a position as a conciliator with the WorkCover Conciliation Service.

Mr Power joined the LIV in 1986 and since 1997 had headed Professional Standards.

Mr Cain acknowledged the great work Mr. Power had done during that time. He said the LIV was very proud to be associated with Mr Power. A more formal farewell was to be part of the dinner for Past Presidents and Honorary Life Members, to be held last month.

Council warmly acknowledged the CEO’s words and wished Mr Power well for the future.

What’s on at the LIV

  • Strategies for Building Wealth

    The LIV and CPA Australia present “Strategies for building wealth”. Legal senior associates and senior accounting professionals are invited to hear leading consultants discuss successful financial planning for business and personal wealth. Michael Langhammer and Sue Dahn from Pitcher Partners will provide practical advice on building wealth in your firm or personal life. Following the seminar there will be an opportunity to discuss the issues raised with colleagues from the legal and accounting industries over light refreshments.
    When: Thursday, 8 September, from 6-8pm
    Where: CPA Australia, Level 28, 385 Bourke Street, Melbourne
    Cost: $20 LIV and CPA members, $30 non-members
    For further inquiries, contact LIV Events on ph 9607 9504 or email
  • HumanWrites 4

    HumanWrites 4 is a free conversational forum on human rights between two influential commentators and the authors of Disability in Australia: Exposing a social apartheid, Dr Gerard Goggin and Associate Professor Christopher Newell. The forum will be moderated by founding community sector advocacy group “” CEO Dr Rhonda Galbally.
    When: Friday, 23 September, from 12.30-2pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
    Cost: Free
    For further inquiries, contact LIV Events on ph 9607 9504 or email
  • Corporate Golf Competition – “Tom & Gerry” Trophy

    LIV Golf Days provide the perfect opportunity for legal practitioners to bond with their colleagues and entertain their valued business associates. Team up for the Tom & Gerry Golf Trophy as a junior/senior colleague pair to compete for the Best Workplace Team Prize. Female golfers are also encouraged to contest for the Women’s Longest Drive Prize.
    When: Monday, 26 September. Light lunch served before tee off at 1pm
    Where: Metropolitan Golf Club, South Oakleigh
    Cost: $175 per person or $330 per workplace team of two. Includes green fees, light lunch and after game snacks
    For further inquiries, contact LIV Events on ph 9607 9504 or email

Professional Development

Unless otherwise specified, for more information on the following events go to or email

CPD Scheme units
All of the programs outlined below are designed to meet the CPD Scheme requirements. The CPD Scheme Rules state the following in relation to claiming CPD units for attendance at professional development programs: “If this particular educational activity is relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of law, then you should claim one unit for each hour of attendance, refreshment breaks not included”.

  • Young Lawyers’ Annual Lecture Series

    13 September – Enforcement of orders in Victoria (2 CPD units)
    20 September – How to negotiate with the police, how to appear at a bail application (1.5 CPD units)
    27 September – An introduction to workers’ compensation (1 CPD unit)
    4 October – Detective work – Freedom of Information applications (1 CPD unit)
    11 October – Negotiating commercial contracts (1 CPD unit)
    When: From 5.30pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne or as directed on website
  • Insolvency Update Workshop – Regional tour (2.5 CPD units)

    This workshop will analyse the practical implications of the Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Act 2004 and present strategies to increase recovery of debts after judgment has been obtained.

    Speaker: Lionel Green, Meltzer Green, who will be accompanied by an official liquidator and registered trustee in bankruptcy

    When: Thursday, 8 September, from 9am-12pm
    Where: Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway, 29 Ryley Street

    When: Thursday, 8 September, from 3-6pm
    Where: Parklake Motor Inn, 481 Wyndham Street

    When: Friday, 16 September, from 9.30am-12.30pm
    Where: Century Inn, Princes Highway (corner Airfield Road)

    When: Friday, 30 September, from 9am-12pm
    Where: Frankston International Motel, 389 Nepean Highway
  • Victorian Stamp Duty Update – Legal update regional tour (1.5 CPD units)

    This seminar will advise regional practitioners about contemporary stamp duty practices. Topics for discussion include the Victorian Duties Act 2000 update and recent legislative amendments – sub-sales and nominations contracts.

    Speaker: A revenue specialist in the Technical Advice and Review Branch of the State Revenue Office

    When: Wednesday, 7 September, from 12-1.30pm
    Where: Oscars Hotel, 18 Doveton Street South

    When: Wednesday, 7 September, from 5-6.30pm
    Where: Greystanes Manor, 57 Queen Street

    When: Friday, 9 September, from 12-1:30pm
    Where: Four Points Sheraton, Eastern Beach Road
  • Less Stress: Stress management for legal professionals – workshop(4 CPD units)

    Stressed? The “stress epidemic” is being called the number one workplace health issue of the millennium. This stress management workshop will help you identify and reduce the amount of stress you experience on a daily basis. Learn powerful stress-reducing techniques to be used at work without interruption to your daily routines.
    Speaker: David McDonnell, consultant
    When: Wednesday, 7 September, from 8.30am-12.45pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Transmission of Business Issues – Practice briefing (1 CPD unit)

    An examination of the recent High Court decisions in Gribbles and Amcor and their implications for the transmission of business issues.
    Speaker: Justin Bourke, Victorian Bar
    When: Thursday, 8 September, from 1-2pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Plain Language Workshop (2 CPD units)

    Use plain language to improve your client relationships and enhance your firm’s brand values.
    Speaker: Christopher Balmford, consultant
    When: Thursday, 8 September, from 5.30-7.30pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Victorian Stamp Duty Update – Legal update (1.5 CPD units)

    This seminar will advise practitioners about contemporary stamp duty practices. Topics for discussion include the Victorian Duties Act 2000 update and recent legislative amendments – sub-sales and nominations contracts.
    Speaker: A revenue specialist in the Technical Advice and Review Branch of the State Revenue Office
    When: Monday, 12 September, from 5.30-7pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Australian Competition Law in the 21st Century – Practice briefing(1.5 CPD units)

    Part of the Australian Competition Law in the 21st Century series
    A focus on current developments in Australian competition law, with particular reference to the Dawson Inquiry and its recommended amendments to the Trade Practices Act.
    Speakers: Barristers Charles A Sweeney and Lisa de Ferrari, and Hank Spier, Spier Consulting Pty Ltd
    When: Tuesday, 13 September, from 5.30–7pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Speed Reading for Legal Professionals – Workshop (7.5 CPD unit)

    New full-day workshop with Success Technologies. Learn to increase your reading speed and improve your comprehension levels at the same time.
    Speaker: Kevin Argus, BBus (Acc), MBus (Mktg), MBus (Mgt)
    When: Wednesday, 14 September, from 8.30am-5pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Understanding Financial Statements – Young Lawyers (1 CPD unit)

    Part of the Essential Skills series
    Learn how to read financial statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cashflow statements.
    Speaker: Paul Toner, Partner, Pitcher Partners
    When: Thursday, 15 September, from 5.30-6.30pm
    Where: Pacific International Conference and Meeting Centre, Level 3, 451 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Negotiation Skills Workshop (7 CPD units)

    This one-day workshop presented by La Trobe University is designed to assist lawyers negotiate long-term effective agreements.
    Speakers: Nina Harding, Nina Harding Mediation Services Pty Ltd and La Trobe University Centre for Conflict Resolution director Professor Tania Sourdin
    When: Monday, 26 September, from 9am-5.45pm
    Where: City Campus, La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne
  • Advanced Negotiation Skills “In the Room” – Workshop (7 CPD units)

    This one-day workshop will help you build on your existing negotiation skills to develop a more effective negotiation style. Learn how to conduct more productive negotiations and better understand the other side.
    Speakers: Nina Harding, Nina Harding Mediation Services Pty Ltd and La Trobe University Centre for Conflict Resolution director Professor Tania Sourdin
    When: Tuesday, 27 September, from 9am-5.15pm
    Where: City Campus, La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne
  • Trust Accounts for Lawyers – Risks, exposures and best practice for principals – CPD compliance module (1 CPD unit)

    This practical update is designed and presented to highlight changes to the trust account regulations under the new Legal Profession Act 2004, including legislative obligations and requirements in operating solicitors’ trust accounts.
    Speaker: Jolyon Dunn, LIV
    When: Thursday, 29 September, from 5.30-6.30pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Subdivisions and Bodies Corporate – Specialist forum (2 CPD units)

    This interactive workshop will consider and discuss practical implications of property, commercial and tenancy law matters. It will draw on real life case studies and discuss the implications for practice.
    Speaker: Paul Brotchie, consultant to McKean & Park
    When: Wednesday, 5 October, from 5.30-7.30pm
    Where: LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Young Lawyers

  • Negotiations Skills Competition

    A new initiative between the Young Lawyers’ Section and La Trobe University, the Negotiations Skills Competition is designed to enhance the negotiation skills of young lawyers. Qualifying rounds will be held before two senior practitioners with the two highest scoring teams taking part in the grand final.
    When: Qualifying rounds – Tuesday, 20 September. Grand final round – Tuesday, 27 September
    Where: Qualifying rounds – LIV, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Grand final round – State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

    For further information on participating in the competition, contact the Young Lawyers’ Section at or ph 9607 9379.

LIV Governance and Representation


President Tory Strong 9607 9367
Vice President Catherine Gale 9670 5000
Immediate Past President Chris Dale 9286 6164
Treasurer Geoff Provis 9609 1549
Executive Member Anthony Burke 9822 8588


Danny Barlow 5823 7600
David Faram 5821 4566
Carol Geyer 9843 2121
Iresha Herath 9643 4153
Aurora Kostezky 9670 0700
Tom May 9641 8917
Bill O’Shea 9276 3750
Christopher Penman 8344 7544
Tabatha Pettitt 9810 3322
Erskine Rodan 9329 8744
Dominique Saunders 9609 1598
Steven Stevens 9288 1241
Mark Woods 5174 6311


Eastern Suburbs Law Association Ron Rowe 9888 6088
Northern Suburbs Law Association John McClelland 9435 3811
North Western Solicitors Association George Conlan 9370 3636
Southern Solicitors Group Bill Rowson 9792 0755
Western Suburbs Law Association Peter Mecoles 9687 3211


Ballarat & District Law Association Richard Oakley 5331 5466
Bendigo Law Association Andrew Pickles 5443 1766
Geelong Law Association Deb Anderson 5221 8777
Gippsland Law Association Jacqui Billings 5127 1944
Goulburn Valley Law Association Danny Barlow 5821 9544
Mornington Peninsula Solicitors Association Amanda Graham 9781 4222
North East Law Association Ian Watkins 5721 2149
North West Law Association Michael Holcroft 5022 2622
Western District Law Association James Nicol 5560 2029
Wimmera Law Association Simon Downing (secretary) 5382 0061

To find out more about LIV Governance and Representation see and or telephone the Secretary to the Council on 9607 9372 or email


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