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From the CEO: Change and prosper

Cite as: September 2015 89 (9) LIJ, p.06

50 year members thrive 

I was privileged recently to host the LIV 50 year membership awards. The winners spoke of beginning careers with handwritten ledgers and feared now revered court and LIV officials. Each had seen substantial change yet prospered.

The Uniform Law brings more change. A pattern of two steps forward and one step back might be expected together with miscommunication and differing expectations. The best course is to work with new ideas and approaches explaining and calling on others to share their views because they too must change.

Uncertainty around what the work will be, if it continues, and concern over other life issues all drive stress. People who work in the law seek precision and work hard to get it in the face of challenges. Stress is a likely outcome without conscious management.

In this issue, you will find ideas about dealing with the stress that change creates. The LIV continues to inform, to help and to negotiate with government on matters still uncertain. Check the website regularly for the latest on what’s being done. The work of our volunteers on the LIV Cost Committee in particular is intensive and productive. Many of you may have heard the Uniform Legal Services Commissioner talk about taking a wait and see approach on matters such as cost estimates, receipts on trust accounts and invoices that may be refuted if “bill shock” is shown.

The Uniform Legal Services Commissioner and Uniform Legal Service Council (LSC) have power to issue guidelines on how the power to enforce the Uniform Law is exercised. With some new provisions livelihoods may even be at stake. The LIV is collecting information to argue for legislative change for NSW and Victoria if necessary. The relationships with government and our counterparts in NSW are excellent so changes can be made. You will have already seen the information put out by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner on how the management audit power is to be exercised. This was welcomed by the LIV. The LIV continues to work with the LSC and will continue to make representations to the Costs Court.

Please let me know if you have come across specific problems with the new Uniform Law.

Nerida Wallace ceo@liv.asn.au

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