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LIV to develop new trust consulting and practitioner support framework

LIV to develop new trust consulting and practitioner support framework

By LIV Media

Practice & Procedure 


From 1 July 2019, the LIV will begin rolling out a framework providing education, mentoring and support for legal practitioners early on in their legal career, through to winding up their legal practice.

This coincides with the expiration of the Service Level Agreement on 30 June 2019 under which the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSB+C) delegated functions to the LIV, including investigation and audit of law practices’ trust account records and compliance under the Uniform law. This function will be transferred from the LIV to the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner.

LIV CEO Adam Awty said the move would allow the LIV to provide legal practitioners with personalised, relevant and engaging support, advice, education and services on areas of practice and risk management and provide best practice tools to assist in the LIV achieving a pro-active self-regulation model for all legal practitioners.

He said while this move took the LIV out of the formal enforcement and compliance side of regulation, regulation was a continuum. At one end is informal early intervention which focuses on education, support and quality assurance, while at the other more formal end is focused on compliance, inspection, audit, investigation and discipline.

“If you look at the Victorian regulation continuum in the future, the LIV will focus on facilitating early intervention as well as provide ongoing guidance and support throughout a solicitor’s legal practice journey.

“This is entirely appropriate for a membership organisation. Meanwhile the VLSB+C is responsible for regulatory compliance through to discipline, which is the appropriate domain of a regulator,” he said.

The LIV and the VLSB+C will collaborate along the regulation continuum to support and enhance regulation and professional standards of lawyers in Victoria, and each other’s role in the regulatory continuum is more defined.

As part of the LIV’s focus on early intervention it will roll out new programs throughout 2019-20 which build on observations of regulators and insurers and help firms identify performance gaps and systemic quality issues.

The LIV will also establish a network of mentors who can provide pre-emptive support and coaching where a practitioner has been identified as struggling or being at risk. We anticipate this service to be available in the later part of 2019.

The LIV will also appoint panel of expert trust consultants to assist members and legal practitioners in setting up and managing their trust accounts. More information will be provided over coming months.

To ensure these programs are meeting the needs of practitioners the LIV will establish a Small and Medium Practice Advisory Committee.

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