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By Law Institute Journal

Practising Certificate 


The Legal Services Board has opened the 2018-19 practising certificate renewal cycle. Practising certificate renewal for 2018-19 Renew by 30 April 2018 All current certificates will expire on 30 June 2018. If you intend to continue to practise beyond that date for the 2018-19 financial year, you must renew your practising certificate. If you have never held a practising certificate and intend to practise law in 2018-19, please apply for a new certificate through LSB Online by 30 June. In Victoria, engaging in legal practice without a current certificate is a crime. Practitioners who were granted a practising certificate after 19 March 2018 must still renew their certificate before 30 June this year if they wish to practise in 2018-19. Renew by 30 April to avoid a surcharge A surcharge is added to the cost of all certificate renewals lodged after 30 April. The surcharges are: 1 to 31 May – 25 per cent surcharge 1 to 30 June – 50 per cent surcharge. If you let your current certificate expire at 30 June without submitting an application for renewal, you will need to apply for the grant of a new certificate before you can engage in legal practice. Such applications made between July and September will attract a 200 per cent surcharge. Breach of the Uniform Law The Uniform Law mandates annual practising certificate renewal (s10). Each year up to 50 people fail or forget to apply for renewal and continue to practise unlicensed. This is an offence. When eventually granted, the license cannot be backdated. Legal fees received while unlicensed must be returned to clients. Please do not let this happen to you. All renewals are completed online LSB Online handles all practising certificate renewal applications, as well as applications for the granting of new certificates. Paper renewal and grant/variation forms are no longer available for use. To access LSB Online, visit www.lsbc.vic.gov.au, click on the green LSB Online button and follow the prompts. You will need your LSB-issued practitioner number to log in to LSB Online. This number was included in the email sent to you by the LSB on 19 March 2018. Professional indemnity insurance Principal practitioners renewing their practising certificate must obtain the necessary professional indemnity insurance (PII) for themselves and their employee solicitors. Without insurance, your certificate will not take effect. PII is obtained from the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee (www.lplc.com.au). Issuing of your 2018-19 certificate Each practising certificate renewal application will be checked to ensure it meets the criteria for the issuing of a certificate. Your certificate will be issued when your application passes all checks, including the payment of all fees, compliance with your CPD obligations, fulfilment of any outstanding trust audit obligations (for practitioners authorised to receive trust money) and payment of any required indemnity insurance premium. Your certificate is issued to you electronically and will be sent to your nominated email address. It is vital that you check that your email address is current in your renewal application. Not renewing? If you do not intend to renew your practising certificate, please complete the “Not renewing my practising certificate” form on LSB Online by 30 April. Please also notify the LSB of the termination of your law practice and closing of your trust account (if applicable). Further information and assistance The LSB website has detailed information on a range of practising certificate renewal matters including variation of certificate type, removal of the supervised legal practice condition, changing practitioner details, CPD requirements, show cause events and specific requirements for overseas practitioners. If you require help with renewing your practising certificate, please contact LSB Online Support by email online@lsbc.vic.gov.au or ph: 9679 8111.

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