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Watch out for regulatory risks

Watch out for regulatory risks

By Paddy Oliver

Practice Management Uniform Laws 


A major source of legal obligations for lawyers is the Uniform Law. Lawyers by definition understand the law and, more specifically, the areas of law in which they practise. But what about the laws and regulations that directly affect their work as a lawyer and their law firms as a business? There are many legal and regulatory obligations that impact a lawyer and a law firm. Most lawyers have a broad understanding of the legal and regulatory obligations but may not have an in-depth understanding of the risks associated with those obligations. The major source of legal obligations for a lawyer and a law firm is the Uniform Law and its associated secondary legislation. Other sources include taxation and superannuation laws, workplace health and safety laws, employment laws and the Australian Consumer Law. If the law firm is an Incorporated Legal Practice then obligations arise from the Corporations Act for both the company and its directors. In the future there may be legal obligations arising from the Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorism Financing Act. Obligations may arise in discrete areas of legal practice, for example, verification of identity for conveyancing.

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