Ethics and Practice

The Ethics and Trust Regulation Unit of the Law Society

 

- Educating, Supporting and Guiding the Profession

 

Welcome to the Law Society's Ethics and Practice business unit. Ethics and Practice performs the majority of the Society’s functions with respect to ethical standards and trust accounting. Its core activities are as follows:
  • Establishing and maintaining standards of conduct for the legal profession.
  • Educating, advising and providing support to the legal profession on ethical and trust accounting issues.
  • Examining trust money handling and reporting practices by legal practitioners in order to assess and ensure compliance with the statutory requirements contained in the Legal Practitioners Act 1981 (Act).
  • Supervising trust accounts and managing legal practices when appointed to do so under sections 44 and 45 of the Act.
  • Advising the Society on the validity of claims against the Guarantee Fund pursuant to section 60 of the Act.
Under limited circumstances Ethics and Practice is required to report suspected misconduct to the Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner in accordance with section 14AB of the Act, and can direct the Conduct Commissioner to carry out investigations of suspected misconduct pursuant to section 76(1)(1a) of the Act. 

However, Ethics and Practice has no investigative powers with respect to conduct issues, and does not discipline or penalise practitioners for breaches of professional legal obligations. 

The bodies responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct, and disciplining legal practitioners are the  Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner, Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and the Supreme Court of South Australia.

The primary focus of Ethics and Practice is on educating and advising the legal profession, and to some extent the public, in order to minimise the risk to practitioners of disciplinary action and to assist practitioners in complying with their professional obligations.

If you have an ethical or trust accounting problem or question, please contact Ethics and Practice on 82290229 or by emailing ethics@lawsocietysa.asn.au.