Law Society of South Australia Professional Standards Scheme

Cap your Occupational Liability

 

The Limitation of Liability Scheme expired on 30 June 2017, and was replaced by the new Professional Standards Scheme as of 1 July 2017. To download the new Scheme document, click here

Professional benefits for LSSA Members

The Law Society of South Australia operates a Professional Standards Scheme with the Professional Standards Council (PSC) pursuant to the Professional Standards Act 2004 (SA).  Practitioner Members of the Society (including Barrister Members) who participate in the Scheme can benefit by having their occupational liability capped to an amount of $1.5M or $10M depending on the number of practitioners in the law practice and the annual fee income of the law practice (and to the extent that liability can be capped under the Act). 

Operation of the Professional Standards Scheme

The Professional Standards Scheme has been approved by the Attorney-General and was gazetted in the SA Government Gazette on 5 April 2017. The new Scheme commenced on  1 July 2017 for a period of five years. The new Scheme was named Law Society of South Australia Professional Standards Scheme to reflect that the Scheme operates under the Professional Standards Act 2004 (SA) and the associated interstate Professional Standards legislation, and under the governance of the Professional Standards Councils.

The Professional Standards Scheme reflects the commitment by the Society and its Members to standards of professional excellence.

The Scheme operates on a “one-in, all-in basis”. For a law practice to gain the full benefit of the Scheme and the limitation of liability, all legal practitioners (i.e. any person who holds a current Practising Certificate) within the law practice, and any ILP, will need to be Members of the Law Society and choose to participate in the Professional Standards Scheme.

Members should note that the Scheme is an “opt out" Scheme. Any Practitioner Member of the Society who does not want to take advantage of the Scheme will need to seek exemption from the Scheme by completing the relevant part of the Participation / Exemption form and returning it to the Scheme Manager.

For further information about the Scheme, please download the Question & Answer booklet here

Members wishing to participate in the Scheme will need to complete the relevant part of the Participation/Exemption form and return the Form.
The fee for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 is $297.50, inclusive of the registration fee payable to the Professional Standards Council.

Completed forms and relevant fees should be lodged with the Scheme Manager.

Society non-Members wishing to take advantage of the Scheme would need to first join the Society. If you would like further information about membership, please contact the Manager (Member Services), Michelle King via email: Michelle.King@lawsocietysa.asn.au.
 

Disclosure requirements for Scheme members

Participants in the Scheme MUST disclose their limited liability status on all written correspondence and on their website using the wording “Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation”.

Information about the Professional Standards Scheme disclosure obligations is available here. Further information is available from the Scheme Manager, or via the Professional Standards Council website.  Non-disclosure is an offence under the Act.  

From 1 July 2017, the Cover of Excellence logo will no longer be in use. Firms using the logo should phase out its use.

The Limitation of Liability Scheme

The Law Society operated a Limitation of Liability Scheme from 1 January 2012 to 30 June 2017. 

The Attorney-General (SA) gazetted the Limitation of Liability Scheme on 3 November 2011, for commencement on 1 January 2012. The original Scheme had a five year operation, and was granted a six month extension from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

This extension allowed for a period of transition to shift the Scheme renewal from calendar year to financial year, so that from 2017 the Scheme renewal would align with the Practising Certificates, Law Society Membership and PI Insurance (all of which are pre-conditions for participating in the Scheme). 

The Limitation of Liability Scheme document can be viewed here.
 

Scheme documentation

Professional Standards Act 2004 (SA)

Professional Standards Regulations 2006 (SA)

Professional Standards Council website

Participation / Exemption form

Incorporated Legal Practice (ILP) Participation / Exemption form 
 

Professional Standards Scheme Committee

The Limitation of Liability Scheme Committee was established by the Council on 28 November 2011 and its composition and Terms of Reference were adopted by the Council on 21 December 2011. 

The Committee was re-named as the Professional Standards Scheme (PSS) Committee in July 2017, to coincide with the commencement of the new Professional Standards Scheme. The Committee oversees the operation of the Society’s Professional Standards Scheme. The Council has delegated to the Committee authority to act within its Terms of Reference.
 

The Committee comprises the following Members (all ex-officio): 

President-Elect
Vice-President
Ordinary Members 

Further Information

In the first instance, please download the Professional Standards Scheme Question and Answer Sheet. If the Question and Answer sheet does not address your query, please contact the Scheme Manager, Ms Mia Bell, Tel: 8229 0225; Email: mia.bell@lawsocietysa.asn.au or the Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Hodder, Tel: 8229 0200.