(1) It is professional misconduct if a barrister or solicitor has an associate whom the barrister or solicitor knows to be:(a) a disqualified person, or(b) a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence and does not hold a current practising certificate.(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an associate approved by:(a) in the case of a disqualified person who is an associate of a barrister—the Bar Council, or(b) in the case of a disqualified person who is an associate of a solicitor—the Law Society Council,(c) in the case of a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence—the Tribunal, or(d) in any case—an Appeal Panel of the Tribunal on an appeal under subsection (3).(3) If a Council or the Tribunal decides to refuse an application by a person for approval under this section, the person may appeal against the decision to an Appeal Panel of the Tribunal under Part 1 of Chapter 7 of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997. On any such appeal, the Appeal Panel may:(a) confirm the decision appealed against, or(b) approve of the associate.(4) An approval under this section may be subject to specified limitations or conditions.(5) A disqualified person, or a person convicted of an indictable offence, must not seek to become an associate of a barrister or solicitor unless the person first informs the barrister or solicitor of the disqualification or conviction.
Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.(6) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (5) may be brought at any time within 6 months after discovery of the offence by the barrister or solicitor concerned.(7) In this section:
associate of a solicitor or barrister means:(a) a person (not being a legal practitioner or interstate legal practitioner) who is a partner of the solicitor or barrister in a business that includes the barrister’s or solicitor’s practice, or(b) a person (not being a legal practitioner or interstate legal practitioner) who shares the receipts of the barrister’s or solicitor’s practice, or(c) a person who is employed or paid in connection with the barrister’s or solicitor’s practice.
disqualified person means a person (other than a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence):(a) whose name has, otherwise than at his or her own request, been removed from the roll of legal practitioners in the Supreme Court, or(b) whose name has been removed from a roll kept outside the State that corresponds to the roll of legal practitioners in the Supreme Court, or(c) who is suspended from practising as a barrister or solicitor in New South Wales or another State or Territory, or(d) who is the subject of an order in force under section 48I or 48J, or(e) who is disqualified from holding a licence under the Conveyancers Licensing Act 1995 by virtue of an order in force under Part 10 of this Act (as applying under Part 6 of that Act).(8) This section extends to solicitor directors of an incorporated legal practice. Accordingly, a solicitor director is guilty of professional misconduct if the solicitor director would be guilty of professional misconduct under this section:(a) if persons employed or paid by the incorporated legal practice in connection with the provision of legal services were taken to be employed or paid by the solicitor director, or(b) if prescribed shareholders in the incorporated legal practice were taken to be sharing the receipts of the solicitor director’s practice.