(1) A law practice must not have a lay associate whom any principal or legal practitioner associate of the law practice knows to be:(a) a disqualified person, or(b) a person who has been convicted of a serious offence,unless the associate is approved by the relevant authority under subsection (3).(2) A contravention by a law practice of subsection (1) is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct on the part of a principal or legal practitioner associate of the law practice involved in the contravention.(3) The relevant authority to approve a person for the purposes of subsection (1) is:(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, or(c) in the case of a person who has been convicted of a serious offence—the Tribunal.(4) If a Council decides to refuse an application by a person for approval under subsection (3) (a) or (b) or to grant the approval subject to conditions, the person may apply to the Tribunal for a review of the decision.Note. Reviews are carried out under Chapter 5 of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997. Section 729A modifies the operation of that Act. An appeal lies to the Supreme Court under section 729A against a decision of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.(5) An approval under this section may be subject to specified conditions.(6) A disqualified person, or a person convicted of a serious offence, must not seek to become a lay associate of a law practice unless the person first informs the law practice of the disqualification or conviction.
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.(7) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (6) may only be brought within 6 months after discovery of the offence by the law practice.(8) This section does not apply in circumstances prescribed by the regulations.(9) In this section:
lay associate of a law practice has the same meaning as in section 7 (Terms relating to associates and principals of law practices), and includes a consultant to the law practice (however described) who:(a) is not an Australian legal practitioner, and(b) provides legal or related services to the law practice, other than services of a kind prescribed by the regulations.