(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 an administrative review under the Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 of the decision.(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.