Legal Profession Act 2004 No 112
Current version for 4 July 2014 to date (accessed 18 December 2014 at 18:18)
Chapter 2Part 2.6

Part 2.6 Incorporated legal practices and multi-disciplinary partnerships

Division 1 Preliminary

132   Purposes

The purposes of this Part are:
(a)  to regulate the provision of legal services by corporations in this jurisdiction, and
(b)  to regulate the provision of legal services in this jurisdiction in conjunction with the provision of other services (whether by a corporation or persons acting in partnership with each other).

133   Definitions

In this Part:

corporation means:

(a)  a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth, or
(b)  any other body corporate, or body corporate of a kind, prescribed by the regulations.

director, in relation to:

(a)  a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth—means a director as defined in section 9 of that Act, or
(b)  any other body corporate, or body corporate of a kind, prescribed by the regulations—means a person specified or described in the regulations.

legal practitioner director means a director of an incorporated legal practice who is an Australian legal practitioner holding an unrestricted practising certificate.

legal practitioner partner means a partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership who is an Australian legal practitioner holding an unrestricted practising certificate.

officer means:

(a)  in relation to a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth—an officer as defined in section 9 of that Act, or
(b)  in relation to any other body corporate, or body corporate of a kind, prescribed by the regulations—a person specified or described in the regulations.

professional obligations of an Australian legal practitioner include:

(a)  duties to the Supreme Court, and
(b)  obligations in connection with conflicts of interest, and
(c)  duties to clients, including disclosure, and
(d)  ethical rules required to be observed by the practitioner.

Regulator means:

(a)  in relation to this jurisdiction—the Commissioner, or
(b)  in relation to another jurisdiction—the person or body defined as the Regulator in relation to that jurisdiction by the corresponding law of that jurisdiction or, if there is no such definition, the corresponding authority.

related body corporate means:

(a)  in relation to a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth—a related body corporate within the meaning of section 50 of that Act, or
(b)  in relation to any other body corporate, or body corporate of a kind, prescribed by the regulations—a person specified or described in the regulations.

Division 2 Incorporated legal practices

134   Nature of incorporated legal practice

(1)  An incorporated legal practice is a corporation that engages in legal practice in this jurisdiction, whether or not it also provides services that are not legal services.
(2)  However, a corporation is not an incorporated legal practice if:
(a)  the corporation does not receive any form of, or have any expectation of, a fee, gain or reward for the legal services it provides, or
(b)  the only legal services that the corporation provides are any or all of the following services:
(i)  in-house legal services, namely, legal services provided to the corporation concerning a proceeding or transaction to which the corporation (or a related body corporate) is a party,
(ii)  services that are not legally required to be provided by an Australian legal practitioner and that are provided by an officer or employee who is not an Australian legal practitioner, or
(c)  the corporation is a complying community legal centre, or
(d)  this Division or the regulations so provide.
(3)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the application (with or without specified modifications) of provisions of this Act to corporations that are not incorporated legal practices because of the operation of subsection (2).
(4)  Nothing in this Division affects or applies to the provision by an incorporated legal practice of legal services in one or more other jurisdictions.

135   Non-legal services and businesses of incorporated legal practices

(1)  An incorporated legal practice may provide any service and conduct any business that the corporation may lawfully provide or conduct, except as provided by this section.
(2)  An incorporated legal practice (or a related body corporate) must not conduct a managed investment scheme.
(3)  The regulations may prohibit an incorporated legal practice (or a related body corporate) from providing a service or conducting a business of a kind specified by the regulations.

136   Corporations eligible to be incorporated legal practice

(1)  Any corporation is, subject to this Division, eligible to be an incorporated legal practice.
(2)  This section does not authorise a corporation to provide legal services if the corporation is prohibited from doing so by any Act or law (whether of this jurisdiction, the Commonwealth or any other jurisdiction) under which it is incorporated or its affairs are regulated.
(3)  An incorporated legal practice is not itself required to hold an Australian practising certificate.

137   Notice of intention to start providing legal services

(1)  Before a corporation starts to engage in legal practice in this jurisdiction, the corporation must give the Law Society written notice, in the approved form, of its intention to do so.
(2)  A corporation must not engage in legal practice in this jurisdiction if it is in default of this section.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(3)  A corporation that starts to engage in legal practice in this jurisdiction without giving a notice under subsection (1) is in default of this section until it gives the Law Society written notice, in the approved form, of the failure to comply with that subsection and the fact that it has started to engage in legal practice.
(4)  The giving of a notice under subsection (3) does not affect a corporation’s liability under subsection (1) or (2).
(5)  A corporation is not entitled to recover any amount for anything the corporation did in contravention of subsection (2).
(6)  A person may recover from a corporation or a legal practitioner associate of the corporation, as a debt due to the person, any amount the person paid to or at the direction of the corporation for anything the corporation did in contravention of subsection (2).
(7)  This section does not apply to a corporation referred to in section 134 (2) (a), (b) or (c).

138   Prohibition on representations that corporation is incorporated legal practice

(1)  A corporation must not, without reasonable excuse, represent or advertise that the corporation is an incorporated legal practice unless a notice in relation to the corporation has been given under section 137 (Notice of intention to start providing legal services).

Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units.

(2)  A director, officer, employee or agent of a corporation must not, without reasonable excuse, represent or advertise that the corporation is an incorporated legal practice unless a notice in relation to the corporation has been given under section 137 (Notice of intention to start providing legal services).

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

(3)  A reference in this section to a person, being:
(a)  a corporation—representing or advertising that the corporation is an incorporated legal practice, or
(b)  a director, officer, employee or agent of a corporation—representing or advertising that the corporation is an incorporated legal practice,
includes a reference to the person doing anything that states or implies that the corporation is entitled to engage in legal practice.

139   Notice of termination of provision of legal services

(1)  A corporation must, within the prescribed period after it ceases to engage in legal practice in this jurisdiction as an incorporated legal practice, give the Law Society a written notice, in the approved form, of that fact.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(2)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to determining whether and when a corporation ceases to engage in legal practice in this jurisdiction.

140   Incorporated legal practice must have legal practitioner director

(1)  An incorporated legal practice is required to have at least one legal practitioner director.
(2)  Each legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice is, for the purposes of this Act only, responsible for the management of the legal services provided in this jurisdiction by the incorporated legal practice.
(3)  Each legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice must ensure that appropriate management systems are implemented and maintained to enable the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice:
(a)  in accordance with the professional obligations of Australian legal practitioners and other obligations imposed by or under this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules, and
(b)  so that those obligations of Australian legal practitioners who are officers or employees of the practice are not affected by other officers or employees of the practice.
(4)  If it ought reasonably to be apparent to a legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice that the provision of legal services by the practice will result in breaches of the professional obligations of Australian legal practitioners or other obligations imposed by or under this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules, the director must take all reasonable action available to the director to ensure that:
(a)  the breaches do not occur, and
(b)  appropriate remedial action is taken in respect of breaches that do occur.
(5)  A contravention of subsection (3) or (4) or both by a legal practitioner director is capable of being professional misconduct.
(6)  Nothing in this Division derogates from the obligations or liabilities of a director of an incorporated legal practice under any other law.
(7)  The reference in subsection (1) to a legal practitioner director does not include a reference to a person who is not validly appointed as a director, but this subsection does not affect the meaning of the expression “legal practitioner director” in other provisions of this Act.
Note: The requirements of this section may be subject to audit under section 670.

141   Obligations of legal practitioner director relating to misconduct

(1)  Each of the following is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct by a legal practitioner director:
(a)  unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the incorporated legal practice,
(b)  conduct of any other director (not being an Australian legal practitioner) of the incorporated legal practice that adversely affects the provision of legal services by the practice,
(c)  the unsuitability of any other director (not being an Australian legal practitioner) of the incorporated legal practice to be a director of a corporation that provides legal services.
(1A)  A legal practitioner director is not guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct under subsection (1) if the director establishes that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that:
(a)  Australian legal practitioners employed by the incorporated legal practice did not engage in conduct or misconduct referred to in subsection (1) (a), or
(b)  directors (not being Australian legal practitioners) of the incorporated legal practice did not engage in conduct referred to in subsection (1) (b), or
(c)  unsuitable directors (not being Australian legal practitioners) of the incorporated legal practice were not appointed or holding office as referred to in subsection (1) (c),
as the case requires.
(2)  A legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice must ensure that all reasonable action available to the legal practitioner director is taken to deal with any unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the practice.
(3)  (Repealed)

142   Incorporated legal practice without legal practitioner director

(1)  An incorporated legal practice contravenes this subsection if it does not have any legal practitioner directors for a period exceeding 7 days.

Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units.

(2)  If an incorporated legal practice ceases to have any legal practitioner directors, the incorporated legal practice must notify the Law Society as soon as possible.

Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units.

(3)  An incorporated legal practice must not provide legal services in this jurisdiction during any period it is in default of director requirements under this section.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

(4)  An incorporated legal practice that contravenes subsection (1) is taken to be in default of director requirements under this section for the period from the end of the period of 7 days until:
(a)  it has at least one legal practitioner director, or
(b)  a person is appointed under this section or a corresponding law in relation to the practice.
(5)  The Law Society Council may, if it thinks it appropriate, appoint an Australian legal practitioner who is an employee of the incorporated legal practice or another person nominated by the Council, in the absence of a legal practitioner director, to exercise the functions conferred or imposed on a legal practitioner director under this Part.
(6)  An Australian legal practitioner is not eligible to be appointed under this section unless the practitioner holds an unrestricted practising certificate.
(7)  The appointment under this section of a person to exercise the functions of a legal practitioner director does not, for any other purpose, confer or impose on the person any of the other functions or duties of a director of the incorporated legal practice.
(8)  An incorporated legal practice does not contravene subsection (1) during any period during which a person holds an appointment under this section in relation to the practice.
(9)  A reference in this section to a legal practitioner director does not include a reference to a person who is not validly appointed as a director, but this subsection does not affect the meaning of the expression “legal practitioner director” in other provisions of this Act.

143   Obligations and privileges of practitioners who are officers or employees

(1)  An Australian legal practitioner who provides legal services on behalf of an incorporated legal practice in the capacity of an officer or employee of the practice:
(a)  is not excused from compliance with professional obligations as an Australian legal practitioner, or any obligations as an Australian legal practitioner under any law, and
(b)  does not lose the professional privileges of an Australian legal practitioner.
(2)  For the purposes only of subsection (1), the professional obligations and professional privileges of a practitioner apply as if:
(a)  where there are 2 or more legal practitioner directors of an incorporated legal practice—the practice were a partnership of the legal practitioner directors and the employees of the practice were employees of the legal practitioner directors, or
(b)  where there is only 1 legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice—the practice were a sole practitioner and the employees of the practice were employees of the legal practitioner director.
(3)  The law relating to client legal privilege (or other legal professional privilege) is not excluded or otherwise affected because an Australian legal practitioner is acting in the capacity of an officer or employee of an incorporated legal practice.
(4)  The directors of an incorporated legal practice do not breach their duties as directors merely because legal services are provided pro bono by an Australian legal practitioner employed by the practice.

144   Professional indemnity Insurance

(1)  An incorporated legal practice, and each insurable solicitor who is a legal practitioner director or an officer or employee of the practice, is required to comply with the obligations of an insurable solicitor under Part 3.3 (Professional indemnity insurance) with respect to insurance policies and payments to or on account of the Solicitors Mutual Indemnity Fund.
(2)  Each solicitor who is an interstate legal practitioner who is a legal practitioner director or an officer or employee of the practice and who if, he or she were a local practitioner, would be an insurable solicitor is required to comply with the obligations of an interstate legal practitioner under section 98 with respect to appropriate indemnity insurance.
(3)  If an obligation referred in subsection (1) or (2) is not complied with, the Law Society Council may:
(a)  in the case of a legal practitioner director who holds a local practising certificate—suspend the director’s practising certificate while the failure continues, or
(b)  in the case of a legal practitioner director who is an interstate legal practitioner—suspend that director’s entitlement under Part 2.4 to practise in this State while the failure continues and request the corresponding authority in the jurisdiction in which the practitioner has his or her sole or principal place of legal practice to suspend the director’s interstate practising certificate until the Law Society Council notifies the corresponding authority that the obligation has been complied with.
(4)  The insurance premiums or other amounts payable under Part 3.3 by an incorporated legal practice may be determined by reference to the total number of solicitors employed by the practice and other relevant matters.
(5)  The amounts payable from the Solicitors Mutual Indemnity Fund include payments for such liability of an incorporated legal practice, and of the solicitors who are officers and employees of the practice, in connection with the provision of legal services as the Law Society Council determines with the approval of the Attorney General.
(6)  The Law Society Council may exempt an incorporated legal practice from this section on such grounds as the Council considers sufficient.

145   Conflicts of interest

(1)  For the purposes of the application of any law (including the common law) or legal profession rules relating to conflicts of interest to the conduct of an Australian legal practitioner who is:
(a)  a legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice, or
(b)  an officer or employee of an incorporated legal practice,
the interests of the incorporated legal practice or any related body corporate are also taken to be those of the practitioner (in addition to any interests that the practitioner has apart from this subsection).
(2)  Legal profession rules may be made for or with respect to additional duties and obligations in connection with conflicts of interest arising out of the conduct of an incorporated legal practice.
Note. Under section 143 (Obligations and privileges of practitioners who are officers or employees), an Australian legal practitioner who is an officer or employee of an incorporated legal practice must comply with the same professional obligations as other practitioners.

146   Disclosure obligations

(1)  This section applies if a person engages an incorporated legal practice to provide services that the person might reasonably assume to be legal services, but does not apply where the practice provides only legal services in this jurisdiction.
(2)  Each legal practitioner director of the incorporated legal practice, and any employee who is an Australian legal practitioner and who provides the services on behalf of the practice, must ensure that a disclosure, complying with the requirements of this section and the regulations made for the purposes of this section, is made to the person in connection with the provision of the services.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(3)  The disclosure must be made by giving the person a notice in writing:
(a)  setting out the services to be provided, and
(b)  stating whether or not all the legal services to be provided will be provided by an Australian legal practitioner, and
(c)  if some or all of the legal services to be provided will not be provided by an Australian legal practitioner—identifying those services and indicating the status or qualifications of the person or persons who will provide the services, and
Note. For example, the person might be a licensed conveyancer. However, this paragraph would not apply in a case where a law applying in the jurisdiction prohibits a particular legal service from being provided by a person who is not an Australian legal practitioner.
(d)  stating that this Act applies to the provision of legal services but not to the provision of the non-legal services.
(4)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:
(a)  the manner in which a disclosure is to be made,
(b)  additional matters required to be disclosed in connection with the provision of legal services or non-legal services by an incorporated legal practice.
(5)  Without limiting subsection (4), the additional matters may include the kind of services provided by the incorporated legal practice and whether those services are or are not covered by the insurance or other provisions of this Act.
(6)  A disclosure under this section to a person about the provision of legal services may relate to the provision of legal services on one occasion or on more than one occasion or on an on-going basis.

147   Effect of non-disclosure of provision of certain services

(1)  This section applies if:
(a)  section 146 (Disclosure obligations) applies in relation to a service that is provided to a person who has engaged an incorporated legal practice to provide the service and that the person might reasonably assume to be a legal service, and
(b)  a disclosure has not been made under that section in relation to the service.
(2)  The standard of care owed by the incorporated legal practice in respect of the service is the standard that would be applicable if the service had been provided by an Australian legal practitioner.

148   Application of legal profession rules

Legal profession rules, so far as they apply to Australian legal practitioners, also apply to Australian legal practitioners who are officers or employees of an incorporated legal practice, unless the rules otherwise provide.

149   Requirements relating to advertising

(1)  Any restriction imposed by or under this or any other Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules in connection with advertising by Australian legal practitioners applies to advertising by an incorporated legal practice with respect to the provision of legal services.
(2)  If a restriction referred to in subsection (1) is limited to a particular branch of the legal profession or for persons who practise in a particular style of legal practice, the restriction applies only to the extent that the incorporated legal practice carries on the business in that branch of the legal profession or in that style of legal practice.
(3)  Any advertisement of the kind referred to in this section is, for the purposes of disciplinary proceedings taken against an Australian legal practitioner, taken to have been authorised by each legal practitioner director of the incorporated legal practice.
(4)  This section does not apply if the provision by which the restriction is imposed expressly excludes its application to incorporated legal practices.

150   Extension of vicarious liability relating to failure to account, pay or deliver and dishonesty to incorporated legal practices

(1)  This section applies to any of the following proceedings (being proceedings based on the vicarious liability of an incorporated legal practice):
(a)  civil proceedings relating to a failure to account for, pay or deliver money or property received by, or entrusted to, the practice (or to any officer or employee of the practice) in the course of the provision of legal services by the practice, being money or property under the direct or indirect control of the practice,
(b)  civil proceedings for any other debt owed, or damages payable, to a client as a result of a dishonest act or omission by an Australian legal practitioner who is an employee of the practice in connection with the provision of legal services to the client.
(2)  If the incorporated legal practice would not (but for this section) be vicariously liable for any acts or omissions of its officers and employees in those proceedings, but would be liable for those acts or omissions if the practice and those officers and employees were carrying on business in partnership, the practice is taken to be vicariously liable for those acts or omissions.

151   Sharing of receipts, revenue or other income

(1)  Nothing in this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules prevents an Australian legal practitioner from sharing with an incorporated legal practice receipts, revenue or other income arising from the provision of legal services by the practitioner.
(2)  This section does not extend to the sharing of receipts, revenue or other income in contravention of section 152 (Disqualified persons), and has effect subject to section 54 (Statutory condition regarding practice as a barrister).

152   Disqualified persons

(1)  An incorporated legal practice is guilty of an offence if a person who is a disqualified person:
(a)  is an officer or employee of the incorporated legal practice (whether or not the person provides legal services) or is an officer or employee of a related body corporate, or
(b)  is a partner of the incorporated legal practice in a business that includes the provision of legal services, or
(c)  shares the receipts, revenue or other income arising from the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice, or
(d)  is engaged or paid in connection with the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

(2)  The failure of a legal practitioner director of an incorporated legal practice to ensure that the practice complies with subsection (1) is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

153   Banning of incorporated legal practices

(1)  The Supreme Court may, on the application of the Law Society Council or the Regulator, make an order disqualifying a corporation from providing legal services in this jurisdiction for the period the Court considers appropriate if satisfied that:
(a)  a ground for disqualifying the corporation under this section has been established, and
(b)  the disqualification is justified.
(2)  An order under this section may, if the Supreme Court thinks it appropriate, be made:
(a)  subject to conditions as to the conduct of the incorporated legal practice, or
(b)  subject to conditions as to when or in what circumstances the order is to take effect, or
(c)  together with orders to safeguard the interests of clients or employees of the incorporated legal practice.
(3)  Action may be taken against an incorporated legal practice on any of the following grounds:
(a)  that a legal practitioner director or an Australian legal practitioner who is an officer or employee of the corporation is found guilty of professional misconduct under a law of this jurisdiction or another jurisdiction,
(b)  that the Law Society Council or the Regulator is satisfied, after conducting an audit of the incorporated legal practice, that the incorporated legal practice has failed to implement satisfactory management and supervision of its provision of legal services,
(c)  that the incorporated legal practice (or a related body corporate) has contravened section 135 (Non-legal services and businesses of incorporated legal practices) or the regulations made under that section,
(d)  that the incorporated legal practice has contravened section 152 (Disqualified persons),
(e)  that a person who is an officer of the incorporated legal practice and who is the subject of an order under:
(i)  section 154 (Disqualification from managing incorporated legal practice) or under provisions of a corresponding law that correspond to that section, or
(ii)  section 179 (Prohibition on partnerships with certain partners who are not Australian legal practitioners) or under provisions of a corresponding law that correspond to that section,
is acting in the management of the incorporated legal practice.
(4)  If a corporation is disqualified under this section, the Law Society Council or the Regulator that applied for the order must, as soon as practicable, notify the Regulator of every other jurisdiction.
(5)  If a corporation is disqualified from providing legal services in another jurisdiction under a corresponding law, the Regulator or the Law Society Council may determine that the corporation is taken to be disqualified from providing legal services in this jurisdiction for the same period, but nothing in this subsection prevents the Regulator or the Law Society Council from instead applying for an order under this section.
(6)  A corporation that provides legal services in contravention of a disqualification under this section is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units.

(7)  A corporation that is disqualified under this section ceases to be an incorporated legal practice.
(8)  Conduct of an Australian legal practitioner who provides legal services on behalf of a corporation in the capacity of an officer or employee of the corporation is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct where the practitioner ought reasonably to have known that the corporation is disqualified under this section.
(9)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the publication and notification of orders made under this section, including notification of appropriate authorities of other jurisdictions.

154   Disqualification from managing incorporated legal practice

(1)  The Supreme Court may, on the application of the Law Society Council or the Regulator, make an order disqualifying a person from managing a corporation that is an incorporated legal practice for the period the Court considers appropriate if satisfied that:
(a)  the person is a person who could be disqualified under section 206C, 206D, 206E or 206F of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth from managing corporations, and
(b)  the disqualification is justified.
(2)  The Supreme Court may, on the application of a person subject to a disqualification order under this section, revoke the order.
(3)  A disqualification order made under this section has effect for the purposes only of this Act and does not affect the application or operation of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.
(4)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the publication and notification of orders made under this section.
(5)  A person who is disqualified from managing a corporation under provisions of a corresponding law that correspond to this section is taken to be disqualified from managing a corporation under this section.

155   Disclosure of information to Australian Securities and Investments Commission

(1)  This section applies if the Law Society Council or the Regulator, in connection with exercising functions under this Act, acquired information concerning a corporation that is or was an incorporated legal practice.
(2)  The Law Society Council or the Regulator may disclose to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission information concerning the corporation that is relevant to the Commission’s functions.
(3)  Information may be provided under subsection (2) despite any law relating to secrecy or confidentiality, including any provisions of this Act.

156   External administration proceedings under Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)

(1)  This section applies to proceedings in any court under Chapter 5 (External administration) of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth:
(a)  relating to a corporation that is an externally-administered body corporate under that Act, or
(b)  relating to a corporation becoming an externally-administered body corporate under that Act,
being a corporation that is or was an incorporated legal practice.
(2)  The Law Society Council and the Regulator are entitled to intervene in the proceedings, unless the court determines that the proceedings do not concern or affect the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice.
(3)  The court may, when exercising its jurisdiction in the proceedings, have regard to the interests of the clients of the incorporated legal practice who have been or are to be provided with legal services by the practice.
(4)  Subsection (3) does not authorise the court to make any decision that is contrary to a specific provision of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.
(5)  The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) are declared to be Corporations legislation displacement provisions for the purposes of section 5G of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth in relation to the provisions of Chapter 5 of that Act.
Note. Section 5G of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth provides that if a State law declares a provision of a State law to be a Corporations legislation displacement provision, any provision of the Corporations legislation with which the State provision would otherwise be inconsistent does not apply to the extent necessary to avoid the inconsistency.

157   External administration proceedings under other legislation

(1)  This section applies to proceedings for the external administration (however expressed) of an incorporated legal practice, but does not apply to proceedings to which section 156 (External administration proceedings under Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) applies.
(2)  The Law Society Council and the Regulator are entitled to intervene in the proceedings, unless the court determines that the proceedings do not concern or affect the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice.
(3)  The court may, when exercising its jurisdiction in the proceedings, have regard to the interests of the clients of the incorporated legal practice who have been or are to be provided with legal services by the practice.
(4)  Subsection (3) does not authorise the court to make any decision that is contrary to a specific provision of any legislation applicable to the incorporated legal practice.

158   Incorporated legal practice that is subject to receivership under this Act and external administration under Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)

(1)  This section applies if an incorporated legal practice is the subject of both:
(a)  the appointment of a Part 5.5 receiver, and
(b)  the appointment of a Corporations Act administrator.
(2)  The Part 5.5 receiver is under a duty to notify the Corporations Act administrator of the appointment of the Part 5.5 receiver, whether the appointment precedes, follows or is contemporaneous with the appointment of the Corporations Act administrator.
(3)  The Part 5.5 receiver or the Corporations Act administrator (or both of them jointly) may apply to the Supreme Court for the resolution of issues arising from or in connection with the dual appointments and their respective powers, except where proceedings referred to in section 156 (External administration proceedings under Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) have been commenced.
(4)  The Supreme Court may make any orders it considers appropriate, and no liability attaches to the Part 5.5 receiver or the Corporations Act administrator for any act or omission done by the receiver or administrator in good faith for the purpose of carrying out or acting in accordance with the orders.
(5)  The Law Society Council and the Regulator are entitled to intervene in the proceedings, unless the court determines that the proceedings do not concern or affect the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice.
(6)  The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) are declared to be Corporations legislation displacement provisions for the purposes of section 5G of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth in relation to the provisions of Chapter 5 of that Act.
(7)  In this section:

Corporations Act administrator means:

(a)  a receiver, receiver and manager, liquidator (including a provisional liquidator), controller, administrator or deed administrator appointed under the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth, or
(b)  a person who is appointed to exercise powers under that Act and who is prescribed, or of a class prescribed, by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

Part 5.5 receiver means a receiver appointed under Part 5.5.

159   Incorporated legal practice that is subject to receivership under this Act and external administration under other legislation

(1)  This section applies if an incorporated legal practice is the subject of both:
(a)  the appointment of a Part 5.5 receiver, and
(b)  the appointment of an external administrator.
(2)  The Part 5.5 receiver is under a duty to notify the external administrator of the appointment of the Part 5.5 receiver, whether the appointment precedes, follows or is contemporaneous with the appointment of the external administrator.
(3)  The Part 5.5 receiver or the external administrator (or both of them jointly) may apply to the Supreme Court for the resolution of issues arising from or in connection with the dual appointments and their respective powers.
(4)  The Supreme Court may make any orders it considers appropriate, and no liability attaches to the Part 5.5 receiver or the external administrator for any act or omission done by the receiver or administrator in good faith for the purpose of carrying out or acting in accordance with the orders.
(5)  The Law Society Council and the Regulator are entitled to intervene in the proceedings, unless the court determines that the proceedings do not concern or affect the provision of legal services by the incorporated legal practice.
(6)  In this section:

external administrator means a person who is appointed to exercise powers under other legislation (whether or not of this jurisdiction) and who is prescribed, or of a class prescribed, by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

Part 5.5 receiver means a receiver appointed under Part 5.5.

160   Co-operation between courts

Courts of this jurisdiction may make arrangements for communicating and co-operating with other courts or tribunals in connection with the exercise of powers under this Division.

161   Relationship of Act to constitution of incorporated legal practice

The provisions of this Act or the regulations that apply to an incorporated legal practice prevail, to the extent of any inconsistency, over the constitution or other constituent documents of the practice.

162   Relationship of Act to legislation establishing incorporated legal practice

(1)  This section applies to a corporation that is established by or under a law (whether or not of this jurisdiction), and is an incorporated legal practice, but is not a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.
(2)  The provisions of this Act or the regulations that apply to an incorporated legal practice prevail, to the extent of any inconsistency, over provisions of the legislation by or under which the corporation is established or regulated that are specified or described in the regulations.

163   Relationship of Act to Corporations legislation

(1)  The regulations may declare any provision of this Act or the regulations that relates to an incorporated legal practice to be a Corporations legislation displacement provision for the purposes of section 5G of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.
(2)  The regulations may declare any matter relating to an incorporated legal practice that is prohibited, required, authorised or permitted by or under this Act or the regulations to be an excluded matter for the purposes of section 5F of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth in relation to:
(a)  the whole of the Corporations legislation, or
(b)  a specified provision of the Corporations legislation, or
(c)  the Corporations legislation other than a specified provision, or
(d)  the Corporations legislation otherwise than to a specified extent.
(3)  In this section:

matter includes act, omission, body, person or thing.

164   Undue influence

A person (whether or not an officer or an employee of an incorporated legal practice) must not cause or induce:
(a)  a legal practitioner director, or
(b)  another Australian legal practitioner who provides legal services on behalf of an incorporated legal practice,
to contravene this Act, the regulations, the legal profession rules or his or her professional obligations as an Australian legal practitioner.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

Division 3 Multi-disciplinary partnerships

165   Nature of multi-disciplinary partnership

(1)  A multi-disciplinary partnership is a partnership between one or more Australian legal practitioners and one or more other persons who are not Australian legal practitioners, where the business of the partnership includes the provision of legal services in this jurisdiction as well as other services.
(2)  However, a partnership consisting only of one or more Australian legal practitioners and one or more Australian-registered foreign lawyers is not a multi-disciplinary partnership.
(3)  A complying community legal centre is not a multi-disciplinary partnership.
(4)  Nothing in this Division affects or applies to the provision by a multi-disciplinary partnership of legal services in one or more other jurisdictions.

166   Conduct of multi-disciplinary partnerships

(1)  An Australian legal practitioner may be in partnership with a person who is not an Australian legal practitioner, where the business of the partnership includes the provision of legal services.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not prevent an Australian legal practitioner from being in partnership with a person who is not an Australian legal practitioner, where the business of the partnership does not include the provision of legal services.
(3)  The regulations may prohibit an Australian legal practitioner from being in partnership with a person providing a service or conducting a business of a kind specified by the regulations, where the business of the partnership includes the provision of legal services.

167   Notice of intention to start practice in multi-disciplinary partnership

A legal practitioner partner must, before starting to provide legal services in this jurisdiction as a member of a multi-disciplinary partnership, give the Law Society written notice, in the approved form, of his or her intention to do so.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

168   General obligations of legal practitioner partners

(1)  Each legal practitioner partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership is, for the purposes only of this Act, responsible for the management of the legal services provided in this jurisdiction by the partnership.
(2)  Each legal practitioner partner must ensure that appropriate management systems are implemented and maintained to enable the provision of legal services by the multi-disciplinary partnership:
(a)  in accordance with the professional obligations of Australian legal practitioners and the other obligations imposed by this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules, and
(b)  so that the professional obligations of legal practitioner partners and employees who are Australian legal practitioners are not affected by other partners and employees of the partnership.
(3)  (Repealed)

169   Obligations of legal practitioner partner relating to misconduct

(1)  Each of the following is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct by a legal practitioner partner:
(a)  unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the multi-disciplinary partnership,
(b)  conduct of any other partner (not being an Australian legal practitioner) of the multi-disciplinary partnership that adversely affects the provision of legal services by the partnership,
(c)  the unsuitability of any other partner (not being an Australian legal practitioner) of the multi-disciplinary partnership to be a member of a partnership that provides legal services.
(2)  A legal practitioner partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership must ensure that all reasonable action available to the legal practitioner partner is taken to deal with any unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the partnership.
(3)  (Repealed)

170   Actions of partner who is not an Australian legal practitioner

A partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership who is not an Australian legal practitioner does not contravene a provision of this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules merely because of any of the following:
(a)  the partner is a member of a partnership where the business of the partnership includes the provision of legal services,
(b)  the partner receives any fee, gain or reward for business of the partnership that is the business of an Australian legal practitioner,
(c)  the partner holds out, advertises or represents himself or herself as a member of a partnership where the business of the partnership includes the provision of legal services,
(d)  the partner shares with any other partner the receipts, revenue or other income of business of the partnership that is the business of an Australian legal practitioner,
unless the provision expressly applies to a partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership who is not an Australian legal practitioner.

171   Obligations and privileges of practitioners who are partners or employees

(1)  An Australian legal practitioner who provides legal services in the capacity of a partner or an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership:
(a)  is not excused from compliance with professional obligations as an Australian legal practitioner, or any other obligations as an Australian legal practitioner under any law, and
(b)  does not lose the professional privileges of an Australian legal practitioner.
(2)  The law relating to client legal privilege (or other legal professional privilege) is not excluded or otherwise affected because an Australian legal practitioner is acting in the capacity of a partner or an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership.

172   Conflicts of interest

(1)  For the purposes of the application of any law (including the common law) or legal profession rules relating to conflicts of interest to the conduct of an Australian legal practitioner who is:
(a)  a legal practitioner partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership, or
(b)  an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership,
the interests of the partnership or any partner of the multi-disciplinary partnership are also taken to be those of the practitioner concerned (in addition to any interests that the practitioner has apart from this subsection).
(2)  Legal profession rules may be made for or with respect to additional duties and obligations in connection with conflicts of interest arising out of the conduct of a multi-disciplinary partnership.

173   Disclosure obligations

(1)  This section applies if a person engages a multi-disciplinary partnership to provide services that the person might reasonably assume to be legal services.
(2)  Each legal practitioner partner of the multi-disciplinary partnership, and any employee of the partnership who is an Australian legal practitioner and who provides the services on behalf of the partnership, must ensure that a disclosure, complying with the requirements of this section and the regulations made for the purposes of this section, is made to the person in connection with the provision of the services.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(3)  The disclosure must be made by giving the person a notice in writing:
(a)  setting out the services to be provided, and
(b)  stating whether or not all the legal services to be provided will be provided by an Australian legal practitioner, and
(c)  if some or all of the legal services to be provided will not be provided by an Australian legal practitioner—identifying those services and indicating the status or qualifications of the person or persons who will provide the services, and
Note. For example, the person might be a licensed conveyancer. However, this paragraph would not apply in a case where a law applying in the jurisdiction prohibits a particular legal service from being provided by a person who is not an Australian legal practitioner.
(d)  stating that this Act applies to the provision of legal services but not to the provision of the non-legal services.
(4)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:
(a)  the manner in which disclosure is to be made,
(b)  additional matters required to be disclosed in connection with the provision of legal services or non-legal services by a multi-disciplinary partnership.
(5)  Without limiting subsection (4), the additional matters may include the kind of services provided by the multi-disciplinary partnership and whether those services are or are not covered by the insurance or other provisions of this Act.
(6)  A disclosure under this section to a person about the provision of legal services may relate to the provision of legal services on one occasion or on more than one occasion or on an on-going basis.

174   Effect of non-disclosure of provision of certain services

(1)  This section applies if:
(a)  section 173 (Disclosure obligations) applies in relation to a service that is provided to a person who has engaged a multi-disciplinary partnership to provide the service and that the person might reasonably assume to be a legal service, and
(b)  a disclosure has not been made under that section in relation to the service.
(2)  The standard of care owed by the multi-disciplinary partnership in respect of the service is the standard that would be applicable if the service had been provided by an Australian legal practitioner.

175   Application of legal profession rules

Legal profession rules, so far as they apply to Australian legal practitioners, also apply to Australian legal practitioners who are legal practitioner partners or employees of a multi-disciplinary partnership, unless the rules otherwise provide.

176   Requirements relating to advertising

(1)  Any restriction imposed by or under this or any other Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules in connection with advertising by Australian legal practitioners applies to advertising by a multi-disciplinary partnership with respect to the provision of legal services.
(2)  If a restriction referred to in subsection (1) is limited to a particular branch of the legal profession or for persons who practise in a particular style of legal practice, the restriction applies only to the extent that the multi-disciplinary partnership carries on the business of the relevant class of Australian legal practitioners.
(3)  An advertisement of the kind referred to in this section is, for the purposes of disciplinary proceedings taken against an Australian legal practitioner, taken to have been authorised by each legal practitioner partner of the multi-disciplinary partnership.
(4)  This section does not apply if the provision by which the restriction is imposed expressly excludes its application to multi-disciplinary partnerships.

177   Sharing of receipts, revenue or other income

(1)  Nothing in this Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules prevents a legal practitioner partner, or an Australian legal practitioner who is an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership, from sharing receipts, revenue or other income arising from the provision of legal services by the partner or practitioner with a partner or partners who are not Australian legal practitioners.
(2)  This section does not extend to the sharing of receipts, revenue or other income in contravention of section 178 (Disqualified persons), and has effect subject to section 54 (Statutory condition regarding practice as a barrister).

178   Disqualified persons

(1)  A legal practitioner partner of a multi-disciplinary partnership must not knowingly:
(a)  be a partner of a disqualified person in the multi-disciplinary partnership, or
(b)  share with a disqualified person the receipts, revenue or other income arising from the provision of legal services by the multi-disciplinary partnership, or
(c)  employ or pay a disqualified person in connection with the provision of legal services by the multi-disciplinary partnership.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

(2)  (Repealed)

179   Prohibition on partnerships with certain partners who are not Australian legal practitioners

(1)  This section applies to a person who:
(a)  is not an Australian legal practitioner, and
(b)  is or was a partner of an Australian legal practitioner.
(2)  On application by the Law Society Council or the Regulator, the Supreme Court may make an order prohibiting any Australian legal practitioner from being a partner, in a business that includes the provision of legal services, of a specified person to whom this section applies if:
(a)  the Court is satisfied that the person is not a fit and proper person to be a partner, or
(b)  the Court is satisfied that the person has been guilty of conduct that, if the person were an Australian legal practitioner, would have constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct, or
(c)  in the case of a corporation, if the Court is satisfied that the corporation has been disqualified from providing legal services in this jurisdiction or there are grounds for disqualifying the corporation from providing legal services in this jurisdiction.
(3)  An order made under this section may be revoked by the Supreme Court on application by the Law Society Council or the Regulator or by the person against whom the order was made.
(4)  The death of an Australian legal practitioner does not prevent an application being made for, or the making of, an order under this section in relation to a person who was a partner of the practitioner.
(5)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the publication and notification of orders made under this section.

180   Undue influence

A person (whether or not a partner, or an employee, of a multi-disciplinary partnership) must not cause or induce:
(a)  a legal practitioner partner, or
(b)  an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership who provides legal services and who is an Australian legal practitioner,
to contravene this Act, the regulations, the legal profession rules or his or her professional obligations as an Australian legal practitioner.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

Division 4 Miscellaneous

181   Obligations of individual practitioners not affected

Except as provided by this Part, nothing in this Part affects any obligation imposed on:
(a)  a legal practitioner director or an Australian legal practitioner who is an employee of an incorporated legal practice, or
(b)  a legal practitioner partner or an Australian legal practitioner who is an employee of a multi-disciplinary partnership, or
(c)  an Australian legal practitioner who is an officer or employee of, or whose services are used by, a complying community legal centre,
under this or any other Act, the regulations or the legal profession rules in his or her capacity as an Australian legal practitioner.

182   Regulations

(1)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:
(a)  the legal services provided by incorporated legal practices or legal practitioner partners or employees of multi-disciplinary partnerships,
(b)  other services provided by incorporated legal practices or legal practitioner partners or employees of multi-disciplinary partnerships in circumstances where a conflict of interest relating to the provision of legal services may arise.
(2)  A regulation prevails over any inconsistent provision of the legal profession rules.
(3)  A regulation may provide that a breach of the regulations is capable of being unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct:
(a)  in the case of an incorporated legal practice—by a legal practitioner director, or by an Australian legal practitioner responsible for the breach, or both, or
(b)  in the case of a multi-disciplinary partnership—by a legal practitioner partner, or by an Australian legal practitioner responsible for the breach, or both.
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