It will be a matter of interest to in-house counsel that with
effect from 1 January 2011 the new Legal Professional Conduct Rules
(Conduct Rules) came into effect in Western
Australia. Those rules are made under the Legal Profession Act 2008
and apply to all legal practitioners, including in-house counsel
and whether they are an Australian lawyer, an Australian Registered
Foreign Lawyer or an Overseas Registered Foreign Lawyer, who are
engaged in legal practice in Western Australia.
By Rule 21 the rules apply to practitioners who are employed
other than by a legal practice. Those practitioners must comply
with the Conduct Rules. Breach of the Conduct Rules may constitute
unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct and
The Conduct Rules confirm the key obligations of practitioners,
including a paramount duty to the Court and to the administration
of justice, which prevails to the extent of any inconsistency with
any other duty, including a duty owed to a client, a duty of
loyalty to the practitioner's client, a duty of
confidentiality and a duty of candour.
The restatement of the obligation of a paramount duty to the
Court and the administration of justice is always difficult for
practitioners, particularly those in an in-house role where their
client may be their employer. The Conduct Rules confirm that
practitioners must be fearless in discharging their
The Conduct Rules also confirm that conduct outside of a
practitioner's professional life may be relevant to the
practitioner's maintenance of professional integrity.
For those in-house counsel who wish to have a more detailed
briefing, Lavan Legal is holding a seminar on 24 March 2011. It
will attract 1 CPD point (value). To register for this event please
email Jasmin Novak on email@example.com or call her on
(08) 9288 6862.
For further information on this article, please contact Partner
Iain Freeman on (08) 9288 6759 /
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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