NSW Law Society makes moves to secure future of small practices

Too few lawyers have planned for the future of their practices, says law society president

NSW Law Society makes moves to secure future of small practices

The Law Society of New South Wales (LSNSW) has developed a new online form that will help the state’s solicitors who run small practices assure the future of their business.

Cassandra Banks, the president of the LSNSW, explained that the new online form would be an improvement on the pdf form that solicitors needed to fill out the past few years.

“The take up by solicitors of the pdf form has had limited success,” said Banks.

“The new online form is designed to encourage an even greater uptake of the process,” she added. “Individual practitioners will always be in a better position to decide who should run their practice in their sudden absence.”

Bank noted that very few of the 6,600 sole solicitors or single practices across NSW who help clients with will and enduring powers of attorney have designated plans for what will happen to their businesses when they are suddenly unavailable.

“Sole practitioners are particularly vulnerable to disruption if they are suddenly unable to manage their law practice with potentially serious impacts on clients, employees and even the solicitors’ family members,” said Banks.

“I’m encouraging all sole practitioners and principals to nominate their own personal representative and an alternate to ensure clients can continue receiving the attention they need should the unexpected happen,” she added.

Banks said that the nominated person can be appointed as manager or principal if they need to be and will be responsible for conducting or disposing of a sole practitioner’s law practice if the practitioner cannot do so.

The new online form has a checklist that will provide solicitors with guidance regarding who will be the best person to take over for them at a short notice. It also has a list of action items that will make sure that the transition will be seamless.

The nominated personal representative will need to have a good working knowledge regarding the areas of law in the solicitor’s practice. The nominee will also need relevant experience, a principal’s practising certificate, and the authorisation to handle trust money.

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