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National Legal Profession Reform Consultative Group.

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1 July 2009


Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today announced members of the National Legal Profession Reform Consultative Group to achieve national regulation of the Australian legal profession.

The regulation of the legal profession in Australia remains overly complex and inconsistent, with up to 55 different regulators across the country.

As a result, different practices apply in different jurisdictions, including for example costs disclosure and billing, admissions and practicing certificates and complaints handling and professional discipline.

To deliver a seamless national economy we can no longer justify such disparate regulation for just one profession.

In April, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that:

• Draft legislation providing uniform laws regulating the legal profession across Australia be  prepared for consideration by COAG within 12 months;   • A specialist Taskforce be appointed by the Attorney‐General to make recommendations and  prepare the draft legislation; and   • A Consultative Group be appointed by the Attorney‐General to advise and assist the 


The specialist Taskforce has already commenced work to pursue this important reform agenda.

This Consultative Group will play an important role in identifying issues, providing advice and developing recommendations for the Taskforce responsible for reporting to COAG by 30 April 2010.

It will also advise the Taskforce on regulatory and administrative issues and ensure that consumers’ voices are heard throughout the reform process.

The Consultative Group will be chaired by the Hon Michael Lavarch, Professor of Law at the Queensland University of Technology and includes members from each State and Territory with representatives from consumer groups, the courts, legal regulators and educators and the legal profession.

Mr Stephen Goggs, Deputy Chief Executive of the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, has also been appointed as representative for smaller jurisdictions to the specialist Taskforce.

Members of the National Legal Profession Reform Consultative Group are attached.

Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630



• Professor the Hon Michael Lavarch (Chair) â€ Executive Dean, Queensland University of  Technology, former Commonwealth Attorney‐General, and former Secretary‐General of the  Law Council of Australia.   • Mr Tony Abbott â€ Chairman at Piper Alderman and past President of the Law Council of 

Australia.   • Ms Carolyn Bond â€ Co‐Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Action Law Centre Victoria,  and member of the Board of the Legal Service Board of Victoria.   • Ms Barbara Bradshaw â€ Chief Executive Officer, Northern Territory Law Society.   • Mr John Briton â€ Legal Services Commissioner of Queensland and former Queensland Anti 

Discrimination Commissioner and State Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity  Commission.   • Mr Joseph Catanzariti â€ President, Law Society of New South Wales, and partner at Clayton  Utz.   • Mr Robert Cornall â€ former Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney‐General’s 

Department, has been a Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid, Executive Director and  Secretary of the Law Institute of Victoria, and a partner and managing partner in a private  legal firm.   • Mr Andrew Grech â€ Managing Director, Slater & Gordon, Melbourne.   • Mr Martyn Hagan â€ Executive Director, Law Society of Tasmania.   • Ms Noela L’Estrange â€ Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Law Society and former Director 

of Legal Practice Support, Australian Government Solicitor.   • Mr Robert Milliner â€ Chief Executive Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Chairman of the  Large Law Firm Group Limited and member of the Board of the Business Council of Australia.   • Mr Andrew Phelan â€ Chief Executive and Principal Registrar, High Court of Australia, and 

Secretary, Chief Justices Council.   • Mr Philip Selth OAM â€ Executive Director, New South Wales Bar Association.   • Professor Peta Spender â€ Presidential Member ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and  Professor of Law, Australian National University.   • Mr Dudley Stow â€ President, The Law Society of Western Australia.   • The Hon Justice Murray Tobias AM RFD â€ Supreme Court of New South Wales and presiding 

member of the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board.