Law leaders accused of big firm bias

By James Barnes

09 October 2012 at 13:27 BST

A local legal profession leader has criticised the Law Council of Australia (LCA) for allegedly supporting the interests of the country's large firms over reform issues.

Tasmanian Devil: state law president in a spin

Frank Moore, president of the Law Society of Tasmania, said the council had prioritised national and international firms over local players and ignored the views of representative law bodies in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania – which rejected the extension of the National Legal Profession Reform (NLPR) scheme to their states.

Centralised control

Mr Moore said LCA president Catherine Gale’s statement that she would work to ensure the realisation of the national scheme ‘does nothing but justify one of the principle concerns,’ which, he claimed, is the failure to acknowledge the interests of lawyers outside the big cities, reports the publication Lawyers Weekly.
‘Far from working collaboratively with the representative bodies of the profession around the country, the LCA continues to push for centralised control of the profession against its wishes in those jurisdictions,’ he added.

Layer of bureaucracy

The report points to the LCA web site, which claims the representative body will ‘represent the legal profession at the national level’ and ‘speak on behalf of its constituent bodies on national issues affecting the legal profession’.
The reforms -- which have already taken heat from Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, who withdrew his support -- would add ‘layer of bureaucracy that will drive up the cost of legal services’, argued Mr Moore.


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