Professional Standards Scheme

Professional Standards Scheme

The Professional Standards Scheme provides a significant benefit for Law Society members. The (original) Scheme commenced on 1 July 2014 and does not apply to claims prior to that date or prior to your commencement with the Scheme. That Scheme ceased on 30 June 2019 and was replaced by the second Professional Standards Scheme which will operate from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024.

Limitation of liability

Subject to any member’s application for a higher maximum liability cut-off, the Scheme caps occupational liability of participating members to an amount of $1.5 million, $5 million or $10 million depending on the insurance policies and total annual fee income of the law practice.

Notice of a New Professional Standards Scheme

The Law Society’s current Professional Standards Scheme (Scheme) commenced on 1 July 2019 and will be concluding on 30 June 2024.

Significant work has been undertaken in collaboration with the Professional Standards Council (PSC) to complete the Scheme Application Framework for submission in sufficient time to allow for a review of the application, as well as the public consultation period before the proposed commencement of the new Scheme on 1 July 2024. On 2nd February 2024, the PSC resolved to approve the Law Society’s Scheme pursuant to section 20 of the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA) (Act).

This is the third Scheme that has been approved for the Law Society and will remain in effect for five years commencing  1 July 2024.
 
Notice of the Scheme was gazetted by the Attorney General on 8th March 2024.
 
For further information, please see our 2024-2029 Scheme Information Sheet in the Helpful Resources section.

Participation

The Scheme applies to Ordinary, Life and Incorporated Legal Practice members. The Law Society requires members to whom the Scheme applies to complete a Participant Information Form.

An annual fee per Scheme participating member, including ILPs consists of a $50 fee set by the Professional Standards Council (PSC) (GST Free), and a $45 administration fee (GST inclusive). In total, the annual Scheme fee per participant is $95 and is not subject to pro-rata. The $50 component of the annual fee is remitted by us to the PSC under legislation.

From 1 July 2024, the administration fee for the Scheme is $50 (GST inclusive). In total, the annual Scheme fee per participant from 1 July 2024 is $100 and is not subject to pro-rata.

Participation Guides
For specific information on activating your Scheme inclusion, please see the guide relevant to you below:
Please click the orange heading to open the relevant guide.

ü  For Individuals: How do I activate my Participation under the Scheme?
ü  For Firms: How do I add new practitioners to the Scheme?

Have you recently opened your own practice and would like Scheme inclusion? Please click
the link to our guide below:

ü  New Firms: How to Activate Scheme Inclusion for my new Practice
 

2024-25 RENEWALS: To ensure continuity in your Scheme participation, please complete your renewal form, and pay your renewal fees, no later than 30 June 2024. Invoices will be issued at the beginning of June and the 2024-2025 renewal form will need to be submitted between the above dates.

Scheme Participation Forms
Please complete the relevant online Participant Information Form:

Please complete and submit (our team will process your information and be in contact with an invoice)

Please complete form (payment will be made via the Membership Renewal invoice sent to you by the Law Society).

If your firm is registered as an Incorporated Legal Practice, and you are not a national firm, your firm will require an ILP membership in order for the Scheme to apply. You can complete an application for ILP membership at the link below. If you have any questions on this, please email pss@lawsocietywa.asn.au 

Exemption

This is an opt-out Scheme which, subject to the provisions of the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA) applies to Law Society members. Subject to the Act, members may “opt-out” by applying for exemption from the Scheme by completing the Application for Exemption.

The Scheme will cease to apply to such a member from the date the exemption is granted.

Hard copy forms are no longer available to download from our website. Please forward all exemption correspondence via email to pss@lawsocietywa.asn.au

You can complete the application for exemption using our online form linked below. 

Please note, the application for exemption from the Law Society’s Professional Standards Scheme is not an exemption to hold or be covered by an approved insurance policy. From 1 July 2022, being the date of commencement of the Uniform Law, these exemptions must be made directly to and be determined by the Legal Practice Board WA. Law Mutual (WA) no longer have a role in an exemption application for compulsory PI insurance. 

Higher Maximum Amount

The Law Society has discretionary authority, on application by a participating member, to specify a higher maximum amount of liability:

Disclosure

Participating members need to disclose their limited liability status. Non-disclosure is an offence under the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA). Further information regarding disclosure is available in the Professional Standards Scheme Guide, and on the Professional Standards Council website.

If the Professional Standards Scheme Guide does not address your query, please contact the Scheme Co-Ordinator on (08) 9324 8600 or pss@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Interested in becoming a member?

Area
Telephone Number
Law Society of Western Australia Reception
(08) 9324 8600
Law Mutual
(08) 9481 3111
Continuing Professional Development
(08) 9324 8640
Membership Services
(08) 9324 8692
Professional Standards Scheme
(08) 9324 8653
Old Court House Law Museum
(08) 9324 8688
Francis Burt Law Education Programme
(08) 9324 8686
Media Enquiries
(08) 9324 8650