Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008

Reporting misconduct

2.8

Subject to the obligation on a lawyer to protect privileged communications, a lawyer who has reasonable grounds to suspect that another lawyer has been guilty of misconduct must make a confidential report to the Law Society at the earliest opportunity.2

2.8.1

This rule applies despite the lawyer’s duty to protect confidential non-privileged information.

2.8.2

Where a report by a lawyer to the Law Society under rule 2.8 may breach the lawyer’s duty to protect confidential non-privileged information, the lawyer should also advise his or her client of the report.

2.9

Subject to the obligation on a lawyer to protect privileged communications, a lawyer who has reasonable grounds to suspect that another lawyer has been guilty of unsatisfactory conduct may make a confidential report to the Law Society, in which case rule 2.8.1 will likewise apply.

2.10

A lawyer must not use, or threaten to use, the complaints or disciplinary process for an improper purpose.

2 A member of a panel under a “friend” system operating in various localities might receive in confidence from another lawyer information that should be reported to the Law Society. The member of the panel should, in such a circumstance, advise either disclosure by the other lawyer or that the other lawyer should take advice from the panel member on a lawyer/client basis. A member of a panel may have to consider whether the other lawyer should be advised that full lawyer/client privilege attaches to their communications from the outset.