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 may have engaged in misconduct must make a confidential report2 to the Law Society at the earliest opportunity.

2.8.1

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

2.8.2

If a report by a lawyer to the Law Society may breach the lawyer’s duty to protect confidential non-privileged information, the lawyer should also advise the lawyer’s client of the report.

2.8.3

A report submitted in accordance with rules 2.8 and 2.9 must—

(a)

be in written form; and

(b)

identify—

(i)

the person making the report; and

(ii)

the person or persons to whom the report relates; and

(c)

specify details of the alleged conduct; and

(d)

be supported by any appropriate documentation held by or available to the person making the report.

2.8.4

This rule does not apply to—

(a)

a lawyer who has received information in the course of providing confidential advice, guidance, or support to another lawyer, including a member of a panel under a “friend” system, unless disclosure of the information is necessary to—

(i)

prevent the anticipated or proposed commission of a crime or fraud; or

(ii)

prevent a serious risk to the health or safety of any person; or

(b)

a lawyer who is a victim of the suspected misconduct; or

(c)

circumstances where a lawyer reasonably believes the disclosure would pose a serious risk to the health (including mental health) or safety of a victim.

Schedule rule 2.8: replaced, on 1 July 2021, by rule 5(1) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Amendment Rules 2021 (LI 2021/61).

2.9

Subject to the obligation on a lawyer to protect privileged communications, a lawyer who has reasonable grounds to suspect that another lawyer may have engaged in unsatisfactory conduct may make a confidential report to the Law Society.

2.9.1

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

Schedule rule 2.9: replaced, on 1 July 2021, by rule 5(2) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Amendment Rules 2021 (LI 2021/61).

2.10

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

2.10.1

A lawyer must not victimise a person who, in good faith,—

(a)

makes a complaint or a report under rule 2.8 or 2.9; or

(b)

is otherwise connected with a complaint or a report under rule 2.8 or 2.9.

2.10.2

For the purposes of this rule, examples of victimisation include (but are not limited to)—

(a)

unwarranted adverse employment-related actions:

(b)

unwarranted withdrawal of instructions:

(c)

conduct that amounts to 1 or more of the following:

(i)

bullying:

(ii)

harassment:

(iii)

lack of professional co-operation:

(iv)

racial harassment:

(v)

professional disparagement:

(vi)

sexual harassment.

Schedule rule 2.10.1: inserted, on 1 July 2021, by rule 5(3) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Amendment Rules 2021 (LI 2021/61).

Schedule rule 2.10.2: inserted, on 1 July 2021, by rule 5(3) of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Amendment Rules 2021 (LI 2021/61).

2 The confidentiality of a report made under rule 2.8 or 2.9 is subject to exceptions contained in the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 and the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.