Practitioner standards and compliance
The Manual is the best place to start if you are applying for, or have been assigned, a grant of aid. The Manual covers:
- submitting applications for a grant of aid, extension or transfer
- how grants of aid are assigned and accepted
- rights of reconsideration and review
- engaging other lawyers to provide legal services in matters assigned to you
- hiring experts
- practice and case management standards
- managing files, keeping records and providing progress reports, and
- practitioner payments, disbursements, client contributions and court costs.
The PSA gives a broad structure to how private practitioners engage with Legal Aid WA and provide legal services under a grant of aid.
Under the PSA, a practitioner agrees to:
- act honestly and in good faith when dealing with Legal Aid WA
- respond fully and promptly to our requests for information
- cooperate in our investigation or handling of a complaint against the practitioner
- participate in file audits for matters with a grant of aid, and
- allow Legal Aid WA to monitor and take action to address compliance issues.
The PSA also imposes some general professional standards on practitioners assigned grants of aid, including to:
- take responsibility for the performance of legal services
- act honestly, ethically and professionally
- treat all parties involved in a matter with dignity and respect
- provide legal services in an effective, efficient and economical manner, and
- comply with the practice and case management standards contained in the Manual.
This Policy explains the process involved when a private practitioner is audited by Legal Aid WA and describes the things we look for during an audit. The Policy also provides information about potential audit outcomes, which range from taking no action through to removal from a panel or list and referral to the Legal Profession Complaints Committee.
The Protocol sets out the scope of the duty lawyer service Legal Aid WA provides for criminal and some traffic matters in the Magistrates and Children’s Courts.
From time-to-time, we engage private practitioners to cover gaps in our duty lawyer rosters. Private practitioners who are hired to provide duty lawyer services must comply with the Protocol.
Private practitioners who want to brief the duty lawyer to appear in court for their client (whether or not they have a grant of aid), must follow the procedure described in the Protocol.
The current membership of each panel and list can be checked by looking at our Practitioner panels and lists.
If you have questions about audits, our policies or your obligations when providing legal services under a grant of aid, contact our Professional Standards and Compliance Unit by email or telephone (08) 9261 6543.
- Professional Services Agreement
- Private Practitioner Manual
- Audit and Compliance Policy
- Duty Lawyer Services Protocol
Reviewed: 16 April 2018