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Ethics Committee Guidance

Members of the Law Society’s Ethics Committee are practising solicitors from a variety of practice types and geographic areas.

The Committee steers the development of policy issues affecting professional conduct and the ethical obligations of solicitors, and regularly considers questions referred to it on matters such as conflict of interest and solicitors’ communications and relationships with clients, colleagues and third parties.

The Ethics Committee of the Law Society meets monthly. The current committee members are: 

Scott Alden, Holding Redlich
Raymon Anderson, Makinson d'Apice
Graham Bates
Julie Brooke-Cowden, MDA National (Sydney Office)
Darryl Browne, Browne Linkenbagh (Chair)
Sarah Crellin, Aboriginal Legal Service
Jane Crittenden, Jane Crittenden Lawyer
Ryan Fletcher
Jane Glowrey, Glowreys - The Riverina Law Firm
Robert Hoyles, Legal Aid NSW
Hugh Macken, BMM Law (Deputy Chair)
Graham Maher, Bird & Bird
Lynda Maitland, Legal Aid NSW
Ellen McKenzie, Ellen M McKenzie Legal
David Miller, Colin Biggers & Paisley
Gregory Morahan, Greg Morahan & Co
Blanka Moss, Schindler Lifts (Australia) Pty Ltd
Serryn O'Regan, Serryn O'Regan
Julie Robb, Banki Haddock Fiora
Thomas Spohr, Director of Public Prosecutions (Cth)
Michael Tiyce, Tiyce & Lawyers
Penelope Waters, Penny Waters Armstrong Legal

Staff: Paul Monaghan and Linden Barnes – Professional Standards Department

Committee guidance can be particularly useful to resolve issues between solicitors, for instance whether one solicitor has a conflict of interest. Although the guidance is not binding, solicitors may find the independent, experienced opinion of the Committee helpful. Guidance is on the basis of the information provided and it is not given on conduct which has already occurred.

The process for obtaining the Committee’s guidance is as follows:

  1. Contact the Ethics Unit to ascertain the due date for submissions. The Committee meets monthly and submissions need to be finalised one week prior to the meeting to be included in agenda papers.
  2. Contact any other solicitor involved to seek their consent and invite them to provide a submission. This helps to ensure there is no breach of confidentiality. It also provides the other solicitor(s) with an opportunity to provide a submission and be party to the guidance.
  3. Prepare a one page submission for the Committee and send it to the Ethics Unit and also to any other solicitor involved, who should also prepare their own submission.
  4. The submissions are then put to the Committee and the result is communicated to the solicitors after the meeting.
  5. Submissions must be kept to one page, with no attachments. Clients must be de-identified to ensure confidentiality.

 

CONTACT

  • Ethics Unit
  • Law Society of NSW
  • 170 Phillip Street
  • Sydney NSW 2000
  • DX 362 Sydney
  • T: (02) 9926 0114
  • F: (02) 9221 5804
  • E: ethics@lawsociety.com.au