Under the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 a law practice is required to have its trust records externally examined once in each financial year if it has received or held trust money, excluding Transit Money.
An external examination covers a law practice’s trust records from the beginning of April to the end of March in the following year. A report on the examination must be lodged with the Law Society of NSW by the end of May.
2013 External Examiner's Report - Online Lodgement System
To view the legislative basis for this requirement, see:
- Legal Profession Act 2004 - Chapter 3 Conduct of Legal Practice, Part 3.1 Trust Money and Trust Accounts, Division 4 External Examinations.
- Legal Profession Regulation 2005 - Part 8 Trust Money and Trust Accounts, Division 7 External Examinations.
Information for legal practices
Appointing an External Examiner
Your law practice must appoint an external examiner to complete a written external examiner’s report on your trust records, which the examiner then forwards to the Law Society of NSW by the end of May each year. Find an external examiner.
Law practices are required to notify the Law Society of NSW of the person appointed as their external examiner and must also notify the Society when they terminate an appointment.
To notify the Law Society complete the Notification of appointment or termination of external examiner form and return it completed to the Trust Accounts Department.
Information for examiners
In addition to the information above, external examiners should familiarise themselves with the following documents:
How to become an examiner
Under the Legal Profession Act 2004, the Law Society Council must designate persons in writing as being eligible for appointment as external examiners to examine and report on trust records.
To be eligible for appointment as an examiner, a person must:
- be a member of either CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the National Institute of Accountants and hold a current Certificate of Public Practice, or
- be registered as an auditor under part 9.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), and
- have successfully completed an education course required by the Law Society Council.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in attending a future education course to become an external examiner, or if you have any other enquiries, email the Trust Accounts Department at email@example.com.
- Trust Accounts Department
- The Law Society of NSW
- 170 Phillip St
- Sydney NSW 2000
- DX 362 Sydney
- T: (02) 9926 0337
- F: (02) 9223 3602
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org