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External examinations

Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law and the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 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 15 May.

External Examiner's Report - Online Lodgement System

Law Practice login

External Examiner login

Relevant legislation

To view the legislative basis for this requirement, see:

  • Legal Profession Uniform Law - Chapter 4 Business practice and professional conduct, Part 4.2 Trust Money and Trust Accounts, Division 3 External Examinations. 
  • Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 - Chapter 4 Business practice and professional conduct, Part 4.2 Trust Money and Trust Accounts, Division 4 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 by the end of May each year. Find an external examiner.

Notification

Law practices are required to notify the Law Society 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 cessation of external examiner form and return it completed to the Trust Accounts Department. Further, prior to terminating the appointment of an external examiner the law practice is required to seek the approval of the designated local regulatory authority - the Law Society. To request approval complete the Request for Approval for Termination of External Examiner form.

Information for examiners

In addition to the information above, external examiners should familiarise themselves with the following documents:

Instructions to External Examiners 2016

External Examiners Update 2016

External Examiner's Check List - Interactive Form 2016

External Examiner's Check List - Print Form 2016

Section 370 notice – production of records (e.g. paid cheques) & sample notice of appointment of external examiner

How to become an examiner

Rule 65 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 provides for the following classes of persons who may be appointed as external examiners. The classes are:

  • members of CPA Australia holding a current Public Practice Certificate issued by that body;
  • members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand holding a current Certificate of Public Practice issued by that body;
  • members of the Institute of Public Accountants holding a current Professional Practice Certificate issued by that body;
  • persons registered as auditors under Part 9.2 of the Corporations Act;
  • employees or agents of the designated local regulatory authority; and
  • have successfully completed a course of education approved by the Legal Services Council.

Due to the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law there will be no education courses offered until further notice.

CONTACT

  • 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: tad@lawsociety.com.au
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