The Law Society of Tasmania - Annual Report 2021/2022

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ANNUAL REPORT 2021/2022 The Law Society of Tasmania P : 03 6234 4133 E : W : 28 Murray Street Hobart, TAS, 7000, To be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Law Society of Tasmania on 14 October 2022

Your Society

The Law Society of Tasmania provides professional services, resources, support and benefits to its members and the legal profession in general.

The Law Society of Tasmania has two major functions. The first is as a regulator of the legal profession of the State of Tasmania. The second is to provide services to its members to assist in maintaining high standards of practice in the Tasmanian legal profession.

The services offered to LST Members are designed to assist the provision of timely and effective delivery of legal services. Hence, the LST has focussed on areas such as education, indemnity insurance and risk management. The LST also provides a counselling service to members and a range of other personal and practice related benefits.

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3 Annual Report 2021/2022 Index • Law Society Council 2021/2022 4 • Committees 2021/2022 ..................................... 6 • The Society’s Nominees on Other Bodies ......... 9 • Associated Bodies ............................................. 10 • President’s Report 11 • Treasurer’s Report ............................................ 15 • Report of the Prescribed Authority 2021/2022- Presented to the Legal Profession Board ............................... 1 6 • Committees Report ........................................... 21 • Practitioners and Firm Statistics ...................... 37 • Financial Report 2021/2022 ............................ 39

2020/2021 Council Members

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Rohan Foon Amber Cohen
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Ian Arednt Helen Bassett Trevor McKenna
* *
Robert Hegary Carey Higgins Will Justo Dinesh Loganathan Amelia Higgs Evan Hughes Callum Purcell
* Indicates membership of the Executive Committee 2020/2021 Council Members Alison Wells *

Committees 2020-2021

The Law Society Council 2020 – 2021

I Arendt (S), H Bassett (N-W), A Cohen (N), R Foon (N), S Gates* (N-W), R Hegarty (N), C Higgins (S), J Higgins* (N), W Justo (S), T McKenna* (S), A Thompson* (S), A Wells* (S), Amelia Higgs (S), D Loganathan (S), C Purcell (N-W), E Hughes (N)

(*Executive Committee Member)

Deputy Executive Director F Beattie

Law Council of Australia Director R Foon

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Committees 2020-2021

Northern Regional Committee

J French [Chair], P J Lebski [Secretary], J Higgins, R Hart, R Hegarty, W Griffiths, F Moore, N Terracall

Southern Regional Committee

T McKenna [Chair], W Justo, K Siejka, A Thompson, D Loganathan, A Higgs, C Graves, A Grubb, D Tan

North-West Regional Committee

A Mihal [Chair and Secretary], A Edwards, H Bassett, C Purcell, S Gates.

Criminal Law Committee

I Arendt [Chair], J Crotty, D Loganathan, C Scott, P Slipper, C Wong, K Siejka, R Mainwaring, S Wright

Litigation Committee

E Hughes [Chair], L Taylor,E Burrows-Cheng, S McCullough, J Buckley, A Williams [part year], A Cordova, AThompson, C Wong

Property & Commercial Law Committee

A Bobbi [Chair], W Justo, R Jorgensen, H McCracken, A Logan, A Kostezky, S Perraton, S Pullinger, T Tierney

Employment, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

A Higgs [Chair], C Green, H Pill, A Wells, Y Cehtel, E Creak, H Farquhar, K Induni [part year]

Solicitors’ Accounts Rules Committee

P Kuzis [Chair], R Foon, E James, S Law, A N Morgan, K Stevens

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Committees 2020-2021

Continuing Professional Development Committee

T McKenna [Chair], C Higgins, R Hudson, H Bassett, P Slipper

Elder & Succession Law Committee

A Wiss [Chair], J French, K McLagan, K Martin, VD Murray, S Llewellyn, G Groom, C Topfer [part year]

Pro Bono Referral Service

T Dargaville [Chair], C Bookless, C Higgins, J Hutchison, P Slipper, K Starkey, B Cassidy

Family Law Committee

M A Ryan [Chair], L Connelly, S Rofe, K Wylie, D Harper, M Scolyer, L Mollross, P Theobald, Z Dwyer

Wellbeing Committee

S Gates [Chair], C Scott, H Farquhar, R Irwin, S Harris, E White, C Mackie, M Williams, O Fisher, K Induni [part year]

Young Lawyers’ Southern Committee

S Ashby, L Ringwaldt [Co-Presidents], B Goh [Treasurer], R Holbrook [Secretary], G Morris [Communications and Social Media Officer], Z Dwyer [CPD Officer], A Clarkson [Social Co-ordinator]

Members: J Farmer, A Robinson-Herbert, C Denehy, S Harris, S Griffin, M Scolyer, E Law, E Burrows-Cheng

Young Lawyers’ Northern Committee

J Stewart [President], B Kurdistan [Vice-President], T Drew [Secretary], A Lonergan [Treasurer], A Pemberton [Social Function Coordinator], L Lim [Sponsorship and Marketing], S Cronin [CPD Co-ordinator], C Thomas, Z Lieutier, L Benjamin, M Williams, C Bailey, [general committee members]

Young Lawyers’ North-West Committee

A Scott [President], C Tregurtha [Vice-President], S Warren [Secretary], A Cawston [Treasurer], J Standaloft [CPD Co-ordinator], A Sharma, A Williams, H Bassett, C Johnson

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The Society’s Nominees on Other Bodies

Board of Legal Education

Law Council of Australia – Legal Practice Section

Australian Law Management Group – Executive Committee

F Beattie

Law Council of Australia – Equal Opportunity Committee

A Higgs

Law Council of Australia – Legal Practice Section

Australian Property Law Group – National Committee

A Bobbi

Law Council of Australia - Environment and Planning Law Group

J Feehely

Law Council of Australia - Finance and Risk Committee

R Foon

Law Council of Australia – Rural, Regional & Remote Committee

C Garwood (Co-chair)

Law Council of Australia – Futures Committee

C Garwood

Law Council of Australia – National Criminal Law Committee

P Morgan

Law Council of Australia – National Elder and Succession Law Committee

K McLagan

Law Council of Australia – National Electronic Conveyancing System Committee

A Bobbi

Law Council of Australia – Professional Ethics Committee

P Jackson SC

Law Council of Australia – Young Lawyers Committee

C Purcell

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The Society’s Nominees on Other Bodies

Legal Aid Commission

M Verney Council of Law Reporting

S Thompson

Law Foundation of Tasmania

S Gates [Chair], N Readett, D Nicol [part year], T McKenna, P Kuzis, M A Ryan, L Mackey, A. Thompson [part year], L O Rheinberger [Secretary]

Centre for Legal Studies

M Rapley, A Smith, A Thompson, L O Rheinberger [Secretary]

Solicitors’ Trust

P Kuzis, D Wallace

Legal Profession Board of Tasmania

G Jones, A Mihal

Associated Bodies

Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Tasmania

L Mollross [President], S Hunt [Vice-Chair North], J Hamilton [Vice-Chair North-West], S Harris [Secretary], T Freeman [Treasurer], R Van Meer, A Scott, M Scolyer, S Dalwood, H Bassett, C Burns, A Lydon, K Mussared, R Murray, C Jacobs, K Starkey, J Higgins

Tasmanian Women Lawyers

S Mead [President], A Kostezky [Vice-President], A Robinson-Herbert [Secretary], V Dawkins [Treasurer], G.McDonald [Membership Officer], S Holloway [North and North-West Representative], J Sabapathy [Australian Women Lawyers Director, L King-Roberts [Social Media], A Morton, A Burnell, L Sundram, B Davies, D Tan, M Morris, R Spencer, K Heap, M Figg, K Krushka, L Kelleher, Z Donnellan [General Committee].

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President’s Report

model. These moves put the future viability of the Centre for Legal Studies and its gold standard Tasmanian Legal Practice Course at risk; with the potential significant negative impacts this would inevitably have had on the competence and preparedness of newly admitted practitioners entering the profession.

The other major threat to legal education in Tasmania in this report year arose from changes to the delivery of the Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Tasmania and the related departure of a significant number of the highly experienced and credentialed academic teaching staff and support staff from the Law School. This culminated in what can only be described as a crisis in the first semester of 2022 where students were in some cases being deprived of the high standard of legal education that UTAS and the Law School has prided itself on for more than 125 years.

It is with pleasure that I present the Annual Report for the Law Society of Tasmania for the 2021/22 year. The Annual Report is an opportunity to report to the profession and stakeholders on the important work of the Society over the past year and the Society’s goals and financial circumstances.

This reporting period has seen the Society engaged in considerable advocacy and stakeholder engagement in relation to issues that directly or indirectly affect the legal profession and the administration of justice. Chief among those were emerging threats to the delivery and quality of legal education in Tasmania.

Threats to practical legal education and training in Tasmania arose primarily from a unilateral decision by the University of Tasmania not to renew the longstanding arrangement between the University and the Tasmanian Centre for Legal Studies for the delivery of the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course, and the insistence of the University on a two course per year delivery

Concurrently, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute experienced a reduction of in-kind support from the University which, accompanied by the very small amount of Government funding it receives, threatened the viability of the Institute. That it was able to continue to deliver high standard publications typical of its prevailing standard of excellence is a testament to those who remained committed to the work, even when that work came at personal cost.

Law Society Executive Director Luke Rheinberger and I first met with the then Dean of the Law School, Professor Michael Stuckey, in October 2021 to express concerns about recent and proposed developments relating to the Law School, the Tasmanian Legal Practice Court and the TLRI. This was the first of many meetings on behalf of the Society with representatives from the University over the following seven months. This included a meeting in late February between the ViceChancellor, Rufus Black, the Dean of the UTas Law School, Professor Michael Stuckey and other senior representatives of the University and a delegation including six other representatives of the Legal sector, namely the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Alan Blow AO; former Governor Professor Kate Warner AC FAAL; former Commonwealth DPP and former Chancellor of the University, Damian

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Bugg AM QC; DPP Daryl Coates SC; President of TasCAT Malcolm Schyvens and President of the Tasmanian Bar, Phillip Zeeman.

Some weeks after this meeting we received welcome news that the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course would again be delivered by the Centre for Legal Studies in cooperation with the University of Tasmania in 2023. The Tasmanian Legal Practice Course is regarded by many as the best on offer in Australia. Accordingly, its continuation was an important achievement by all those who supported and advocated for the Course throughout this period.

Due to persistence with recent changes to the delivery of the LLB at the Law School, including the abolition of face-to-face lectures and a continued loss of talented Law School academics and other staff, in late April, President of the Tasmania University Law Society, Fletcher Clarke and I wrote to UTAS Law School Alumni and members of the profession outlining our respective organisations’ concerns. Our letter included an invitation to sign an attached open letter to the University outlining our concerns with the intention of publishing it in the Mercury Newspaper. The letter was prepared with the assistance of senior members of the legal fraternity, for whose assistance we are very grateful.

Just prior to the date of intended publication of the open letter, which by that stage had been signed by 230 Utas Law School Alumni and senior members of the Tasmanian Legal Profession, the University communicated a change in its position and a willingness to address many of the Students’ and the Profession’s concerns.

We have since seen some very encouraging signs from leaders from within the University’s administration that there is a recognition of the importance of a strong collaborative relationship between the Law School and the Legal Profession. Under the leadership of the current Dean, Professor Gino Dal Pont, we have also seen vast improvements to the educational environment and corresponding student satisfaction within the Law School. The staff at the Law School and members of the profession and the Judiciary which support them should be commended on their efforts to overcome the challenges faced by students in some key subjects, ensuring that students were afforded the teaching opportunities they had missed earlier in the first semester.

While it will take time to properly rebuild the Law School, I am confident that this process is well underway and is in good hands.

In response to the threats to the viability of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI), the University of Tasmanian commissioned a review of the TRLI. The Review Panel’s recommendations, which the Society endorses, have the potential to reinvigorate the TLRI. The TLRI plays a crucial role in Tasmania as our only independent law reform body and the quality of its work and its remarkable output are a testament to the talent and commitment of those who dedicated their energy to its work, now and in the past.

The Society enjoys strong and constructive relationships with its many stakeholders. The Society has also engaged in stakeholder engagement and advocacy on a number of other issues relevant to access to justice and the administration of justice. These include:

• Working closely with Tasmania Legal Aid to address delays in grants of aid, which were causing financial strain for many members who take on a significant number of legally aided clients at a potentially significant financial cost to themselves given the high demand for legal work in other more highly paid areas;

• Working with Tasmania Legal Aid and the Tasmanian Bar Association to advocate for systemic changes which may help reduce the current Supreme Court Criminal Cases backlog;

• Working closely with the Department of Justice in relation to the development of a new Burnie Courts facility to ensure the professions concerns and those relevant to access to justice are carefully considered in relation to any decisions about the Court’s location and its facilities.

We have also worked hard to ensure that the Society has a strong voice in the media in relation to issues impacting on the Rule of Law and the administration of justice, including:

• Promoting the important role that the legal profession plays in ensuring Tasmania enjoys a safe, just and fair society;

• Education through media engagement around the importance of lawyer client privilege and confidentiality and the gravity

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of any threats to it; such as the recent bugging of lawyer-client meetings in the Risdon Prison by Tasmania Police;

• Encouraging members of the community who are interested in high profile legal cases to access judicial decisions that summarise the evidence and the law in the hope that members of the community are better informed and that confidence in our legal system may be maintained in the face of media campaigns by interest groups.

During this period the Society has continued its work and commitment to improving and supporting the wellbeing of members of the profession and of the Legal community more generally. The Society has continued to roll out its mandated sexual harassment and workplace safety training. I am pleased to report this is well ahead of schedule, with the expectation that all members of the profession will have completed the course by the end of the current CPD year.

The Society has also taken a further step towards implementing a reconciliation action plan with members of the Law Society Council and staff engaging in First Nations cultural awareness training, “Come Walk With Us”, in Launceston in September.

Other notable events this year included:

• 10 March 2022 - the Law Society, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross, hosted an excellent forum on legal and other issues arising from the Ukraine Crisis.  The forum was delivered in person from the Murray Street office and via Zoom to around 130 people including interstate and international attendees.  The Panel of Tasmanian subject-matter experts included Prof Tim McCormack, Dr Matt Killingsworth and Dr Tamara Wood and was moderated by barrister Regina Weiss.  The forum covered a range of issues including the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court and the international refugee crisis.

• In July I had the pleasure of launching a new book published by the Law Society “The Ultimate Survival Guide for Your First Year in Legal Practice”.  This book has been the culmination of hard work by the staff

of the Law Society, particularly Amal Cutler, and the many members of the profession who generously offered their time and energy to make very valuable contributions to its content.  The publication was also made possible due to a grant by the Law Foundation to cover the costs of publication.  The book is an excellent resource and I strongly recommend it to all new members of the profession.  I certainly hope that it helps early career lawyers in navigating the challenges of legal practice and I expect that it will answer many of the questions that are thrown up in the first year of practice.

The Society granted a total of 839 practising certificates in the 2021/22 financial year, which is approximately 48% more than were granted 10 years ago. The Society also enjoyed the support of 183 Associate Members. These numbers highlight the continued growth of the Tasmanian legal profession.

There were also 110 firms operating trust accounts across Tasmania who processed almost $12.8 billion in trust receipts. This demonstrates the high level of trust placed in the profession by individuals and businesses.

In September this year the Law Society of Tasmania, hosted the National Conference of Law Societies meetings of Law Society Presidents’ and Law Society CEOs’. These were held online and involved considerable work and preparation by all at the Law Society and I would like thank all those who made them a great success. These meetings were a great opportunity to share the experiences and wisdom of those from other jurisdictions, and work together in a synergistic way to achieve administration of justice goals and in supporting the profession.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the State Government for its appointment of a seventh Supreme Court Judge based in Burnie and the creation of two new Magistrate positions. A number of factors, including a rapidly growing population in Tasmania, continue to place strain on the capacity of our judicial system and these appointments are an important step towards meeting this increased demand.

Perhaps the greatest outstanding challenge to the capacity of our criminal justice system to cope with demand is inadequate numbers of experienced criminal defence lawyers. A number of structural issues are currently contributing to make criminal defence work less attractive than other areas of legal practice, including:

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• A large proportion of legally aided clients, meaning that criminal defence lawyers receive less remuneration for their work when compared with those who practice in other areas;

• Legal aid funding and associated comparatively low legal aid rates making the commercial viability of running a law firm which specialises in criminal defence work questionable;

• A historic reluctance for legal aid funding to be granted to cover both an instructing solicitor and counsel for criminal trials, meaning that it is difficult for senior practitioners who also practice in civil litigation and barristers to accommodate the demands of criminal defence work.

To some degree, criminal defence lawyers have been the forgotten players in our criminal justice system and I hope that the structural barriers outlined above can receive the attention they deserve.

I would like to acknowledge the significant contributions to the work of the Law Society by Evan Hughes and Trevor McKenna. Evan Hughes resigned from Council during this reporting period upon his appointment as a Magistrate after years of service to the Society, including as a past President of the Society, Chair of the Litigation Committee and a representative on the national Criminal Law Committee.

Trevor McKenna decided not to renominate for Council to make way for new members after many years of committed service, including as a recent President of the Society. Thankfully we will still have the benefit of Trevor’s ongoing contributions as Chair of the CPD Committee and as a member of the Family Law Committee.

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and significant contributions to the work of the Law Society of Ian Arendt who has not sought re-election to Council. Ian’s significant experience, particularly in respect of Criminal Law, has been invaluable, as has his contribution over many years to the Criminal Law Committee, including as its Chair.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the amazing, hardworking team at the Law Society of Tasmania. The output from this small team is simply outstanding. Working closely with this team for

the last twelve months has given me insight into the functions and roles that the Law Society fulfils and the magnitude of the work that this involves. I would like to thank all the Law Society staff for their efforts and commitment to the Society’s important work, and would particularly like to thank Luke Rheinberger, Jennifer Bradley and Shelley Harwood for the support they have given me in my role.

I would also like to thank all members of the Executive of Council for their support and for the support of the Law Society Council throughout the year. I would also like to thank Rohan Foon for his ongoing representation of the Law Society as its Director on the Law Council of Australia. With Rohan our interests are in good hands. I would again like to acknowledge and congratulate Shelley Harwood on reaching the milestone of 25 years working for the Law Society this year.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage members to support Speak Up! Stay ChatTY as the President’s nominated charity for this year.  If you are not aware of the important work of Speak Up! Stay ChatTY in promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention, I encourage you to contact them and find out about the various supports they can offer you and your workplace.

It has been an honour representing the Legal Profession as Law Society President over the last year and I look forward to seeing the continuation of the Society’s important work in the years to come.

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Treasurer’s Report

financial year we did see some increase in revenue generated from our CPD program as well as increase in revenue from practicing certificates. Our grant income is “in and out. The administration income fees have increased and now include payments for claims management services.

The expenses for the year were the sum of $2,484,513. The depreciation and amortisation expenses for the year was $82,430.

The accounting and audit fees have increased which includes consultant fees for this financial year and is made up of Collins SBA, Hobart Bookkeeping (who does the payroll), audit fees and BDO’s monthly retainer.

There was a net loss for the year for the sum of $61,022. Therefore, on a cash basis, the Law Society would have operated at a small profit of $21,408 (add back the sum of $82,430).

On behalf of the Law Society of Tasmania, I present the Society’s annual financial statements for the financial year ending 30 June 2022.

I acknowledge and thank the following people for their support and assistance:

• Mr Bruno Palermo, Collins SBA

• Mr John Zuleta, the Law Society of Tasmania

• Mr Luke Rheinberger, Executive Director of the Law Society of Tasmania

• Ms Francesca Beattie, Deputy Director of the Law Society of Tasmania

This year we have adopted a change in accounting policy where income received in advance such as practicing certificates is accounted for monthly and the administration fee calculated on the PII premium is also accounted for monthly.

The revenue for the year was $2,423,491. This was a great result for the Law Society and over the

The Law Society had Opteon Solutions provide an up-to-date valuation for the real estate in Hobart and Launceston. Staffordshire House is valued at $1,000,000 [was $700,000] and Murray Street is valued at $3,325,000 [was $1,750,000].

The cash position for the Law Society of Tasmania is $4,765,302 which is high but takes into account our cash flow budget and current reserves for liabilities.

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Annual Report of the Prescribed Authority 2021/2022

Presented to the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania

I am pleased to present this report to the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania (the Board) pursuant to Section 653(3) of the Legal Profession Act 2007 which requires the prescribed authority, to prepare and present to the Board a report on its operations for the previous financial year


The Tasmanian legal profession operates under a co-regulatory model. The Board is charged with overseeing complaints and discipline and the prescribed authority has responsibility for the regulation of practising certificates and trust accounts. External intervention is a shared responsibility. The appointment of an investigator of a law practice or a supervisor of trust money is the responsibility of the prescribed authority, whereas the appointment of a manager or receiver for a law practice is the responsibility of the Board.

The Legal Profession (Prescribed Authorities) Regulations 2018 commenced on 9 July 2018, replacing the 2008 version. The regulations appoint the Law Society as the prescribed authority for the purposes of some 129 separate parts of the Act. They include:

a. Regulation of practising certificates, including grant and renewal, the imposition of reasonable and relevant conditions, the amendment, suspension and cancellation of practising certificates

b. Maintaining a record of incorporated legal practices

c. The regulation of trust accounts

d. The appointment of investigators to law practices

e. The appointment of supervisors of trust money to law practices.

The Board is the prescribed authority for five parts of the Act. For purposes of this report the term ‘prescribed authority’ refers to the Law Society.

Funding of the Prescribed Authority

The functions of the prescribed authority form part of the operations of the Law Society. Those functions are funded by the Tasmanian legal profession, ostensibly by the payment of practising certificate fees.

Practising Certificate Regulation

A major role of the prescribed authority is the granting of new practising certificates and the annual renewal of existing certificates. The renewal process begins in May with renewal applications sent to individual practitioners. The majority of applications are renewed by the Executive Director under delegated authority. Any application that discloses a suitability issue, a failure to comply with continuing professional development requirements or is an application for the first time granting of a principal practising certificate is considered by the Council of the Law Society.

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The following classes and numbers of practising certificates were issued under the Act in the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022:

Principal and Employee



56 Corporate


78 Government




84 Volunteer

Community legal centre

6 Total


Section 41 of the Act states that an Australian lawyer engaged under the State Service Act, by a state, territory or commonwealth instrumentality, a local council or in a state or territory statutory office is taken to hold for the purposes of the Act and that employment, a practising certificate as a legal practitioner. The above figures therefore do not include practitioners who fall within section 41 including practitioners employed in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Solicitor-General and Tasmania Legal Aid.

Practising Certificate Conditions

All practising certificates are subject to conditions requiring compliance with continuing professional development obligations and requiring notice to the Law Society of a change of practice or residential address.

Conditions specific to each class of certificate in 2021-2022 were as follows:

• Principal

To complete the Law Society of Tasmania Sexual Harassment Changing Workplace Culture workshop by 30 April 2022.

• Employed Practitioner

The holder of the certificate is not entitled to and must not practice as a legal practitioner as either as a sole practitioner or in partnership with any other legal practitioner or as a Director of an incorporated legal practice.

• Barrister

The practitioner is entitled to practice as a barrister in Tasmania subject to compliance with the Legal Profession Act 2007.

To complete the Law Society of Tasmania Sexual Harassment Changing Workplace Culture workshop by 30 April 2022.

• Corporate

The practitioner must not engage in legal practice otherwise than by providing in house legal services to a corporation by which the lawyer is employed or to a related body corporate.

• Government

The holder of the certificate must not engage in legal practice otherwise than as a government lawyer engaged in government work.

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• Community Legal Centre

The holder is not to receive or hold any money of for any client. The holder is not to recover costs for the community legal centre for any client or any adverse party other than disbursements, professional fees or charges necessary for the successful carriage of the work of the client. Any disbursements, professional fees or charges received shall immediately be paid to the credit of the community legal centre.

• Locum

The practitioner is eligible to practice as a locum practitioner only.

• Volunteer

The certificate entitles the practitioner to engage in legal practice only as a volunteer at a complying community legal centre. Whilst acting in a voluntary capacity the practitioner:

i. Is to act only for clients of a complying community legal centre

ii. Must have professional indemnity insurance pursuant to a policy approved by the Law Society

iii. Is not to receive or hold any money for any client

iv. The practitioner is not to recover costs for the community legal centre from any client or from any adverse party other than disbursements, professional fees or charges necessary for the successful carriage of the work of the client. Any disbursements, professional fees or charges so received shall immediately be paid to the credit of the community legal centre

Additional Conditions

The Law Society has the power to impose practising certificate conditions which are reasonable or relevant –section 56(2) of the Legal Profession Act 2007. Typical additional conditions are the following:

a. Practitioners who transitioned to operating as a sole practitioner for the first time are subject to conditions appointing a mentor and additional conditions requiring regular meetings with that mentor as well as reporting to the Society. If operating a trust account, those practitioners were subject to a condition that a report from the Society’s trust accounting examiner be provided within certain time frames.

b. New principal practising certificate holders wishing to be a trust account signatory must complete the Legal Bookkeepers Institute trust accounting course.

c. A number of principal practitioners have a condition imposed that the practitioner was not authorised to receive trust monies. That condition does not relate to the honesty of the practitioner but is an acknowledgement that the practitioner does not intend to operate a trust account and requires further training before being authorised to do so.

d. Conditions requiring the obtaining of CPD points in excess of those required by Practice Guideline No. 4.

Regulation of Trust Accounts

Most, but not all law practices in Tasmania operate a trust account. Trust money is money entrusted to a law practice in the course of or in connection with the provision of legal services. Part 3.2 of the Legal Profession Act deals with trust money and trust accounts. Obligations relating to trust accounts are also in part 3 of the Legal Profession Regulations 2008.

The major obligation of the Law Society is to ensure that trust money is held by law practices in a way that protects the interests of persons for or on whose behalf that money is held. Every law practice that holds money in its general trust account must undergo an annual trust account examination by an authorised examiner. For some years all trust account annual examinations have been carried by the one examiner authorised by the Law Society. Use of the one trust account examiner ensures a consistency in approach to examinations and that the examiner has the relevant expertise and knowledge of legislative requirements. This has led to a marked improvement in compliance levels. Each examiner’s report is provided to the Law Society.

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Reports identify any breaches of the relevant Act or Regulations, any unsatisfactory practices and make general recommendations regarding the operation of the trust account, including appropriate best practice risk mitigation strategies.

The Law Society expends not inconsiderable resources in undertaking its statutory duties as the regulator of trust accounts. A trust account administrator is employed under the supervision of the Executive Director. The administrator’s role is to manage the administration of trust accounting reporting requirements including checking and recording quarterly returns with regards to the designated deposit account, the review and analysis of all external examination reports and reviewing other documents lodged with the Law Society such as the notification of irregularities, and the opening or closing of trust accounts.

The Law Society provides firms with online resources including an administration calendar and relevant forms. In addition, the Law Society’s authorised trust account examiner is retained to provide advice as and when needed to law practices or prospective law practices. Such advice may include advice of a technical nature or providing information as to the appropriate practice management/trust accounting system for a particular firm.

Cybercriminals targeting law practices continues to be of concern. The Law Society has made and will continue to make law practices aware of the risks and provide education and resources in how to deal with those risks.

Trust account examinations relate to a calendar year. The following information therefore relates to the 2018 to 2021 calendar years;

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021

Number of firms with trust accounts 104 106 103 110

Number of trust receipts 108,314 108,112 104,793 112,669

Total amount of trust receipts $9.2 billion $9.7 billion $9.5 billion $12.8 billion

Amount held on trust at 31 December $145 million $175 million $208.5 million $311.8 million

Amount held on investment at 31 December $100 million $76 million $68.5million $66.5 million

Incorporated Legal Practices

An incorporated legal practice is a corporation that engages in legal practice in Tasmania. An ILP is required to have at least one legal practitioner director. Before a corporation engages in legal practice in Tasmania it must give to the Law Society written notice, in an approved form of its intention to do so.

There are 64 Tasmanian law practices operating as ILP’s.

The Board is the prescribed authority for purposes of section 130 of the LPA – audit of incorporated legal practices, section 132 – banning of incorporated legal practices and section 133 – disqualification from managing an incorporated legal practice.

Suspension or Cancellation of a Practising Certificate

There were no suspensions or cancellations of practising certificates in the relevant period.

Growth of the Legal Profession

The 2020-2021 Annual Report noted that between 2011 and 2020 the number of solicitors in the private profession grew by 43%. The growth of the profession continued in 2021-2022, with the number of practising certificates issued to practitioners in firms increasing by 5%.

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Dealings with the Board

The Law Society dealt closely with the Board in the relevant period. Many issues experienced by law practices and by individual practitioners traverse the regulatory responsibilities of both organisations.

The Law Society wishes to thank the Board for its openness and willingness to communicate on matters of mutual interest and benefit to the legal profession in Tasmania.

In carrying out its functions as the prescribed authority in 2020-21 the Law Society sought to:

• Maintain public confidence in the legal profession

• Safeguard monies entrusted to law practices

• Ensure that those seeking to enter the profession or renew their practising certificate complied with the relevant character and fitness requirements of the Act

• Ensure that appropriate conditions were placed on practising certificates

• Maintain relevant records relating to ILP’s

Should the Board require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Society.

c.c. Attorney-General for Tasmania

20 Annual Report 2021/2022

Continuing Professional Development Committee

• The Society’s CPD policies and practice guidelines.

• Local, national, and international CPD reform and developments.

• Member participation and compliance in the mandatory CPD scheme.

• Review and assessment of the effectiveness of the Society’s CPD program.

For the reporting period the Society’s CPD program delivered approximately 77 hours (up from 61 hours in the 2019-2020 period) to 1,250 attendees. The sale of the Society’s CPD recordings increased from the previous reporting period by 140 per cent.

Additionally, the Society delivered 18 Sexual Harassment and Workplace Culture Workshop to over 350 practitioners.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee of the Law Society for the reporting period comprised the following members:

• Trevor McKenna – Ogilvie Jennings (Chair)

• Carey Higgins – Land Titles Office

• Robert Hudson – Butler McIntyre & Butler

• Peter Slipper – Barrister

• Helen Bassett – Walsh Day James Mihal

The CPD Committee has the added benefit and assistance of two ex-officio members:

• Francesca Beattie, Deputy Executive Director; and

• Amal Cutler, Professional Development Officer

The CPD Committee operates differently to the other committees of the Society. The other committees of the Society devote considerable time to assisting Council in areas of policy and law reform and the Society’s ongoing engagement with stakeholder groups. The focus of this committee is directed predominately to the Society’s regulatory functions as they relate to the mandatory CPD scheme. As such meetings involve consideration of the following:

Another aspect of the Society’s CPD program is the CPD Assist Scheme, offered to current holders of community and volunteer practising certificates, and pupil barristers in their first year of pupillage. The Scheme provides a discount when accessing CPD activities and includes inter alia free standalone Society CPD activities of one hour or less to a cap of 10 hours and substantially reduced registration fees for longer seminars, webinars, workshops, and conferences. Six centres accessed the scheme during this reporting period, receiving a total of 130 free CPD hours. Additionally, more than 30 per cent of eligible PC holders received significantly discounted registration fees to attend Society conferences.

I take this opportunity to thank each Committee member for their enthuasism and commitment to the work of the Committee.

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Criminal Law Committee

some of the Committees issues; and Establishing a sub –committee to address the Supreme Court trial backlog.

The Committee was also involved in the 2022 Criminal Law Conference which was held in March. Those who attended were the beneficiaries of the combined wisdom and experience of Gerard Dutton (ballistics), Justice Brett (judge alone trials), Shane Budden (Ethics) Magistrate Hartnett and Dr Michael Robertson ( Toxicology) and Dr Ian Freckelton AO SC (Expert reports and cross examination)

The success of the conference is reflected in it having been fully booked out beforehand and this would not have been possible without the considerable effort of Amal Cutler and others from the Law Society. On behalf of the Committee I thank them for their efforts.

For the 2021/2022 reporting period the Criminal law Committee had eight members made up of representatives from the private profession, the Bar, the Legal Aid Commission and State DPP.

The Committee chaired by Ian Arendt met four times to consider a number of issues that arose in relation to the criminal law as it is practised in Tasmania.

The more significant and important issues considered by the Committee arose from an invitations extended to the TLS to provide submissions in respect of the Family Violence Reference Bill and Justice and Related Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendment ) Bill 2020;

This required considering the Bills in detail, the impact of the proposed changes and if necessary to formulate a submission in response.

Other work on the Committees agenda including:

Addressing a number of issues between criminal law practitioners and the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania including the time it was taking to obtain a grant of aid. The Committee expresses its gratitude to Vincenzo Caltabiano and James Oxley for taking the time listening to and addressing

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Employment, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The EDI Committee continues to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, as well as representing those who practise in the area of employment law and related fields. This year, Craig Green has assisted in Chairing a number of meetings while I have been away on personal leave. His assistance is very much appreciated.

At the end of the last Committee year, we bid farewell to long-time committee member and past Chair, Audrey Mills. Audrey’s work on the committee was invaluable, and it is in large part because of her patient advocacy and quiet tenacity that the Committee (both in its current format and its previous iteration as the Employment and Equal Opportunity Committee) has been able to achieve what it has.

As in previous years, much of the Committee’s work continues to focus on sexual harassment both in the legal profession and in workplaces generally. The issue remains a prominent one in the broader community and, as such, it is appropriate that the Committee assists the LST to remain ahead of the legal and cultural developments occurring in this space. Of

particular importance are the recommendations of the Respect@Work report, which the Labor Government committed in its election campaign to implement in full. The Committee has identified a number of the recommendations which are especially pertinent to the legal profession and will be providing feedback and support to the LST in ensuring appropriate steps are taken for the profession to meet its obligations in this regard.

In September 2022, the Committee hosted its most successful Employment Law Conference to date, with approximately 50 attendees – the highest number of registrations yet. Thanks, as ever, to Amal Cutler for her work in coordinating the event. In last year’s annual report the Committee indicated its intention to conduct a comprehensive survey of the profession. Although it is yet to be rolled out, preparation of the survey has been a major focus for the Committee in 2022 and significant efforts are being made to ensure that the data captured is as accurate and helpful as possible. The survey will be conducted in stages, with the first stage to focus on salary and income, which we hope to roll out before the end of the year.

In terms of submissions and feedback, this year the Committee has assisted the LST to respond to a range of proposals and draft policies, including changes to the Fair Work Commission Rules and Sexual Harassment Benchbook, the LST Covid Vaccine Policy and Covid Safety Plan, the Law Council of Australia’s “Tools for Rural, Regional and Remote Practitioners”, and the Fair Work Commission’s Online Proceedings Framework and Participant Guide.

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Property and Commercial Law Committee

I would like to thank the staff of the Law Society and, in particular, Francesca Beattie (Saturno). They have always provided excellent support for the Committee and kept it moving forward.

The Committee has had a busy year in law reform. We have reviewed and made submissions on the foreign investor land tax surcharge, Duties Act amendments and the legislation to replace for the code of practice for retail tenancies.

We have also continued to progress the review of the standard form contract for sale of real estate in Tasmania. The Committee hopes to have a final draft available for distribution to the profession later this year.

There has been ongoing dialogue with the State Revenue Office and the Land Titles Office about increasing and improving their published guidance for the profession. Both offices have significantly improved their guidance in recent years with the Committee’s assistance.

The impending introduction of e-settlements will continue to keep the Committee busy over the next couple of years.

The Committee’s substantial workload and output has been recognised with the Outstanding Committee’s Award, along with the Elder & Succession Law Committee.

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Wellbeing Committee

It is with pleasure that I provide the annual report of the Wellbeing Committee. The Wellbeing Committee was established by Council last year and we are fortunate to have a very talented committee who is enthusiastic and dedicated to our important work.

Over the past year the Committee has been working towards implementing the various aspect of its Strategic plan, which was approved by Council during this reporting year.

Much of the work of the Wellbeing Committee this year has been in consulting with the profession to both gain feedback on the work the Committee has begun and is planning and to gain a better understanding of the wellbeing issues facing our members and members of the Legal Community more generally. For example, the Wellbeing Committee participated in two constructive and informative meetings with representatives of the Young Lawyers Committees discussing issues and challenges facing early career lawyers. The idea of setting up a new mentoring or support programme has evolved out of these meetings and the

initiative was generally welcomed when discussed at the recent Leaders Forums held in Hobart and Launceston.

Considerable work has been done on the development of the Wellbeing webpage and we expect that will be ready for launching shortly. A new exit survey for members leaving the profession or the private profession has been developed which we hope will give the Committee and the Society greater insight into the reasons why people are leaving the profession.

The Committee has continued its work on strengthening and broadening the work of the Senior Practitioner’s List by increasing the number of practitioners on the List and extending the scope of its work to wellbeing support.

We have also advanced our review the Society’s EAP support and we have engaged with alternative service providers and we are currently considering interim proposals from two providers.

Finally, I would like to thank current members of the Committee Catherine Scott, Emma White, Rebecca Irwin, Craig Mackie, Harriett Farquhar, Suzanne Harris, Merrilyn Williams and Jade Standaloft for their dedication and hard work to-date.

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Elder and Succession Law Committee

the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2021, the Wills Act 2008 (Tas), the Power of Attorney Act 2000 (Tas), the Guardianship & Administration Act 1995 (Tas), and the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act 1884 (Tas) - so that the term “in the presence of” includes remotely in the presence of by way of audio-visual link.

Duty Exemption – Transfer of Motor Vehicles

The Committee continues to work on this issue and has reviewed similar legislation in other states. A representative of the committee has contacted the Treasury department who were not very helpful. The committee will now approach the Department of Justice to see what other options are available.

Practice Issues

The Elder and Succession Law Committee currently has six members and meets on average every 6-8 weeks. The Chairperson in the reporting year is Alison Wiss. The Committee has had another productive and busy year meeting with government departments and writing submissions on legislation and other matters as set out in further detail below.

Law Reform Issues

National Register for Enduring Powers of Attorney. As a result of the submissions made by various state and territory law councils to the AttorneyGeneral’s Department on the National Register last reporting year, there has been a change of focus on establishing uniform national legislation prior to the implementation of a National Register. The change in Federal Government has delayed further action on this topic.

Covid 19

• Electronic Transactions Regulations 2021

• Remote Witnessing & Signing of documents

Kimberley Martin of the Committee prepared a letter to the Department of Justice and a paper, Technology and Wills – the Dawn of a New Era. The letter, outlines the case for reform of relevant Acts -

Office of Births, Deaths & Marriages

Even though an information sheet defining “Senior Next of Kin” (SNOK) was sent to all Tasmanian funeral directors last year by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages there seems to be no interest by the majority of the funeral directors to make any enquiries as to whether a will exists and if there is, who the executor may be or to verify any of the information they are provided in relation to the deceased. The Committee also contacted the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) in relation to the issue. The Executive Officer said that their Tasmanian members will undertake a review of their procedures in regard to identifying / investigating SNOK and ensure that all funeral arrangers are aware of the definition of SNOK. AFDA Tasmanian members welcome any best practice guidelines that the Committee develops and are happy to assist with this process.

The current form to give permission for cremation was created by the Director of Local Government and does not have any legal sway. Anne Owen, the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages is very supportive of the committee’s suggested stricter

26 Annual Report 2021/2022

requirements for funeral directors including changing the current form completed by funeral directors on behalf of next-of-kin to a Statutory Declaration as well as formal verification of identity of next-of-kin.

Independent Review of the Public Trustee-the Bugg Review

The Committee prepared a substantial submission on this matter to Damian Bugg QC in the last reporting year and had a meeting with him to further discuss the submission this year. The Bugg Review has been released and was reviewed by the Committee in light of the submission made by it. The Committee wrote to the Tasmanian Attorney General enquiring as to the progress of the government’s development of a framework to address each of the findings, and any timelines attaching to the implementation of recommendations, given the gravity of the findings overall. The Committee expressed the Society’s concern that several of its submissions were not, in its view adequately addressed by the Report. In particular the need for robust and truly independent regulation of the practise of law at the Public Trustee. More particularly, it related to the status of lawyers working for the Public Trustee; the performance of legal functions by non-lawyers; and the practical implications of the Legal Profession Act ‘carve out’ provisions in section 13, particularly if government is to retain a commercial GBE model. In short, there appears to be no justification for treating the Public Trustee any differently to any private legal practice, from a public interest perspective

Professional Development

Annual conference organised by a sub committee of the committee and the Law Society on 12th August 2022. The seminar was a combination of virtual speakers from the mainland and speakers in person and had a record attendance The committee is most grateful to Amal Cutler of the Law Society for her assistance.

Work with Related Organisations

National Elder & Succession Law Committee: Kristen McLagan is the Society’s representative on the Committee.

Australian Taxation Office

A representative of the ATO attended a meeting of the committee this year to listen to solicitors’ experience with the ATO in relation to deceased estates. A key recurring theme from feedback is that practitioners are routinely experiencing communication issues with the ATO in dealing with deceased estates, including difficulty contacting an informed official and inefficient and time-consuming processes. The Committee has suggested that it would be worthwhile if the ATO had a specialised department that handled deceased estates which would lead to increased efficiencies as their staff would have a better understanding of what information lawyers required in the administration of estates. Whilst there has been follow up email correspondence between the chair of the committee and the ATO they do not agree about a specialised department and there appears to be no resolution in sight.

As at 22/08/2022 the ATO has released changes to accessing client information by an improved automated process, called COREngine . The letter from the Legal Profession Relationship’s division of the ATO declares that it will provide us with a more responsive, client-focused service and allows us to request individual client’s income tax returns, notices of assessments and payment summaries or income statements, for the 2010 income year onwards. Unfortunately, this service is not available for deceased estates

Banking Industry

• Deceased Estates – Independent Review into the Banking Code

The committee responded to the Law Council’s request for input into a submission to the Banking Code Compliance Committee’s inquiry into Banks compliance with Chapter 45 of the Banking Code of Practice. The Inquiry is to cover how banks comply with their obligations under the Code regarding the process of managing the accounts of a deceased customer.

• CBA Fact Sheet on Enduring Powers of Attorney

Several members of the legal profession contacted the committee to advise that they had noticed a change of banking policy with respect to Enduring Powers of Attorneys and additional documentation being required.. As a result of

27 Annual Report 2021/2022

the Committee communicating with CBA , CBA has prepared a fact sheet on EPOA’s in Tasmania and its requirements. This occurrence instigated the Committee to hold a session at its recent Conference about why there have been changes in the banking industry in relation to EPOA’s

Legal Education

Kimberley Martin submitted an article to the Law Letter.


The Committee is grateful to the staff of the Law Society, particularly Francesca Beattie, Jennifer Bradley and Amal Cutler for their assistance in preparation of agendas, minutes and correspondence and for their assistance with organisation of CPD Seminars.

28 Annual Report 2021/2022

Pro Bono Committe

Individuals, and some organisations, can apply for assistance from the Pro Bono Referral Service. Eligible organisations include ‘not for profit’ and community groups whose purpose is primarily charitable and who can demonstrate a financial need, as well as satisfying other aspects of the eligibility criteria. Demand for the Referral Service has continued to grow with the number of applications received this year increased compared with the previous two years, which is perhaps indicative of post COVID emergence.

The Committee continues to be grateful for the pro bono work that so many Law Society members do as part of their wider professional responsibility. This delivers much needed assistance to vulnerable members of our community who are experiencing hardship and have an eligible legal matter. The Committee is always keen to increase the number of available practitioners/firms willing to contribute to the Referral Service. If you are interested in assisting, please contact the Law Society.

An award is bestowed annually to a practitioner and/or a firm in recognition of time provided and

dedication to this important and valuable service. This award is presented at the annual Opening of the Legal Year Dinner – we congratulate David Wilson of the Australian Government Solicitor’s Office who won the award this year.

The Committee has formed a working group to review the current application process in order to make it more user friendly for applicants. Applications are detailed and lengthy and the Committee would like to acknowledge the valuable support of David Wilson, Naomi Richards and Maria Pappas of the Australian Government Solicitor’s Office, who provide a detailed summary of each application.

As Chair, I take this opportunity to thank committee members Brett Cassidy, Carey Higgins, Jane Hutchison, Peter Slipper, Kirsten Starkey and Claire Bookless for their time and dedication, and also Luke Rheinberger and his team for their efficient administration of Committee business.

29 Annual Report 2021/2022

Litigation Committee

The committee’s purpose is to provide specialist advice to the Society on matters relating to civil litigation in Tasmania. Self-evidently, that is an extremely broad area and the subject matter that comes before the committee for consideration can be varied, complex and often with added time pressures. As it has consistently done, the committee in the reporting year met those challenges with diligence and enthusiasm.

Prior to the new committee being instituted in May 2022, the committee consisted of Evan Hughes (Chair), Amanda Thompson, Luke Taylor, Alex Cordova, Andrew Buckley, Sam McCullough, Edward Burrows-Cheng, Eve Hickey, Aysha Williams and Claire Wong.

After 15 years of sitting on the committee and its predecessor, the Tasmanian Bar Association, Evan Hughes indicated he would not continue with the committee, which has incorporated the role of Chair in recent years. Subsequently, Mr Hughes was appointed to the Magistrates Court of Tasmania. He has played a huge hand in driving the terrific work undertaken by the committee for many years. On behalf of past and present committee members, I again express our sincere gratitude for Mr Hughes’ tireless work on the committee and our warmest congratulations on his appointment to the Magistrates Court.

Similarly, Amanda Thompson did not seek reappointment to the committee this year. Again, she was an active and productive member of the committee for a number of years, and contributed significantly to the work of the committee in that time.

A major project that has been underway for some time is a review of the Supreme Court Scale of Costs, and that was a major part of the committee’s considerations this year. Andrew Buckley has principally led that project, which has the aim of developing a scale that is simpler, clearer and more relevant to modern practice. Other matters have included the development of a Standard Costs Agreement, and an ongoing project with the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association, to develop guidelines which are intended to assist with many of the points of interaction between the professions, such as accessing patient medical records (and the costs involved), family law issues and also guardianship matters.

In conjunction with the Society’s Professional Development Officer, Amal Cutler, the committee was also responsible for the Litigation Conference held at Crowne Plaza on 12 November 2021. The event was a great success, and the organisers again successfully dealt with the challenges of holding such an event with the challenges presented by COVID-19. About one third of attendees completed a post-event survey, and the blended rating for the event was 4.6/5. The feedback for the event was generally positive, with matters to consider including more streamed content and the diversity of the presenters.

The current iteration of the committee has a number of new, eager and enthusiastic faces, and it is hard at work on a number of new projects relevant to civil litigation in Tasmania.

30 Annual Report 2021/2022

Family Law Commitee

The committee is comprised of:

• Mary Anne Ryan (Chair)

• Sally Rofe

• Kristen Wylie

• David Harper

• Linda Connolly

• Trevor McKenna

• Meghan Scolyer

• Peter Slipper

• Hugo Aston

Presently, we have a committee of mixed seniority and experience in family law work, which affords us a variety of views and insights.

Following the creation of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFAOA) last year, members have been adapting to the new Rules and procedures. The committee organised a CPD to assist members delivered by Registrar Weidmann and Senior Judicial Registrar Fitzgerald. It would be fair to say it took some months for practitioners to become comfortable and confident with the new environment. It has resulted in additional work, particularly when filing or responding to proceedings; the committee has been engaging with Tasmania Legal Aid in respect of the appropriate grants for work

undertaken in accordance with the new Rules.

Through direct feedback and through submissions to the Law Council of Australia, the Committee has communicated our thoughts to improve the operation of the Rules.

Tasmania Legal Aid recently released its Independent Children’s Lawyer Practice Standards and Guidelines, the document is very comprehensive and has been received well throughout the country. The committee congratulates Tasmania Legal Aid on this initiative. As noted in last year’s report the Guidelines will provide a touchstone not just for Independent Children’s Lawyers, but for all lawyers. Our Committee was pleased to provide input and feedback during the creation of the Practice Guidelines and Standards.

The Practice Standards and Guidelines in respect of Separate Representatives is in the consultation phase. Our committee has provided input into the process of drafting the document and is presently in the process of providing feedback to Tasmania Legal Aid on the draft circulated.

As Chair I have attended a presentation by the FCFCOA on the new Major Complex Financial Proceedings List in October 2021.

The definition of “family violence” varies considerably between justifications, in so much as what conduct constitutes family violence, who is recognised as a person eligible for protection under family violence laws and what class of people may be restrained under those laws. The Law Council of Australia formerly adopted its Model Definition of Family Violence in November 2021. Our Committee provided feedback on the document and we support the introduction of a consistent definition for use in all jurisdictions. A definition of family violence is not confined to family law, it touches many other areas of law and will require negotiation between all jurisdictions.

We have held two CPD events, our first referred to above. The second was on Family Violence

31 Annual Report 2021/2022

perpetrated by adolescents. Our guest speakers were Inspector Phil Curtis of Tasmania Police and Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, associate professor of Criminology in the school of Social Sciences at Monash and the Director of Monash Gender and Family Violence Centre. This is a fascinating area of research and provides a very pertinent example of the gaps in our laws that see some jurisdictions under family violence laws protect family members who have been affected by violence towards them from adolescent perpetrators and other states –such as Tasmania = that do not. Outgoing Police Commissioner Darren Hine recently identified this as an issue in need of review.

Trevor McKenna joined the executive of the Family Law Section (FLS) of the Law Council of Australia, and we are grateful to him for keeping our Committee appraised of the work of the FLS which has enabled us to provide direct feedback at our meetings.

The committee continues to work in partnership with the Family Law Practitioners Association to advocate for our members on matters touching on family law and child protection.

Registrar Andrew Weidmann retired this year. We acknowledge the extraordinary hard work and commitment to litigants and practitioners alike shown by Registrar Weidmann. In line with the restructuring of the litigation pathway brought about by the creation of the FCFCOA, a Senior Judicial Registrar position based in Tasmania was created and the profession welcomed the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald to that position. A Judicial Registrar position was also created and again the profession welcomed the appointment of Edwina Gelston to the role. Both positions are national appointments and Mr Fitzgerald and Ms Gelston case manage lists and matters interstate as well as in Tasmania. It has been a pleasure to appear before them and we acknowledge the significant work load their roles with the Court entail.

Our committee will focus heavily on education of family law practitioners over the year ahead commencing with a tailored half day seminar in the northwest.

32 Annual Report 2021/2022

Southern Young Lawyers Committee

Our membership base remains strong and we are currently well on the way to implementing a state wide Constitution for early career/young lawyer committees beginning next year. This is something we have been working on since the beginning of our term and have been working carefully with the North and North West Young Lawyer Committees and the Law Society to achieve this. We are also collaborat ing with the other statewide committees to achieve consistent branding across the state, and we have agreed with the Law Society that the SYLC term should align with other committees rather than by calendar year.

In 2022 the Southern Young Lawyers returned for a year of facilitating some good times for younger members of the legal profession. But as always, we would like to remind all that everybody in the legal profession is welcome to attend SYLC events.

We gained some new members on the committee and lost some long-standing members including Jake Farmer and Alinta Robinson-Herbert, who we would like to thank for their years of dedicated service to SYLC.

We were particularly encouraged by how well attended our three major social events were. Our flagship Quiz Night at the Duke of Welling ton Hotel was a big hit as usual in June with a fantastic attendance from the profession, and our Easter Long Lunch at Dana Eating House was another thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. We also had another successful year of Golden Gavel at the Grand Poobah which saw Scott take home the prize and flights to compete in the national competition in Canberra on the 19 November this year. Thank you to Magistrate Hartnett, Nic Edmondson and Ali Sawyer for providing their judging expertise on the night.

We are bringing back regular social drinks on Wednesday afternoons in lieu of the more formal lunch time meeting. These events were and continue to be well attended and provide an opportunity for a more relaxed forum in which we can share our ex periences and provide guidance and support to one another. We encourage all from the profession to attend and we advertise these on our social media accounts.

Our CPD program continues strongly and the events we hosted were a resounding success. We would like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of our CPD Officer Zoey Dwyer, as well as all the speakers and presenters and the team at the Law Society who made our events possible.

We continue to look for ways to improve engage ment with the profession and improving connections between younger practitioners and more senior mentors. We encourage all lawyers who wish to con tribute to the development of early career lawyers to attend our meetings, social events, and connect with the committee so that we can continue to provide opportunities for mentorship and guidance for re cent entrants into the legal profession.

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Northern Young Lawyers Committee

support and sponsorship of this event, which is always a huge success. We also extend our thanks to our hosts, Hannah Phillips and Patrick O’Halloran.

The Committee also formally welcomed a number of new practitioners to Launceston at our annual Meet and Greet. Whilst we may be smaller than other parts of the state, we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and supportive group and it is pleasing to see the continuing growth of early career lawyers in Launceston.

As the weather warms up, we look forward to celebrating another successful year at our end of year lunch in November.

2022 has been another fantastic year for the Northern Young Lawyers Committee. Despite Covid-19 again briefly interrupting our social calendar at the beginning of the year, the 2022 Committee were up to the task.

A testament to the collegial nature of the Northern profession, we were incredibly grateful to welcome several members of the judiciary to present our 2022 Northern Young Lawyers lecture series. We extend our sincere thanks to Magistrate Simon Brown, Judge Shaun McElwaine and Magistrate Evan Hughes for sharing their time and knowledge with us.

A primary focus for the 2022 Committee was once again our social events. After having to postpone our first event if the year, we began with our mid-year lunch. Introduced in 2021, our second mid-year lunch was just as successful as the inaugural event. Timed to perfection, we were excited to welcome Tasmanian Legal Practice students, completing their placements in the North, to join us. We extend our thanks to Rohan Foon for sharing his knowledge and words of encouragement with attendees.

We continued the fun with our annual Trivia Night. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service narrowly defeated Douglas & Collins for bragging rights. The Committee would like to thank Douglas & Collins for their ongoing

The Committee also welcomed the opportunity to consult with the Wellbeing Committee, and the Society more broadly, throughout 2022. Many excellent ideas were proposed, and we look forward the seeing those ideas implemented in the near future.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 2022 Committee. We have said farewell to a number of long-standing members in the last two years, taking with them significant institutional knowledge. Despite being a relatively new group of young lawyers, you embody what makes Launceston great and I have no doubt the Committee is in safe hands moving forward. I encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved to reach out and join us at our next meeting.

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North-West Young Lawyers Committee

For the 2021/2022 committee year, I stepped into the role of President alongside Callum Tregurtha as Vice-President, Sophie Warren as Secretary, Amy Cawston as Treasurer, and Jade Standaloft as CPD Coordinator.

As a Committee, we would like to thank Callum Purcell for his two years of service as President of the North-West Young Lawyers (NWYL) Committee. We are incredibly grateful to Callum for his leadership through what has been a challenging few years during the pandemic. We would also like to thank Donna Allen who has also been committed to executive roles within the Committee and we look forward to her return from maternity leave.

Our year commenced with our biggest social event, the annual “UTAS Legal Practice Course North-West Trip”, as it is now commonly known. Building on the success of the event in 2021, in March this year we welcomed a large group of students undertaking their Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Centre for Legal Studies to encourage them to join us on the north-west coast on completion of training. We commenced the day in Ulverstone where we spoke with Glynn Williams, Joanna Dean, Anthony Mihal and Helen Bassett who each provided valuable insight into their law

firms, life in and beyond the law on the North-West coast, and what attracted each of them to choose to establish a lifelong commitment to the region. We then indulged in a riverside lunch at Buttons Brewery before the tour shifted along the coast to Devonport for a guided tour of the Devonport Magistrates Court and a valuable discussion with Magistrate Leanne Topfer and Court Registrar Cathryn McCaffrey. The trainees then joined the NWYL and several members of the north-west profession for a speakers panel with Simon Gates, Ryan Gilmour, Kirsten Abercromby and Jacinta Hamilton. Each speaker provided their unique take on establishing their careers in the region as well as providing their own tips for entering the profession. This was then followed by an evening with the profession for dinner and drinks. It was a great night had by all and it was pleasing that a number of members of the Launceston based profession joined us for the evening. The Committee extends our thanks to all who contributed as well as the Law Society and Centre for Legal Studies for their continued support, engagement and promotion of the event which continues to grow each year.

Our social calendar next takes us to the 2022 NWYL Quiz night that will be hosted again by our knowledgeable quiz masters Julia Ker and Kirsten Abercromby. We know that all teams are gearing up to ensure that our reigning winners, Walsh Day James Mihal, have a challenge on their hands if they intend to take home (or back to the office) a back to back win.

As CPD coordinator, Jade Standaloft has ensured that we have had the opportunity to learn from some of the North West Coast’s most experienced and accomplished in our CPD lecture series. Together with thanking Jade for her efforts, we thank Magistrate Duncan Fairley, Matthew Verney, and Kirsten Abercromby who have all supported and been involved in our CPD program. Another important milestone in the CPD space was the launch of the Early Career Lawyer Guide which will no doubt be an invaluable tool for those entering the profession in years to come.

35 Annual Report 2021/2022

The 2021/2022 year also saw the three Young Lawyer Committees come together to work on governance matters and key issues presently impacting early career lawyers across Tasmania. This has included meeting with the Law Society Wellbeing Committee on a number of occasions to discuss a collective approach to wellbeing and we look forward to continuing this work moving forward. All three regions have also worked together with the support of the Law Society to draft a constitution to regulate our committees. The collective approach to the drafting has seen us work towards a state-wide membership definition that increases the eligibility of our members to 7 years post admission experience. We hope that this change will assist with cohesion within the profession for early career lawyers and begin to address the attrition rate for lawyers at the 5 year mark. We look forward to launching the finalised constitution towards the end of the year.

The year would not have been the success it was without the tireless work of Callum Tregurtha, Sophie Warren, Jade Standaloft and Amy Cawston. I thank you very much for your work and your ongoing commitment to ensuring there is a welcoming community for early career lawyers on the North West Coast.

36 Annual Report 2021/2022
Practitioners South North North-West Other Total Sole Principals 66 19 25 110 Partners/Directors 2 7 7 0 14 3 2 1 0 3 4 1 0 1 2 5 3 0 0 2 6 2 0 0 2 8 1 0 0 1 9 2 0 0 2 TOTAL FIRMS 84 27 26 137 Principal Practitioner 143 36 29 208 Employed Practitioner 257 62 34 2 355 Community Legal Practitioner 49 13 3 1 66 Volunteer Community Legal Cente 2 2 0 4 Corporate Practitioner 71 2 2 6 81 Locum Practitioner 0 0 0 0 Government Practitioner 11 5 0 1 17 TOTAL 533 120 68 10 731 Barristers South North North-West Total Queen’s and Senior Counsel 12 0 0 12 Junior Counsel 32 4 4 40 TOTAL BARRISTERS 44 4 4 52 Total Practitioners 783 Associate Members 183 Firms South North North-West Total Sole Prinicpals 43 16 13 72 Partnerships 6 4 0 10 Incorporated Legal Practice 40 9 15 64 Total Firms * 89 29 28 146 * Included are firms without a principal based in Tasmania and branch offices of Tasmanian Firms 37 Annual Report 2021/2022 The Private Legal Profession in Tasmania as at 30 September 2022

The Private Legal Profession in Tasmania

Practising Certificate Type Total Issued Principal Practitioner 215 Employed Practitioner 376 Community Legal Practitioner 89 Volunteer Community Legal Cente 7 Corporate Practitioner 81 Locum Practitioner 1 Government Practitioner 14 TOTAL 839 38 Annual Report 2021/2022
Practising Certificates Issued 1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022

The Law Society of

39 Annual Report 2021/2022
Tasmania Financial Statements 30 June 2022
Annual Report 2021/2022


79 607



Note 2022 $ 2021 $

Revenue 9 2,423,491 1,709,647 Expenses 10 2,484,513 1,663,920 SURPLUS/(DEFICIT) FOR THE YEAR (61,022) 45,727



The accompanying notes form part

these financial statements.

41 Annual Report 2021/2022
763 856


79 607 763 856


AT 30 JUNE 2022

Note 2022 2021 $


Cash and Cash Equivalents



Property, Plant and Equipment





2,752,959 2,542,911

4,764,143 5,065,521 Receivables

7,517,102 7,608,432

4,381,239 2,522,833

4,381,239 2,522,833

11,898,341 10,131,265

349,849 599,989

Current Tax Liabilities 95,611 102,052






3,790,651 4,060,682

1,100,901 685,191 Other Liabilities

5,337,012 5,447,914

5,337,012 5,447,914

6,561,329 4,683,351

PII Reserve 372,508 372,508

Asset Revaluation Reserve 2,421,091 482,091

Accumulated Society Funds 3,767,730 3,828,752


6,561,329 4,683,351

The accompanying

these financial statements.

42 Annual Report 2021/2022
notes form part of



Accumulated Society Funds $

PII Reserve $ Asset Revaluation Reserve $

Total $

Balance at 30 June 2020 3,783,025 372,508 482,091 4,637,624

Surplus/(Deficit) for the year 45,727 45,727 Other Comprehensive Income for the year Total Comprehensive Income for the year 45,727 45,727

Balance at 30 June 2021 3,828,752 372,508 482,091 4,683,351

Surplus/(Deficit) for the year (61,022) (61,022) Other Comprehensive Income for the year Total Comprehensive Income for the year (61,022) (61,022)

Balance at 30 June 2022 3,767,730 372,508 482,091 4,622,329

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements.

43 Annual Report 2021/2022


Note 2022 $ 2021 $


Receipts from Operations 1,678,440 8,072 Payments to Suppliers & Employees (2,234,356) (1,226,099) Interest Received 49,370 49,195

Grant Income Receipts 207,004 986,103



Payments for Property, Plant and Equipment (1,836) (105,541)


Net (Decrease)/Increase in Cash and Cash Equivalents (301,378) (288,270) Cash and Cash Equivalent at the Beginning of the Year 5,065,521 5,353,791 C CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT THE END OF YEAR 2 4 4,764,143 5,065,521

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements.

44 Annual Report 2021/2022




The Council have prepared the financial report on the basis that the Society is a non reporting entity because there are no users dependent on general purpose financial report. This financial report is therefore special purpose financial report prepared s pecifically for distribution to members in accordance with the Law Society By Laws 1994 made under the Legal Professional Act 1993

The financial statements have been prepared on an accruals basis and are based on historic costs and do not take into account changing money values or, except where stated specifically, current valuations of non current assets.

The following significant accounting policies, which are consistent with the previous period unless otherwise stated, have been adopted in the prepar ation of these financial statements.

( (a) I Income Tax

No provision for income tax has been raised as the entity is exempt from income tax.

(b) R Revenue

Revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable after taking into account any discounts or volume rebates allowed. For this purpose, deferred consideration is not discounted to present values when recognising revenue.

Grant or donation income is recognised when the entity obtains control over the funds. If conditions are attached to the grant that must be satisfied before the Association is eligible to receive the contribution, recognition of the grant as revenue will be d eferred until those conditions are satisfied.

Interest revenue is recognised in the period in which it is earned.

All revenue is stated net of the amount of goods and services tax.

(c) C Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents includes cash on hand, deposits held at call with banks, and other short term highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less.

(d) A Accounts Receivable and Other Debtors

Accounts receivable and other debtors are expected to be collected within 12 months o f the end of the reporting period are classified as current assets.

Accounts receivable and other debtors are recognised at the nominal transaction value without taking into account the time value of money. All other receivable s are classified as non current assets.

45 Annual Report 2021/2022



(e) P Property, Plant and Equipment

Land and Buildings

Land and buildings are carried at their fair value less depreciation (excluding land content). The fair value of land and buildings have been determined by reference to independent valuations as at 30/06/2022. The property at 28 Murray Street, Hobart was deemed to have a market value of $3,250,000 by independent property valuers Opteon, while the Staffordshire House at 54A 56 Charles Street, Launceston was deemed to have a market value of $1,000,000 by Opteon Property Group. These revaluations take no account of potential capital gains tax.

Plant and Equipment

Plant and equipment and leasehold improvements are brought to account at cost less any accumulated depreciation. The carrying amount of fixed assets is reviewed annually to ensure it is not in excess of the recoverable amount of these assets. The recoverable amount is assessed on the basis of expected net cash flows which will be received from the assets employment and subsequent disposal.

Depreciation and Amortisation

The Society adopts the straight line method of depreciating buildings and leasehold improvements and amortising intangible assets over the asset’s useful life to the Society commencing from the time the asset is held ready for use.

Motor vehicles are depreciated using the diminishing value method over the asset’s useful life to the Society commencing from the time the asset is held ready for use.

Plant and equipment are depreciated using a combination of both the straight line and diminishing value methods.

The depreciation rates used for each class of depreciable assets are:

Class of Fixed Assets

Depreciation Rate

Land and Buildings 2.5%

Plant and Machinery 2 40%

Motor Vehicles 22.5% Website 33%

46 Annual Report 2021/2022


(f) I Impairment of Assets

At the end of each reporting period, the Society reviews the carrying amounts of its tangible and intangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have been impaired. If such an indication exists, an impairment test is carried out on the asset by comparing the recoverable amount of the asset, being the higher of the asset’s fair value less costs to sell and value in use, to the asset’s carrying amount. Any excess of the asset’s carrying amount over its recoverable amount is recognised in the statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income.

(g) P Provisions of Employment Entitlements

Provision is made for the entity’s liability for employee entitlements arising from services rendered by employees to the end of the reporting period. Employee provisions have been measured at the amounts expected to be paid when the liability is settled.

The Law Society of Tasmania contributes to several approved Employer Sponsored Superannuation Funds. The Society has a legally enforceable obligation to contribute to the plans at the legislated required rate of the employees' wages and salaries. All employees are entitled to reserved benefits on retirement, disability or death, and unpreserved benefits upon resigning form the fund. Superannuation contributions are recognised as an e xpense when incurred.

(h) P Provisions

Provisions are recognised when the entity has a legal or constructive obligation, as a result of past events, for which it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will result, and that outflow can be reliably measured. Provisions are measured at the best estimate of the amounts required to settle the obligation at the end of the reporting period.

( (i) G Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Revenue, expenses and assets are recognised net of the amount of GST, except where the amount of GST incurred is not recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Receivables and payables are stated inclusive of the amount of GST receivable or payable. The net amount of GST recoverable from, or payable to, the ATO is included with other receivables or payables in the balance sheet.

Cash flows are presented on a gross basis. The GST component of cash flows arisin g or financing activities which are recoverable from, or payable to, the ATO are presented as operating cash flows included in receipts from customers or payments to suppliers.



79 607




(j) A Accounts Payable and Other Payables

Accounts payable and other payables represent the liability outstanding at the end of the reporting period for goods and services received by the association during the reporting period that remain unpaid. The balance is recognised as a current liability w ith the amounts normally paid within 30 days of recognition of the liability.

(k) C Comparative Information

Where necessary, comparative figures have been re classified and re positioned for consistency with current period disclosures.

48 Annual Report 2021/2022
763 856





Cash on Hand 300 300

Westpac Cheque Account 1,255,197 1,645,281

Westpac Maxi Direct Account 912,954 1,212,740

Westpac Library Fund 12,980 12,977

Westpac Integrated Law Library Grant 154 154 Westpac Integrated Law Library Grant No. 2 1,015 1,015 Westpac Duty Lawyers 461,804 143,109

Murdoch Clarke Mortgage Fund Term Deposit 2,099,189 2,049,945

Cash Booking System 20,550

Total Cash and Cash Equivalents 4,764,143 5,065,521


Trade Debtors 2,718,552 2,500,675

Accrued Interest 12,870 12,101

Prepaid Expenses 21,537 30,135

Total Receivables 2,752,959 2,542,911


Plant and Equipment

At Cost 227,878 226,042

Less Accumulated Depreciation (170,011) (152,837) 57,867 73,205

Land and Buildings At Fair Value:

28 Murray Street, Hobart: Land 1,200,000 760,000 Building 2,050,000 990,000

56A Charles Street, Launceston: Land 450,000 300,000 Building 550,000 400,000

Less Accumulated Building Depreciation (104,250) 4,250,000 2,345,750

49 Annual Report 2021/2022



At Cost 46,628 46,628

Less Accumulated Depreciation (18,743) (10,647) 27,885 35,981


At Cost 122,615 122,615 Less Accumulated Depreciation (77,128) (54,718) 45,487 67,897

Total Property, Plant and Equipment 4 4,381,239 2 2,522,833


Trade Creditors 323,963 567,102

Payroll Liabilities 20,789 17,178

Sundry Creditors 5,097 15,709

Total Payables 349,849 599,989


Provision for Annual Leave 50,366 55,528

Provision for Long Service Leave 62,279 77,269

Provision for Library Services 988,256 552,394

Total Provvisions 1,100,901 685,191


Practising Certificates in Advance 724,641 614,943

PII Premium in Advance 2,762,283 2,521,948

Grants Administered 281,386 908,480

Other Liabilities Lawyers 22,341 15,311

Total Other Liabilities 3,790,651 4,060,682

50 Annual Report 2021/2022





Reconciliation of cash flow from operations with surplus from operations: Net Surplus for the year (61,022) 45,727

Non cash Flows in Surplus: Depreciation and Amortisation 82,430 72,960 (Gain)/Loss on Disposal of Assets

Changes in Assets and Liabilities: (Increase)/Decrease in Receivables (210,048) (2,358,580) (Increase)/Decrease in Payables (250,140) 437,452 (Increase)/Decrease in Current Tax Liabilities (6,441) 7,525 Increase/(Decrease) in Provisions 415,710 (213,822) Increase/(Decrease) in Other Liabilities (270,031) 1,826,009



Administration Fees 319,963 283,241

Advertising 21,280 27,340 Certificate of Fitness 2,043 1,900

Continuing Professional Development 229,634 169,103 Events and Functions 25,811 21,526

Grant Income 834,098 193,560

Hire of Council Room 481 411 Interest Received 50,139 50,310

PII Mutual Fund Surplus 81,901 155,050

Practising Certificate Fees 729,902 666,857

Rent 63,345 67,821 Sales 7,612 6,272

Sponsorship 55,000 16,000

Sundry Income 2,282 256

Cash Flow Boost 50,000

Total Revenue 2,423,491 1,709,647

51 Annual Report 2021/2022


Accountancy Fees 30,947 25,738

Advertising 571 Audit Fees 7,800 5,500

Bad Debts 59,645

Bank Fees and Charges 4,317 4,935

Claims Management 165,130 138,432

Consultants 68,126 9,244

Continuing Professional Development 55,197 69,705 Depreciation and Amortisation 82,430 72,960

Disciplinary Action Professional Fees 13,890 9,979

Donations and Grants 4,689 3,863 Entertainment 12,880 Events 62,362 63,782

Honorarium 102,359 101,936

Insurance 49,226 25,238

IT Expenses 75,658 20,604

Law Letter 425

Legal Fees 3,962 14,650

Grant Expenses 834,098 193,560

Light and Power 9,874 11,981

Meetings 24,966 18,173

Membership Benefits 16,239 8,344

Office Expenses 21,054 11,144

Printing and Stationery 13,133 14,858

Rates and Taxes 36,924 43,354

Repairs and Cleaning 38,933 38,623

Salaries and Remuneration 641,966 623,502

Security and Fire Alarms 15,879 12,474

Subscriptions 729

Superannuation 64,047 57,370

Telephone, Video Conferencing and Web Expenses 3,387 2,947

Travel and Accommodation 24,469

Capitation Fees 225

Total Expenses 2,484,513 1,663,920

Annual Report 2021/2022

Annual Report

2021/2022 56 Annual Report 2021/2022

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