Professional Standards Scheme
All barristers who hold a NSW practising certificate, are a member of the Bar Association and have approved professional indemnity insurance are covered by the New South Wales Bar Association’s Professional Standards Scheme which limits their liability for damages to $1.5 million.
Members covered by the scheme are reminded of the obligation to display the mandatory disclosure statement ‘Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation’ on all documentation sent to existing and prospective clients – including instructing solicitors. This ensures that the scheme can be relied upon to protect against unlimited liability. A person covered by a scheme who does not use the disclosure statement as required is guilty of an offence (refer s33(2) of the Professional Standards Act 1994).
Each year a random audit of members is conducted on the use of the mandatory statement. The last audit undertaken showed that some members had not been displaying the mandatory disclosure statement as required. The main breaches were using:
- a variation of words other than that prescribed by the Regulation;
- the former prescribed statement which expired on 25 October 2005; and
- a typeface that is smaller than the minimum required under the Regulation.
Clause 9 of the Professional Standards Regulation 2014 sets out the prescribed disclosure statement to be used, i.e. ‘Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation’. The statement must be printed on a size not less than the face measurement of Times New Roman typeface in 8 point.
The Professional Standards Council published a guide on responsibilities of members to use the disclosure statement which can be viewed here.
Please check to ensure you are using the correct disclosure statement on all documents as required.
Should you have any queries regarding the Scheme, please contact Ms Kim Kemp on ph 9232 4055, fax 9221 1149 or e-mail email@example.com.