From 30 November 2022 all directors of Australian companies are required by law to apply for a director identification number (director ID). A director ID is a unique 15-digit identifier that all directors or people intending to become directors need. Applying for a director ID is free and only needs to be done once. For a full list of who needs a director ID, visit abrs.gov.au/directorid. You can view a quick guide which explains the application process produced by Australian Business Registry Services here. A failure by a legal practitioner to comply with this statutory requirement may constitute unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct pursuant to sections 68 and 69 of the Legal Practitioners Act 1981.
The following applies to incorporated legal practices that are
established in South Australia and provide legal services here through
practitioners with South Australian practising certificates. For information
about interstate incorporated legal practices providing legal services here
through practitioners with interstate practising certificates go to the
Interstate Legal Practitioner page here.
The requirements for incorporated legal practices are provided for in
Schedule 1 of the Act. Legal practitioner directors of South Australian
incorporated legal practices should familiarise themselves with these
Clause 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act provides as follows:
An incorporated legal
practice is a corporation that engages in legal practice in this jurisdiction.
(2) However, a corporation is not an incorporated legal practice if—
(a) the corporation does not
receive any form of, or have any expectation of, a fee, gain or reward for the
legal services it provides; or
(b) the only legal services
that the corporation provides are any or all of the following services:
legal services, namely, legal services provided to the corporation concerning a
proceeding or transaction to which the corporation (or a related body
corporate) is a party;
that are not legally required to be provided by a legal practitioner and that
are provided by an officer or employee who is not a legal practitioner; or
(c) this Schedule or the regulations so provide.
The requirements contained in Schedule 1 include the following (these
are merely summarised – go to the Act and Regulations for the full text):
May only provide legal services
(clause 2 of Schedule 1).
Must provide notice (clauses 4, 4A, 5
and 5A of Schedule 1). Note that failure to provide notice is an offence and
also has ramifications for billing and fee recovery.
At least one director of the
corporation must hold a South Australian practising certificate (clause 8 of
Incorporated legal practices wishing to provide legal services in South
Australia through practitioners with South Australian practising certificates
must complete and submit a Form G and SA Practice Profile (while completing the Form G you will be prompted to provide any
Once the correct forms are submitted and
all the necessary information provided the incorporated legal practice will be
sent an invoice for its PII Scheme contribution (the invoice may also refer to
other charges such as practising certificate and Law Society Membership fees).
When the Society receives payment of that invoice a Certificate of Insurance
will be issued. The incorporated legal practice must not commence the provision
of legal services in South Australia until it has been issued with a
Certificate of Insurance.