Practice Management Information and Strategies
Posted 31 March 2020
Practice Management Support
Law practice management is difficult at the best of times. In the current circumstances it is overwhelming.
In recognition of this the Ethics and Practice Unit of the Society has prepared a COVID 19 – Practice Management Information and Strategies guide which references State and Federal Government business initiatives particularly relevant to small to medium law practices, and provides advice on the observance of certain regulatory and ethical matters in the current circumstances that will be relevant to all law practices.
Please email any questions to email@example.com.
Regulation 33(3)(b) Waiver
Regulation 33(3)(b) of the Legal Practitioners Regulations 2014 states that, during April of each year, all law practices with trust accounts must give the Society written notice of the associates of the practice (including their full name and residential addresses) who are authorised, as at 31 March of that year –
- to sign cheques drawn on a general trust account of the practice; or
- otherwise to effect, direct or give authority for the withdrawal of money from a general trust account of the practice,
Given the difficult circumstances the Council of the Society has resolved as follows:
That, pursuant to Regulation 56, the Society waives the notification requirements under Regulation 33(3)(b) with respect to April 2020 on the proviso that practitioners respond to specific requests by Society officers for such information in a timely manner.
Please note that the waiver only relates to the requirement to notify the Society.
Combined Trust Account
The current Combined Trust Account (CTA) period will end on 31 May 2020 with deposits or notices of withholding due by 14 June 2020.
To assist the profession the Society has decided to make its online CTA calculator available to all members of the profession on a temporary basis. The CTA calculator is a member service funded by and usually restricted to Society members. The calculator is being made available on a temporary basis to the wider profession as a result of the COVID 19 emergency but will revert to being a member service only when restrictions are relaxed.
The Society reassures the profession that it will be taking a proportionate and pragmatic approach with respect to the imposition of penalty interest in the event of CTA non-compliance and, where it is appropriate to do so, will be remitting interest in part or in whole (in accordance with its internal policies).
If you have any questions or concerns with respect to any of the information in this Practitioner Alert please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for businesses and employees
Posted 30 March 2020
The Federal and SA Governments have announced a number of packages aimed at providing financial support to businesses (including sole traders, small business owners and companies) and employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Businesses that have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover may be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy. Visit the JobKeeper site to apply for the JobKeeper Payment
Visit the SA Government’s Economic Response Package site to find out about eligibility for support packages and to access financial support.
Find out more about how SA businesses can access payroll tax relief, land tax relief and other measures, and how employees affected by the pandemic can access financial support.
An important message about Wellbeing & Resilience
Posted 25 March 2020
We are hearing a lot about
handwashing and social distancing at the moment (and rightly so) – but what
about the other things we need to be doing to look after ourselves and our
family, friends and colleagues?
Lawyers right across SA are
facing uncertainty, disrupted income, health issues, worry about their loved
ones, and so on… These challenges can produce effects such as exhaustion,
detachment from others, insomnia, poor eating habits and irritability. And, of
course, an increased risk of experiencing anxiety and depression.
Some of the usual recommendations
for keeping ourselves mentally healthy and resilient aren’t very helpful
at a time like this where social isolation is mandated for the foreseeable
future. The isolation of working remotely without the usual day to
day interactions with your colleagues will likely take its toll.
The gym is no longer an option.
Connecting with friends and family over dinner has been ruled out. Even getting
some quiet time on your own at home might be difficult now if everyone in the
household is working or studying from home.
The Law Society’s Wellbeing
and Resilience Committee wants to remind you that there are a range of
services still available to support you at this difficult time and there is a
lot you can do to take care of yourself despite the restrictions on movement
top five tips for your wellbeing and resilience:
1. Stay connected – there are so many ways
to do this online now. Share a Spotify playlist, have a video call through
Skype or FB Messenger, play games against colleagues or friends online… This is
particularly important for people who are working from home and are therefore
physically isolated from colleagues as well as their family and friends. For
more inspiration, click here.
2. Keep physically active – use this as an
opportunity to work on your (solo) running or explore the millions of free
exercise videos online. Chris Hemsworth is offering a free trial of his
fitness/lifestyle app, Centr, and there
are lots of other free options to choose from as well. Your gym might even be
offering some free online content. Even if you are only working out in your
lounge room – you will still get the same boost to your physical and mental
3. Focus on what you can control – there is
a lot that we can’t control, predict or even understand at the moment. Taking
charge where we can will help us to combat anxiety. So create a new daily
routine for yourself, decide on some projects you want to spend your weekends
at home working on, and make sure you get enough sleep.
4. Practice meditation and mindfulness –
much of the anxiety we feel comes from rehashing what we have already lived
through and obsessing over what might happen next. That is a normal response to
a situation like this but meditation and mindfulness can bring us back to the
present moment and therefore help us to keep anxiety at bay. There are lots of
apps which make this really easy, such as HeadSpace and InsightTimer.
5. Give yourself some enjoyable distractions
– don’t just work and scroll through news feeds. Here
is one of the many central resources for suggestions about podcasts, books, TV
shows, movies and much more to keep the whole household amused.
top three resources if you need some support:
is still available to you 24/7. They offer phone, text and online chat services.
They also have some suggestions
about getting through this period.
services are also still available via phone and chat.
Counselling service remains available via phone and face-to-face.
If you are interested in learning
more, click here
for more apps, fact sheets and websites. You can also access our free Online Wellbeing
and Resilience Program (for which you can claim 1 CPD point) and a Wellbeing
and Resilience Guide.
Practitioner Support Links
LawCare and support groups
Ethics Enquiry Service
Wellbeing & Resilience Resources
Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion