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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A letter from a learned friend in Victoria about some lawyers' trust account rules

Dear Michael

Further to my email last December and your post today, I found this reference on the Law Institute Website - http://www.liv.asn.au/About-LIV/History-Awards/LIVing-History

Friday Facts: Issue 555 - 30 January 2009

The complete Rules made pursuant to the Legal Profession Practice Act 1958 including Trust Account and Conduct Rules as at August 1978 was a 28 page booklet.

Further, Trust Account Rule 40 required Trust Ledger Accounts to be retained indefinitely, and all other records to be retained for seven years. See Conduct Rule 2(5) provides that the word "barrister/solicitor" on a sign shall not exceed 3" in height or in width unless express permission is obtained from the Law Institute Council. See also the four times advertisement insertion Conduct Rule in 2(3)(b)(iii).

Sometime later in December, I looked up the State Library and  found the Rules as at 1984. See also

                Practice rules 1998 : trust account practice rules & solicitors' (professional conduct and practice) rules 1984 / Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd.

[Melbourne? : Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd? 1988

Available State Library of Victoria Request from onsite storage  SLTF 346.945059 P88V (1998)


The 1984 Rules can also be found in the Law Institute library -

Practice Rules 1998 - Trust Account Practice Rules & Solicitors' (Professional Conduct and Practice) Rules 1984


Practice Rules 1998 - Trust Account Practice Rules & Solicitors' (Professional Conduct and Practice) Rules 1984

Author: Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd ;

Year: 1998

Format: BookEven in 1984, the procedure for issuing receipts etc was the same as the later version of the rules in 2005.

So, by rights –

1.       SnG should still have these trust account records;

2.       The receipt should have been made out to and issued to the AWU-WRA Inc as the drawer of the cheque;

3.       The receipt entry and the trust account journal entry should have been the same;

4.       The Law Institute auditors should have picked up any discrepancy.

All the best,


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