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Regulation of Solicitors' Trust Accounts - Essay Example

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Regulation of Solicitors' Trust Accounts Introduction The Queensland Legal Profession Act 2007 and the Queensland Legal Profession Regulation 2007 were two milestones in the Australia’s legal service market. These acts intended effectively regulating legal practices in the jurisdiction so as to ensure better-quality services to customers of the legal profession…
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Regulation of Solicitors Trust Accounts
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Download file to see previous pages Summary of the Acts Section 3.3of both the Acts deals with “trust money and trust accounts”. This session involves several regulatory measures that would secure consumers’ interests in the legal service market. The Acts contain the provision for suspending stated operations associated with the solicitors’ trust accounts. They require solicitors to maintain a general trust account and accurate trust records, and present them before an eternal examiner for cross checking. The main intention of this provision is to increase the reliability of trust accounts and thereby secure consumer confidence. The Acts have also defined a set of condition for closing a general trust account. As per the provision, a law practitioner has the responsibility to deposit the trust money in the general trust account at the earliest possibility. The Legal Professional Act 2007 clearly states that disbursement of trust money must be under the direction given by the particular person. This provision will ensure that trust money is safe under the custody of solicitor until the time of disbursement. The Legal Profession Regulation Act 2007 The Legal Profession Regulation Act 2007 describes different aspects of keeping trust account receipts and payments book. This Act specifically directs solicitors to keep separate trust accounts receipts cash book and trust accounts payment cash book. Part 3.3(29) of the Legal Profession Regulation Act 2007 has clearly defined trust record copies to be printed at the end of particular periods. Mainly receipts and payments cash book, reconciliation statements, and trust ledger accounts and their balances have to be printed. In addition, section 37 of this Act holds provisions for secure withdrawal of trust money from a general trust account. This provision also adds value to consumer confidence, because it prevents deceitful withdrawal of trust money (Legal Profession Regulation Act 2007). Similarly, section 38 deals with payment of trust money through electronic fund transfer. It is one of the major provisions of the Act that secures consumer confidence to a great extent because probability of fraud is higher in electronic fund transfer. Section 42 directs solicitors to systematically record various transactions in trust ledger accounts as this method will be effective to distinguish between trust accounts of different clients. The Regulation Act also specifies journal transfer principles regarding transfer of trust money from a general trust account to another. It also insists to provide necessary and timely notifications to concerned beneficiaries. In addition, it is mandatory to issue trust account statements to the beneficiaries of the trust money. This type of provision helps consumers to keep in frequent touch with their account transactions. The regulation of solicitors’ trust account would assist consumers to ensure that their money is not misused for the benefit of third parties. According to the perception of Queensland Law Society (n.d), the strict regulation measure would prevent any type of unfair practice related with trust accounts. The most attractive feature of these Acts is that consumers are allowed to get informed of their account status. The Legal Profession Act 2007 The Legal Profession Act 2007 specifically states that the trust accounts should not be used for paying off any type of debt. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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