Legal Practice

The Legal Practice ListDefinitionA List is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services. hears and decides disputes between lawyers and clients about legal services and costs, and cases about lawyers’ conduct.

We hear cases under laws that apply specifically to the legal profession:

  • Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) - found at Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.
  • Legal Profession Act 2004. Sometimes we refer to this as 'the 2004 Act'.

We also hear cases under laws that apply generally to services.

  • Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012
  • Fair Trading Act 1999.

Applying under legal profession laws

In disputes between lawyers and their clients, the law that applies to the case depends on such things as the date the client first instructed the lawyer, the date a complaint was made and the amount of the costs or the claim involved.If you have a dispute with your lawyer or your client, attempt to resolve the dispute directly with them first. If that fails the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner may be able to resolve the dispute.

Time limits

Applications to appeal or re-hear a decision related to disciplinary action

If applying for a rehearing of a VCAT order, where the original complaint was made or investigation started on or after 12 December 2005 you must apply to have the decision re-heard within 28 days of the date of the VCAT order made at the hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision.

If appealing a decision by VCAT where the original complaint was made or investigation started on before 12 December 2005 you must lodge a notice of appeal within 21 days of receiving a copy of the order made by the single memberDefinitionA person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. .

Disputes about legal costs

If you are a client or legal practitioner and you want us to hear your costs dispute under the Legal Profession Uniform Law or the Legal Profession Act 2004, you must apply within 60 days after receiving a written notice from the Legal Services Commissioner. The notice must state that the dispute has not been resolved by the Commissioner and state your right to make the application. If the 60 days time limit is about to expire you may be able to make the application by letter. Contact us if the 60 days time limit is about to expire and you want to apply.

Choose the type of application that applies to you