Welcome to Legal Consolidated Barristers & Solicitors.
Legal Consolidated website vs non-law firm website
Over 6,400 Australian accountants and advisers build legal documents on our website. This is for their clients. Because we are a law firm, their client becomes a client of the law firm. Therefore, your client is covered by our law firm’s Professional Indemnity insurance.
In contrast, a non-law firm website:
- merely resells a lawyer’s template; and
- therefore, there is no law firm Professional Indemnity insurance on the document
Are accountants and advisers giving legal advice when building legal documents on our website?
Our law firm’s website empowers accountants and financial advisers to build legal documents for their clients. Documents include Trust Deeds, Self-Managed Super Deeds, Companies and 3-Generation Testamentary Trust Wills.
Legal Consolidated Barristers & Solicitors is the only law firm in Australia providing online legal documents. On our website, you deal directly with a law firm. You get:
a. Legal Professional Privilege
b. legal advice and help to answer the online questions – telephone us
c. letter confirming that Legal Consolidated Barristers & Solicitors authored and is responsible for the document
d. law firm Professional Indemnity insurance, on everything, including:
* the questions, hints and training videos
* dynamic logic flows – the next question changes depending on the previous answer
* the answers you type in (e.g. if the accountant or adviser incorrectly misspells the client’s name we are responsible)
* the legal document, minutes and covering letter
* the signing of the documents
Am I giving legal advice when I build a document on a law firm’s website?
You are not giving legal advice when you build documents on our law firm’s website. You are a ‘mere scribe’. See:
- Attorney-General v Quill Wills Ltd (1990) 3 WAR 500
- Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd  WASC 184
- Cornall v Nagle  2 VR 188 at 210
- Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (Cth)
- Sinclair v C of T  AATA 902
- Andre Agassi v Robinson & Bar Council & Law Society  EWCA 1507
The Tax Institute’s Estate & Business Succession Planning, 7th edition, states on page 9:
‘Work that is undertaken in association with the law or legal practice will not necessarily constitute engaging in legal practice. Examples include:
* clerical or administration tasks
* selling legal documents; and
* advising of incidental legal requirements by a person in the pursuit of an occupation other than law, eg tax agents advising on the requirements of tax legislation.’
What about the financial planner’s Dealer Group?
AFS licensees provide a list of ‘financial products’ you offer your clients. Our law firm’s online legal documents are not investment products.
Your practice can build legal documents online for clients. Each document comes with our letter confirming we authored the document.
Some dealer groups and accounting houses require that a lawyer speaks to your client. Just tick the box, as you build the document if you want this service. Our lawyers contact your client regarding the document.
For free, create your own Estate Planning Standard Policy for your practice. Build it now: https://www.legalconsolidated.com.au/estate-planning-standards/
Australia’s only law firm providing legal documents online.
Before using a non-law website consider:
- Who is doing the drafting? The Family Trust Deeds, Power of Attorneys, 3-Generation Testamentary Trust Wills, Loan Agreements, Leases and the 100s of other documents are drafted by the Australian law firm Legal Consolidated Barristers & Solicitors. While accountants and clients may type in answers to the questions, the law firm controls the logic flow, question, hints, training videos and systems. We retain copyright of our documents and we carry the law firm Professional Indemnity insurance. The law firm is drafting the online document.
- Who is responsible for the drafting and its legal correctness? The law firm developed and controls the system. The law firm provides locked PDF documents of the finished document together with a covering letter on law firm letterhead confirming that we prepared and drafted the legal document.
- Where is the client’s ‘personal information’ and data stored? All information is stored on the law firm’s website. Your client retains legal professional privilege.
- Can non-lawyers charge to prepare legal documents? No, they cannot. However, a professional person such a financial adviser or accountant can charge for the time in giving the relevant financial planning and accounting advice. For example, much of the work in Estate Planning is understanding the client’s tax position, financial planning, superannuation and business structures.
Risks with non-law firm’s websites
Non-law firm websites buy, beg, borrow or steal law a firm template. The template is supposedly supplied by lawyers. Often the templates are never updated or monitored by a law firm. Law firm professional indemnity insurance is not provided on ‘re-sold’ templates. You and your clients are on your own.
Worse still the adviser and accountant are providing ‘legal advice’. This is because the template is resold by non-lawyers. ‘Tax agent services’ does not extend to giving legal advice: s90-5(1) TASA 2009. Tax agents are not protected by non-law firm websites.
ACT and South Australian tax agents using non-law firms breach s16(1) & 21(2)(b) ACT 2006 Act and SA 1981 Act. Using a non-law firm website breaches ‘preparing documents that create or regulate legal rights’.
In Western Australia, a non-law firm website breaches the ‘preparing of any deed, instrument or writing dealing with real or personal estate’.
Incorporating a company on a non-law firm website breaches the law because a company needs (or should have) a constitution. A constitution is a ‘deed’. Only lawyers can legally prepare deeds. Similarly, a POA is a deed. So an accountant or adviser building a POA on a non-law firm website, including a website provided by a State government, breaches the law.
While you can build over 380 different documents with us, the most commonly built documents by adviser and accountants are:
Our law firm’s retainer Law firm providing legal documents online
Use of the Service Law firm providing legal documents online
1. All legal documents you build on our law firm’s website are subject to the Terms of Service.
2. Legal Consolidated Barristers & Solicitors is a law firm. We can and do give legal advice. Seek advice if you are unsure about the legal document you need.
3. You may incorrectly interpret or misunderstand a question and therefore end up with a document that is wrong or won’t work. So contact us as required.
4. The legal, commercial and taxation effects of a document vary based on your personal situation.
5. Only you know the purpose for which you intend to use a document you build: Our law firm is not responsible for your choice of the document. If in doubt, telephone us on the document’s suitability.
By using Legal Consolidated you agree to these terms of service.
General Permissions & Restrictions
You agree not to distribute any of our information or documents.
You agree not to alter any part of the documents. If you do then we are no longer responsible for the document.
You get a full refund, upon request, provided you agree to not use our legal document.
To the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Legal Consolidated, any parent corporation, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses arising from: (i) your use of and access to the services.
Please telephone for help building any of our documents
Adjunct Professor, Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, Dip Ed, BArts(Hons), LLM, MBA, SJD
Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors
National Australian law firm
Head Office: 39 Stirling Highway, Nedlands, WA 6009
Mobile: 0477 796 959
National: 1800 141 612
‘Legal Consolidated’ is an Australian law firm Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors (ABN 94936003432).
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