Issued: Friday, 5 September 2014
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New South Wales and Victorian Attorneys General Brad Hazzard and Robert Clark today announced the appointment of former head of the Australian Government Solicitor, Dale Boucher, as the inaugural Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation.
“The Commissioner will play a key role in reducing the complexity of legal services regulation and protecting the rights of consumers,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Mr Boucher will also be Chief Executive of the Legal Services Council, which will draft the uniform standards to apply to all lawyers in NSW and Victoria.
“As Commissioner, he will also oversee the implementation of a system that will ensure complaints against lawyers are investigated rigorously, fairly and efficiently.
The Legal Profession Uniform Law has been passed by NSW and Victorian Parliaments and the new scheme is due to start early next year. The scheme slashes red tape - from 500 to 200 pages of legal regulations - and standardises consumer rights, complaint processes and new consumer remedies across the two states.
Mr Clark said he was buoyed by the recent interest of other states in adopting uniform legal profession reforms.
“By pioneering uniform legal services, Victoria and NSW will demonstrate the benefits of the reforms and continue to advocate for a truly national scheme,” Mr Clark said.
Mr Clark said the new commissioner had a strong background in leadership roles in the law and professional regulation.
“Mr Boucher has 42 years of experience in the law and has served with distinction in senior leadership roles at the Australian Government Solicitor – culminating in being designated Chief Executive Officer and subsequently being awarded a Public Service Medal in 2000,” Mr Clark said.
“He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Tax Practitioners Board between 2009 and 2013 and understands what it takes to lead a new industry regulatory body.”
Mr Boucher has also held senior roles in the private sector and worked as a consultant and legal adviser for a range of bodies including the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.