The Victorian Legal Services Board (“Board”) and the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner (“Commissioner”) are the two key independent statutory authorities responsible for the regulation of Victoria’s legal profession, with responsibility for overseeing approximately 23 000 solicitors and barristers in the state. The two authorities are known collectively to the profession and to consumers of legal services as the VLSB+C. They effectively operate as one organisation, sharing both office space and staff engaged by the Commissioner, in accordance with the Commissioner’s powers as the head of a public service body.
The Board and Commissioner were established under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic) (“Application Act”). This Act applies the Legal Profession Uniform Law (“Uniform Law”) set out in schedule 1 of that Act as a law of Victoria. New South Wales has also applied the Uniform Law; Western Australia will join the Uniform Law scheme in July 2020.
The VLSB+C operates under the broad oversight of the Legal Services Council (“Council”) and the Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation (“Uniform Commissioner”). The Council and Uniform Commissioner play an important role in ensuring that legal profession regulation is applied consistently in all states participating in the Uniform Law scheme.