As the Chief Justice of New South Wales, Justice Bathurst states in the discussion paper on the Commonwealth Law Association Regional Conference, professional duties have an ab initio and de future conflict with financial interest . In many aspects, this conflict was inevitable due to the ever increasing commercialisation in New South Wales legal practice landscape. In 2012, around 30% of all legal practices in NSW have adopted incorporation as its commercial structure, not to mention the expanding category of mega-firms, multidisciplinary firms and publicly listed firms . Further, the use of technology and outsourcing legal work has also impacted the traditional lawyer-client’s relationship. In this essay, the writer focused on the ethical challenges facing different types of modern lawyers and how the regulatory framework has aimed to redress these concerns.
In conclusion, unethical practices within law firms in NSW should be given more attentions to prevent potential challenges and better guarantee the benefits of clients so as to improve the sector-wide ethical standard. In the paper, three unethical concerns were identified and analyzed in order to better maintain client-lawyer relationships. The first unethical risk was the billable hour charging system and in order to deal with this, NSW’s authorities should emphasize more about the interests related to clients and to issue new policies; under a civilized and ethical system, negative impacts could be minimized and the awareness of business ethics within the minds of lawyer employees might be reinforced gradually. The second unethical challenge was the rapid development of Information Technology (IT) which would threaten the client-lawyer relationship and in order to address this, interior monitoring and notification systems should be established to better take advantage of online techniques to promote ethical legal practices while reduce immoral behaviors; if so, more potential business opportunities could be found through online techniques to satisfy the interests of relevant stakeholders while earn greater gains. The third unethical challenge was caused by outsourcing legal work and in order to cope with this, the entire sector-wide standards and procedures within the Australian law industry should be reinforced so that in NSW, the ethical practice would be promoted naturally; in the long-term view, ethical outsourcing legal businesses would help to build greater public value to promote the social civilization and realize the mutual benefits.