Newsletter 128

Change to Professional Year Policy for GSM Points

It has been made clear that the criteria for a “complete” professional year within the 48 months prior to the invitation to apply for a visa only applies to the day the professional year completed.

It is not necessary for the Professional Year to have begun within the 48 months prior to the invitation to apply for the visa.

This change in policy first in October 2022 and again yesterday has the potential to have affected visa applicants who have received invitations in the December 2022 invitation round.

Canberra solicitor who employed a disqualified lawyer reprimanded, fined $8k

An ACT-based solicitor has been found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct, fined $8,000 and reprimanded after hiring an ex-lawyer who was struck off the ACT roll, who had accessed over $60,000 in client funds without permission.

In proceedings brought by the ACT Law Society in the territory’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal, lawyer Necia Wearne was fined $8,000 plus costs, and was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct by senior member Dominic Mulligan.

Ms Wearne was ordered to pay a fine of $8,000 as well as the Law Society’s costs, to a total sum of $20,000, both of which are to be paid in instalments.

Legal salaries are slowing down

Even though there might still be some salary gains for legal professionals in 2023, recruiters predict that salaries won’t likely climb at the same rate as they did in 2018. Pay decreases are still a possibility.

HR Leader publication, reported earlier this week that compensation growth in December was the lowest monthly increase since pay packets increased in April-May 2022, with salary growth increasing by 0.3% month over month since then.

This is not to imply that some practice areas or legal positions won’t continue to receive higher pay packages this year.

DHA Global visa processing time

Global Processing time for Australian Visas

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