Victorian Legal Services Board 2024 Risk Outlook

The Victorian Legal Services Board’s (VLSB) “2024 Risk Outlook” outlines the major risks facing Victoria’s legal sector in 2024.

Cybersecurity remains a critical concern, as the Board has noted the growth of cyber attacks over the past year. Law practices are urged to implement robust security measures like multi-factor authentication and regular software updates whilst also preparing for potential breaches through incident response planning and staff training.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its use in legal practices are also given prominence in the risk outlook. The VLSB urges lawyers to ensure that their AI use aligns with professional duties of competence, ethics, and confidentiality, and to pay particular attention to the validation of AI outputs and protecting client data.

Other issues that are highlighted include:

  1. Compliance issues, particularly around trust accounting and costs disclosure,.
  2. Ethical awareness – particularly in relation to both the causes and potential consequences of breaches. The VLSB urges lawyers to manage stress and maintain high ethical standards to avoid misconduct.
  3. Money laundering is highlighted as a concern, and interestingly the VLSB advises its regulated community to be cautious in financial dealings and conscious of the risks of association with criminal activities, even if they are not directly covered by anti-money laundering regulations.
  4. The risks of inadequate supervision in law practices. Principals are reminded of the need for effective oversight of their practices to ensure competent and ethical service delivery.

Overall, the VLSB 2024 risk outlook aims to reinforce to the profession the importance of proactive risk management across a broad spectrum of practice issues.

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