WCRA and PIPA certificate requirements start 31 October

The remaining provisions of the Personal Injuries Proceedings and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (PIPOLA) will commence on Monday 31 October 2022.

Provisions of PIPOLA outlawing claim farming in respect of workers’ compensation and Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA) claims commenced on 30 June 2022, along with changes to the 50/50 rule, as set out in QLS Proctor.

The provisions requiring claimants’ solicitors to supply law practice certificates declaring that the prohibitions on claim farming have not been contravened at various stages of a claim have been awaiting commencement on a date to be fixed by proclamation.

The Governor has now proclaimed that those remaining provisions of the Act will commence on 31 October 2022. View the proclamation.

Queensland Law Society understands that the law practice certificate approved form will be available from scheme regulators in the coming days. The new form will also be applicable to claims made under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (MAIA), which already requires law practice certificates, from 31 October 2022.

Practitioners acting for claimants should familiarise themselves with the requirements to supply law practice certificates.

Contravening law practice certificate requirements constitutes an offence in a number of instances, impacts whether a notice of claim is a complying notice and can result in practitioners needing to refund fees and costs paid by claimants.1

Practitioners acting for insurers and respondents should also be aware of their obligations to report contraventions of law practice certificate requirements.

Practitioners acting for respondents to PIPA matters should have particular regard to s71G PIPA regarding their obligations to report non-compliance to the Legal Services Commission, noting that failure to do so may constitute unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

Those acting for insurers under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 should be prepared to advise their clients regarding their obligations to report non-compliance under s325Y of that Act.

QLS is aware that a regulation has also been made requiring a claimant certificate in respect of PIPA claims, similar to the claimant certificate required at the notice of accident claim stage in MAIA matters. The regulation is also to commence on 31 October.

QLS will publish more information about this in due course, but expects the form will also be available from scheme regulators in coming days.

Latest update (28 October 2022): PI claim farming: New law practice certificate and claimant certificate now available

1 See new ss8A to 8F, 9B, 9C, 13A and 61 PIPA, as well as the amendments to ss9 and 9A and new ss325E to 325P Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 as well as the amendments to s275.

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