Minter Ellison, Australia’s second largest firm, is introducing a conflicts system and a professional standards committee, both regimes to be under the leadership of recently appointed chairman Peter Bartlett.
The new conflicts system, which is being introduced to the firm in the next couple of weeks, will allow all of the firm’s partners to access one central online register.
Despite its size – the firm has 971 lawyers and is ranked as the fifteenth largest in the world – this is the first time the firm has introduced a central register to deal with the conflict problems.
“We realised we needed better ways of resolving conflicts,” said Bartlett, who took over the role of chairman on 1 July.
The professional standards committee will have one partner in each office dealing with any issues that might arise in relation to professional conduct. “This is the person with whom any concern may be raised about the conduct of a fellow lawyer or partner,” he said.
The firm is also to merge into one partnership from 1 January next year. It is currently three separate partnerships – a hangover from the firm’s previous mergers.