Law Institute of Victoria

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The Law Institute Victoria (LIV) is a legal society in the Australian state of Victoria. It is the professional association for solicitors in Victoria, making rules to regulate their practice, and representing them to governments and other bodies. The Institute was founded in 1859. The current President, since 1 January 2019, is Stuart Webb and the current CEO is Adam Awty.


On 26 March 1859, a group of 26 solicitors in Melbourne founded the Institute at a meeting. The first President was David Ogilvy.[1] From 1859, the Institute's offices were located in Collins Street, and in 1883 the offices were relocated to the law courts complex in Lonsdale Street. In 1905, Flos Greig became the first woman to be admitted to practise as a solicitor in Victoria, and shortly after, was the first female member of the Institute. In 1927, the first issue of the Law Institute Journal (LIJ) was published by the Institute. In 1933, the Institute became a constituent member of the newly formed Law Council of Australia.

In 1947, the Legal Profession Practice Act 1946, an act of the Parliament of Victoria, officially confirmed the Institute's role as the regulating body for the legal profession in Victoria. By 1948, almost all solicitors in Victoria had become members of the Institute. In 1961 the Institute relocated to premises in Little Bourke Street, but after fire destroyed the building in 1978, the Institute moved to 470 Bourke Street, a site which previously hosted the first meeting of the Victorian Legislative Council on 13 November 1851.

In 1991, Gail Owen became the first female President of the Institute. Former Presidents of the Institute include Alfred Brooks Malleson, Arthur Palmer Blake, John Gavan Duffy (brother of Frank and son of Charles), Sir Arthur Robinson, William Slater, Bernard Teague and John Cain II.

In 1996, the Legal Profession Practice Act 1946 was replaced by the Legal Practice Act 1996. In 2005, the Legal Practice Act 1996 was repealed and replaced by the Legal Profession Act 2004, the current legislation regulating the legal profession in Victoria.

The most recent Chief Executive Officers of the Law Institute Victoria include: Ian Dunn, John Cain III, Michael Brett Young and Nerida Wallace.

Law Institute Journal[edit]

The Law Institute Journal (LIJ) is a monthly legal journal published by the Institute. It carries information about changes to the rules of practice, and the rules of the courts, as well as general commentary on legal issues. The first issue was published in July 1927.


  1. ^ "150 years of service: The Law Institute of Victoria (1859-2009)". Law Institute of Victoria. March 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2016.

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