Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
8667.0 - Legal Services, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2009   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

GLOSSARY



A B C D E F G I J L M N O P R S T U V W

Aboriginal legal services

This refers to federally funded, state and territory-based community organisations which provide culturally sensitive legal services to indigenous Australians.

Acting as a mediator or arbitrator

Acting as a mediator or arbitrator denotes providing legal services, as a neutral third party, either as a facilitator of a mediation process or the arbiter in an arbitration process.

Administrative/constitutional law

This item refers to legal work concerned with tribunals, government administration, the constitution of Australia, and other matters covered by federal government legislation.

Businesses/organisations at end June

This item refers to a business or organisation which is mainly engaged in providing legal representation and advice and the preparation of legal documents. Also included are businesses or organisations which are mainly engaged in establishing the legal ownership of a property such as title-searching services. Service companies providing occupancy, administrative, secretarial, clerical or similar support services to barrister or solicitor firms are also included. A business or organisation can operate from multiple locations.


Capital city

This item refers to the greater metropolitan area (including suburbs) of the capital city of each state and territory in Australia.

Cases conducted or services provided on a no-win no-fee basis

This item represents legal work for which the client is charged legal fees only if judgement or settlement is made in favour of the client.

Casual employees

Casual employees are those persons employed by the business or organisation who are not entitled to take paid leave.

Commercial

This item refers to legal work concerned with commercial transactions between businesses, and the fulfilment of contracts.

Community legal centres

This item refers to not-for-profit organisations, funded through the relevant state or territory legal aid commission, and established to provide subsidised legal services to the community.

Conveyancing

This item refers to legal work involving the transfer of ownership of real estate.

Criminal

This item refers to legal work related to the Crimes Act and associated legislation, and the laws of criminal investigation, procedures and evidence outlined in the Criminal Procedures Act.
Disbursements and legal costs recovered

This item of income refers to those amounts expended by a government or not-for profit organisation on behalf of clients and recovered from them. It includes recoveries of expenses for outsourced legal services and for the provision of telephone, facsimile, photocopying and similar services to clients. It also includes court and witness costs and specialist reports. It excludes recoveries of such expenses as stamp duty and other statutory fees.

Disbursements not already reported

This item of expenditure refers to those amounts expended by a legal services business on behalf of clients, (e.g. costs relating to witnesses, court proceedings or specialist reports), which are separately identified in accounts but not covered by other expense items.

Disbursements recovered

This item of income refers to those amounts expended by a legal service business on behalf of clients and recovered from them. It includes recoveries of expenses for the provision of telephone, facsimile, photocopying and similar services to clients. It also includes court and witness costs, the cost of specialist reports and payments made by clients of solicitor businesses on behalf of barrister businesses. It excludes recoveries of such expenses as stamp duty and other statutory fees.
Employees

This item is the sum of permanent full-time employees, permanent part-time employees and casual employees. Principals/directors of incorporated businesses are considered to be employees of the business as they receive a salary.

Employment at end June

This item includes working proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses, principals or directors of incorporated businesses and all employees on the payroll of businesses/organisations during the last pay period ending in June 2008. Employees absent on paid or prepaid leave are included. Non-salaried directors, self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors, persons paid by commission only and volunteers are excluded.

Environmental

This item refers to legal work concerned with use and protection of the natural environment.
Family

This item refers to legal work concerned with matters dealt with by the Family Court e.g. divorce, legal guardianship and child support.

Fee income forgone in no-fee work

Fee income forgone in no-fee work which, for all pro bono cases undertaken free of charge, is the fee income which would have received for those cases if full fees had been paid.

Fee income forgone in reduced fee work

This item represents the difference between fee income received for all pro bono cases undertaken on a reduced fee basis and the fee income which would have been received for those cases if full fees had been paid.

Fee income from the provision of legal and legal support services

This item includes fee income from the provision of legal services, disbursements recovered and income from the provision of legal support services.

Fee income from the provision of legal services

This item refers to income received as fees for the provision of legal services. It includes fees received for barrister, solicitor, patent attorney, notary, conveyancing and title searching services, but excludes disbursements recovered. Payments received by solicitors on behalf of barrister businesses are also excluded.

Fee income from the provision of legal support services

This item refers to amounts received by businesses, such as barrister clerk, floor management and solicitor service entities, for occupancy, administrative, secretarial, clerical or similar support services.

Fee income received (from reduced fee work)

This item represents the sum of fee income received for all pro bono cases undertaken on a reduced fee basis.

Free community legal education and/or law reform

This item refers to pro bono work relating to providing free legal education at community fora, and/or contributing to the review and reform of current laws. See also pro bono work.

Full-time equivalent employment

This item represents the number of full-time employees added to the quotient of part-time hours paid divided by standard hours for a full-time employee. Working proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses and principals/ directors of incorporated businesses are excluded from the calculation of full-time equivalent employment.

Funding provided to other organisations for legal services

This item represents funding by organisations to other organisations which provide legal services e.g. payments by legal aid commissions to community legal centres.
Government funding

This item refers to project or program payments made by federal, state/territory and local government in the form of operational funds for ongoing operations and capital funds to acquire or maintain equipment or property. It includes special purpose grants, funds from legal profession regulators and apprenticeship and traineeship schemes.

Government solicitors

This item comprises the Office of the Solicitor General in each state and territory and the Commonwealth government solicitor.
Income per person employed

This item is a ratio derived by dividing total income by total employment at end June.

Incorporated

This item refers to businesses which are operated as separate legal entities to the owners of the businesses (e.g. pty ltd. companies). Where employment is classified by employment characteristics in this publication, owners of incorporated businesses are reported as principals/directors.

Industrial relations

This item refers to legal work concerned with employment, employment conditions, and the relationship between employers and employees.

Industry value added (IVA)

Industry value added (IVA) represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by the industry. IVA is the measure of the contribution by businesses, in the selected industry, to gross domestic product.

The derivation of IVA for market producers is as follows:

sales and service income

plus funding from federal, state and/or local government for operational costs

plus capital work done for own use

plus closing inventories

less opening inventories

less intermediate input expenses

less capitalised purchases

equals IVA.

Wage and salary expenses and most other labour costs are not taken into account in its calculation and nor are most insurance premiums, interest expenses or depreciation and a number of lesser expenses including bad debts, computer software expensed and state gambling taxes.

The derivation of IVA for non-market producers is as follows:

Wages, salaries and benefits paid to employees

plus Depreciation and amortisation.

It should be noted that IVA is not a measure of operating profit (or surplus) before tax.

Insurance premiums

This item refers to expenses incurred by a business/organisation in respect of different types of insurance policies, including professional indemnity insurance but excluding workers' compensation and compulsory third-party motor vehicle insurance.

Intellectual property

This item refers to legal work concerned with copyright, royalties, patents and trademarks.
Junior counsel

A junior counsel is a barrister who has been admitted to the relevant state bar but has not achieved the status of Queen's or senior counsel.
Law graduates/articled clerks

This item refers to employees of a law practice who, having completed a law degree, are undertaking the training necessary for them to qualify for a practising certificate.

Legal aid commission

This item represents organisations established in each state or territory, by the relevant state or territory government, to provide free legal representation to disadvantaged sectors of the community based on eligibility criteria. Legal aid commissions also administer the funding for community legal centres.

Legally qualified staff

This item comprises barristers and solicitors, law graduates and articled clerks.
Mediation and arbitration

Mediation is a dispute resolving process, where the parties come before a mediator to reach a non-binding agreement or reconciliation. Arbitration is the hearing of a dispute between parties before an arbitrator who is empowered to make a binding decision.

Motor vehicle

This item refers to legal work concerned with compensation claims resulting from motor vehicle accidents.
Number of offices

This item represents the number of offices which are operated by legal services businesses or organisations. A business or organisation may operate from more than one office.
Operating profit/surplus before tax

Operating profit is a measure of profitability of a business during the reference period, taken before extraordinary items are brought into account and prior to the deduction of income tax and appropriations to owners, (i.e. dividends paid, drawings.) It is derived by deducting total expenses from total income and adding the difference between closing inventory and opening inventory for the period.

Operating profit margin

Operating profit margin of a business represents the percentage of sales of goods and services which becomes profit/surplus after all operating expenses have been deducted. It is derived by expressing operating profit/surplus before tax as a percentage of total sales of goods and services.

Operating profit per barrister

This item is a measure of the average financial compensation that each barrister receives for involvement in his/her barrister business. It is derived by dividing the total operating profit before tax of all barrister businesses by the number of barristers working for barrister businesses.

Other areas

This item refers to areas located outside the capital city metropolitan areas of each state and territory.

Other expenses

This item includes all expenses not separately specified elsewhere.

Other fields

This item refers to all fields of legal work not specified elsewhere.

Other income

This item includes all income items not separately specified elsewhere.

Other labour costs

This item refers to all labour costs except wages and salaries. Those costs include employer contributions into superannuation, workers' compensation costs/premiums, fringe benefits tax, payroll tax and salary sacrificed earnings paid on behalf of employees.

Other legal costs

This item refers to legal expenses such as court and witness costs, specialist reports and disbursements which are separately invoiced to clients.

Other legal services businesses

This item refers to businesses, other than barrister businesses, which are mainly engaged in providing legal services, (including solicitor, patent attorney, notary, conveyancing and title searching businesses). It also includes businesses providing support services, such as occupancy, administrative, secretarial, clerical or similar support services, to barrister, solicitor or other businesses providing legal services.

Other occupations

This item includes all occupations not separately specified elsewhere.

Other organisations and clients

This item refers to all individuals and organisations, except for community legal centres, to whom legal services were provided on a pro bono basis.

Other personal injury

This item refers to legal work concerned with compensation claims resulting from incidents causing injury and punitive loss other than motor vehicle accidents and workers' compensation.

Other property work

This item refers to all forms of legal work relating to property except for conveyancing.
Paralegals

This item refers to those employees who perform certain specialist functions in a legal services business or organisation for which a law degree is not required.

Patent attorney

Patent attorneys are generally qualified in a specialist field such as science or engineering, with an additional patent attorney postgraduate qualification. They deal with patents, trade marks, intellectual property matters and other related services.

Payments for legal and legal support services

This item refers to payments made by a business or organisation to other businesses or organisations for legal and legal support services, as defined above, and for disbursements, (e.g. costs relating to witnesses, court proceedings or specialist reports), separately identified in accounts but not covered by other expense items.

Payments for legal services

This item refers to payments made by a business or organisation to other businesses or organisations for barrister, solicitor, patent attorney, notary, conveyancing, title searching or similar legal services.

Payments for legal support services

This item refers to payments made by a business or organisation to other businesses or organisations, such as barrister clerk, floor management and solicitor service entities, for occupancy, administrative, secretarial, clerical or similar support services.

Permanent full-time employees

This item refers to employees who work 35 hours or more per week and are entitled to paid leave.

Permanent part-time employees

This item refers to employees who work less than 35 hours per week and are entitled to paid leave.

Personal injury

This item refers to motor vehicle, workers compensation and other personal injury fields of legal work.

Practising barristers

A practising barrister is a law graduate with a current practising certificate, who, having been admitted to the bar, specialises in representing clients in court.

Practising solicitors

A practising solicitor is a law graduate with a current practising certificate, who is generally responsible for advising clients on legal matters, preparing legal documents, representing clients in summary matters and instructing barristers in relation to more complex advocacy work.

Principals/directors of incorporated businesses

This item refers to owners or directors of incorporated businesses or those who act as trustees for a trust. they are considered to be employees of the business because they receive a salary, unlike working proprietors or partners.

Pro bono legal work

For the purpose of this survey, pro bono legal work is defined as work generally in the nature of legal advice, representation or service performed by legally qualified staff free of charge or at a substantially reduced rate:
  • for clients who cannot afford to pay full market rates;
  • for a (non-government) organisation working for disadvantaged groups; or
  • for the public good.

It also includes involvement by legally qualified staff in free community legal education and/or law reform. Work on behalf of Legal Aid Commissions and cases involving contingency fee arrangements (e.g. 'no win/no fee') are excluded. Please refer to paragraph 28 of the Explanatory Notes regarding potential non-sampling error with this data item.

Professional expenses

This item includes expenditure on practising certificate fees, professional association fees, professional library services, journal subscriptions, purchases of textbooks and loose leaf services.

Public prosecutors

These organisations are the Office of Public Prosecutions in each state and territory and the federal Department of Public Prosecutions.
Rent, leasing and hiring expenses

This item represents the costs of the rent, leasing (excluding finance leases) and hiring of vehicles, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and any other property from other businesses or individuals.

Representation at mediation or arbitration

Representation at mediation or arbitration denotes providing legal services in the interests of one of the parties to a dispute where a resolution is sought through mediation or arbitration.
Senior counsel

A senior counsel is a barrister admitted to the highest possible level of qualification in his or her field. This classification also includes Queens Counsel.
Time spent on matters referred by legal aid commissions

This item represents an estimate of the number of hours spent by legally qualified staff on matters referred to businesses by, or on behalf of a legal aid commission. Please see Technical Note on historical comparisons.

Time spent on pro bono legal work

This item represents an estimate of the number of hours spent by legally qualified staff of businesses on pro bono legal work. Please see Technical Note on historical comparisons.

Total expenses

This item is the sum of all expense components.

Total income

This item is the sum of all income components.

Total value of pro bono legal work

Total value of pro bono legal work, also described as Value of work undertaken by fee status, represents the sum of the following three items:
  • Fee income received (from reduced fee work)
  • Fee income forgone in reduced fee work
  • Fee income forgone in no-fee work.

Trusts

A Trust is a legal entity, established by deed, which charges a trustee with the responsibility of applying the income and/or assets of the trust to the benefit of the trust's beneficiaries, either at the trustee's discretion or as prescribed by the deed of trust. A trust can carry on a business. In this publication, for the purposes of classifying employment by employment characteristics, those who operate the business in the name of the trust are treated as principals/directors of incorporated businesses.
Unincorporated

This item refers to businesses which are not organised and maintained as a legal corporation separate from their owners, e.g. sole proprietorship. Where employment is classified by employment characteristics in this publication, owners of unincorporated businesses are reported as working proprietors and partners.
Volunteers

This group of items refers to persons who, during the month of June 2008, provided voluntary unpaid assistance to organisations mainly engaged in the provision of legal services. The number of volunteers represents the number of persons who undertook voluntary work in the capacity of:
  • practising barristers and solicitors;
  • providers of other legal services; and
  • providers of other services, (i.e. other than legal services).

Hours worked by volunteers during the month of June are also presented for each of the types of services listed above.
Wages and salaries

This item refers to the gross wages and salaries (excluding capitalised wages and salaries) of all employees of the business/organisation. The item includes severance, termination and redundancy payments, salaries and fees of directors and executives, retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer, bonuses, and annual and other types of leave. Provision expenses for employee entitlements (e.g. provisions for annual leave and leave bonus, long service leave, sick leave, and severance, termination and redundancy payments) are also included. Payments related to salary sacrifice and payments to self-employed persons such as consultants, contractors and persons paid solely by commission without a retainer are excluded, as are drawings from profits.

Wills, probate and estate activities

This item refers to legal work concerned with the preparation and administration of wills, estates and inheritances.

Workers' compensation

This item refers to legal work concerned with compensation claims resulting from employment.

Working proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses

A working proprietor of an unincorporated business operates his or her own business (a sole proprietorship), while a partner, along with one or more other partners, operates a partnership. Working proprietors and working partners are:
  • the owners of their business
  • legally inseparable from the business entity
  • liable for any business debts that are incurred.

As such, working proprietors and working partners of unincorporated businesses are not considered to be employees of their business.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.