Service level charter of Legal Services Group
Legal Services Group is responsible for the provision of legal services to the University and its controlled entities. Our mission is to assist the University by:
- Providing high quality, timely legal service, and
- Playing a pro-active, risk management role with respect to the activities of the University and its controlled entities.
Who is our client?
- Legal Services Group lawyers have a professional obligation and a duty to the Court to act in the best interests of their employer, i.e. the University. Whilst it is the University which is our client, rather than individual staff members or particular groups, we are committed to assisting staff members, Schools and support groups to achieve the best outcomes for the University.
How we work
- As officers of the Court, our obligation is to provide legal advice and assistance to the University independently of any interference or influence from others.
- In order to advise and assist the University as required, Legal Services Group lawyers will communicate with staff members we consider appropriate in order to provide the advice and assistance which the University needs.
- If a particular matter is litigious or could become litigious, Legal Services Group must, in order to protect the University’s interests, provide advice in a manner that protects legal professional privilege, i.e. such that the communication cannot be disclosed in the course of legal proceedings. In such instances this requires internal and external correspondence to be directed through Legal Services Group in order to ensure that such communication will be privileged.
Our commitment to you
We are committed to assisting staff members, Schools and support groups to get the best outcomes for the University. In particular, we will:-
- Acknowledge instructions as soon as possible after they have been received;
- Endeavour to provide the requested service within ten working days of receipt of instructions (and notify you if that will not be possible);
- Provide advice in a practical, business context which non-lawyers can understand;
- Draft documents which are as user-friendly as possible in the context of the particular matter concerned;
- Advise you where we see risks associated with a particular document or transaction;
- Where advice is unavoidably lengthy, provide a summary of the issues and the risks involved;
- Respond quickly to any complaints or concerns, and otherwise act upon feedback provided;
- Assist you in negotiations or discussions with third parties;
- Meet with you if necessary to discuss and resolve a particular matter;
- Where an agreement is to be drafted or commented upon, we will provide you with a document which can be passed on to the other party for their review;
- Treat University staff politely and with courtesy;
- Return your telephone calls and respond to your emails as soon as possible.
What we need from you
In order that we can fulfil our commitment to you and obtain the best outcomes for the University, we need you to:
- Complete our standard request form as indicated and have that document signed by an authorised person;
- Be up-front and accurate in your dealings with us;
- Advise us if you receive a letter or any correspondence from a lawyer in respect of a matter involving RMIT;
- Not instruct or correspond with any lawyer without prior consultation with Legal Services Group;
- Follow the University’s Contract Management policy;
- Not provide any email or memorandum containing our advice to another person without the prior approval of the General Counsel;
- If the matter involves a dispute or litigation, to keep all communications between you and us confidential.
Costs and fees
Legal Services Group does not charge for the services provided by its lawyers. In most instances we will handle the work internally without any outsourcing, but sometimes outsourcing will be necessary where a matter is highly specialised or resource intensive (e.g. litigation, complex commercial property and IT transactions etc.). Where the matter is outsourced, the legal costs involved are to be met by the relevant School or support Group, but we will discuss this with you before doing so. In such instances, Legal Services Group will have oversight and control of the matter so as to ensure the best possible result, both in terms of outcome and cost.
Legal Services Group staff are committed to providing exceptional service and look forward to working with you.