Victoria govt. announces $34.7 million boost for legal services access

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Victoria govt. announces $34.7 million boost for legal services access
The government in Victoria has announced a multi-million-dollar investment in access to justice following the Access to Justice Review.

The $34.7 million funding is in addition to more than $100 million to enhance the justice system and legal assistance services which was already announced as part of the 2017-18 budget.

The new funding will be spent on several areas including additional legal aid grants ($7.23m), expanding the Legal Help hotline and Legal Aid website ($6.85m), duty lawyer service ($2.59m), translator/interpreter services ($1.27m), improved websites for VCAT and the courts ($1.98m) and for specialist support for self-litigants ($1.1m).

VCAT will get $4.55 million to modernise and streamline its processes, $6.26 million for increasing alternative dispute resolution services and $800,000 towards planning for an Australian-first pilot for an online dispute resolution service.

The announcement has been welcomed by law firm Maurice Blackburn.

“Everyone deserves equal access to advice and assistance under the law, and we believe the measures announced today will play an important role in helping to better ensure access to justice for all Victorians,” commented Social Justice Practice Manager Jennifer Kanis.

Baker McKenzie shares trade secrets
Baker McKenzie has published a guide for clients on protecting trade secrets.

The global law firm’s publication looks at how trade secrets are protected, what businesses should be aware of, risks from employees and cyber-attacks, and what to do if secrets fall into the wrong hands.

"Trade Secret law is changing rapidly as companies and governments realize the importance of protecting proprietary information for their businesses and strengthen their overall economy," said Kevin O'Brien, leading Trade Secrets expert at Baker McKenzie.

The guide is available via the firm’s Global IP Suite.

IP specialist joins Corrs in Melbourne
Jurgen Bebber has joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth as a partner in its Melbourne office.

The intellectual property and trademark law specialist focuses on protecting clients’ IP and internet related issues ranging from cyber-squatting to cyber fraud.