Slobodan Catovic did not want to pay his solicitor’s bill. He misconceivedly invoked the Legal Profession Act, 2004 provision which allows clients to apply to set aside costs agreements, but that is not what he wanted to do. Senior Member Howell satisfied himself that Mr Catovic had intended to bring an application under the Fair Trading Act, 1999, and ordered that the application be treated as a small claim under that Act. He even told the Registrar to refund Mr Catovic the difference between the fee on an application to set aside a costs agreement and the paltry fee payable on the institution of a small claim under the Fair Trading Act, 1999. See Catovic v H Solicitors  VCAT 840. On the propriety of the cross-fertilisation of VCAT’s jurisdictions, see also this post.
- 60 days for referring pecuniary loss disputes to VCAT extendable
- Cross-fertilisation of VCAT jurisdiction under separate enabling acts
- VCAT does not invoke Fair Trading Act to cure want of Legal Profession Act jurisdiction
- Fees reduced for unconscionability where Legal Practice Act costs provisions did not apply
- Lodging a civil complaint with the Legal Services Commissioner limits you to compensation of $25,000 per complaint