Stephen Warne on professional negligence, regulation and discipline around the world

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Entries Tagged as 'Legal Profession Act'

A little case about a barrister suing a solicitor for fees

July 14th, 2016 · No Comments

Barnet Jade has given us an admirably constructed decision of Assessor Olischlager, a no-doubt busy decision maker in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court in NSW.  Dupree v Russo [2016] NSWLC 8 was a barrister’s suit for fees against a solicitor.  Call me a dag, but it is always a pleasure to find diligent, […]

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Tags: Costs agreements · costs disclosure defaults · Legal Profession Act · Professional fees and disbursements · The suit for fees

Applications to extend time to tax lawyers’ bills: keep ’em tight

June 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Many disputes about costs are still governed by the Legal Profession Act 2004.  It specified as the time in which to seek taxation a period of 12 months.  Where a bill is given, the 12 month period starts from the date of service of the bill.  But since Collection Point Pty Ltd v Cornwalls Lawyers […]

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Tags: Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) · Costs Court · Legal Profession Act · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations

The Bureau de Spank’s obligation not to publish about disciplinary orders until lawyers’ appeal rights are spent

June 19th, 2016 · No Comments

Parliament is considering a bill to re-instate the disciplinary register, and to prohibit the Bureau de Spank from trumpeting its successes before the respondent practitioners’ appeal rights are exhausted: Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Amendment Bill 2016 (Vic.).  Cl. 150E of the Bill proposes to prohibit the Legal Services Board from providing to the public information about disciplinary […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal Profession Act · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · Legal writing · litigation ethics · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional regulation · prosecutors' duties · regulators' duties · VCAT

VCAT gives expansive interpretation to civil complaint dispute resolution jurisdiction

February 28th, 2016 · No Comments

Updated post: The decision is under appeal: Champion v Rohrt [2016] VSCA 64. Original post: VCAT has taken a most expansive approach to its jurisdiction to rule on civil disputes involving lawyers in Rohrt v Champion [2015] VCAT 1875. The liquidator of a company served a notice on a solicitor under the Corporations Law, 2001 […]

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Tags: Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · VCAT

When can lawyers contract out of taxation? (part 2)

December 9th, 2015 · No Comments

This is part 2 of a post about in what circumstances lawyers can avoid having their fees scrutinised by the Supreme Court by the process traditionally known as ‘taxation’, but more recently also described in statutes as ‘costs review’ and ‘costs assessment’.  Part 1 is here. First, a disclosure: I argued Beba at first instance, for […]

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Tags: Costs agreements · Legal Profession Act · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations · Uncategorized

When can lawyers contract out of taxation? (part 1)

December 6th, 2015 · No Comments

Often enough, lawyers would love to avoid having their costs taxed.  Under the repealed but still operative Legal Profession Act 2004, lawyers could contract out in advance of the obligation to have their fees reviewed by taxation with ‘sophisticated clients’, but I do not recall ever having seen anyone attempt to do so. When lawyers […]

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Tags: Costs agreements · costs disclosure defaults · costs disputes · Legal Profession Act · Professional fees and disbursements · setting aside costs agreements · Taxations · The suit for fees

The extended duration of the un-renewed practising certificate

October 8th, 2015 · No Comments

Under the Legal Profession Act 2004, if a lawyer applied for renewal of their practising certificate prior to the expiry of the old one, but a decision was not made before the old one runs out, the certificate is extended until either it is renewed or a decision to refuse renewal is finally determined by […]

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Tags: Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) · Civil Procedure Acts · Ethics · Legal Profession Act · litigation ethics · Non-party costs orders · Party party costs · Practising certificates · Professional regulation · Proportionality · regulators' duties

Admissibility of material relevant to penalty at the liability stage

October 7th, 2015 · No Comments

In my experience, the Legal Services Commissioner generally assumes that material relevant to penalty is inadmissible at the liability stage.  So, for example, the Commissioner applied recently for leave to re-cross-examine a practitioner in a disciplinary hearing, after the close of evidence, in order to adduce evidence relevant to penalty by reference to ‘disciplinary priors’, even though […]

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Tags: Discipline · Evidence · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · procedure · prosecutors' duties

Legal Services Commissioner seeks to overturn privilege against penalties

April 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

There is an old and well established privilege, the privilege against penalties, which is a relative of the privilege against self-incrimination.  It entitles solicitors facing disciplinary prosecution to stay silent throughout the proceedings until the end of the Commissioner’s case unless the Tribunal makes an order requiring provision of written grounds and an outline of […]

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Tags: Discipline · doctors · duty to court · Evidence · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · litigation ethics · natural justice · Penalties privilege · procedure · prosecutors' duties

Suspensions which are not suspensions and orders which are not orders

March 25th, 2015 · No Comments

VCAT’s latest decision to come to my attention, of Member Elizabeth Wentworth, involved another solicitor who did not lodge tax returns over an extended period. He was suspended from practice for 12 months, but the suspension was suspended provided he did not breach certain conditions in the three years after the orders.  If he does, then […]

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Tags: amendment · common law · Discipline · Dishonesty · fraud · Legal Profession Act · Misconduct · Practising certificates · procedure · Suspension