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

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Entries Tagged as 'Professional fees and disbursements'

The latest on pro bono costs agreements which preserve the possibility of a costs order against the other side

March 8th, 2017 · No Comments

For far too long, the law was unclear about whether costs agreements which said ‘We’ll only charge you if you win and only for work in respect of which we get a costs order’ actually worked.  The problem was that losing parties invoked the indemnity principle in the law of costs, arguing that what was […]

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Tags: Costs agreements · Indemnity principle · No win no fee · Party party costs · Professional fees and disbursements

Does the Legal Services Board have the power retrospectively to excuse inadvertently practising briefly without a practising certificate?

February 24th, 2017 · No Comments

As with most years, no doubt scores of Victorian lawyers forgot to renew their practising certificates last year.  For months, in some cases, this situation was allowed by the regulators to persist without intervention.  In Victorian Bar Inc v GSL [2006] VCAT 435 the VCAT, constituted by Judge Bowman, Peter Jopling QC, and Ms F […]

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Tags: Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · Practising certificates · Professional fees and disbursements · Professional regulation · Retainers · Uniform Legal Services Council and Commissioner

Transferring monies from trust to pay legal fees: can a client stymie an accrued right to appropriate fees by a late objection to the transfer?

December 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Say you’re a solicitor.  You send a bill to your client noting your intention to pay it from monies in your trust account held for the client.  Seven days go by and there is no objection to the transfer.   Say at this point you have a perfectly good entitlement to appropriate your fees from […]

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Tags: Professional fees and disbursements · Trust money

Too broad a range of estimates of total costs causes NSW solicitor great grief

November 30th, 2016 · No Comments

Frontier Law Group Pty Ltd v Barkman [2016] NSWSC 1542 is an ex tempore decision of Justice Slattery in an urgent application to extend the operation of a caveat lodged by solicitors over their client’s property.  The application failed in part because the solicitors did not prove, even to the prima facie level required in such […]

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Tags: Costs agreements · costs disclosure defaults · Professional fees and disbursements · Solicitor client bills of costs · The suit for fees

NSWCA surveys fines in NSW lawyers’ discipline decisions over a decade

November 14th, 2016 · No Comments

Russo v Legal Services Commissioner [2016] NSWCA 306 was the subject of my previous post. The Court engaged in a comparatively sophisticated review of disciplinary outcomes in like cases.  The purposes of this post is to reproduce that review and comment on the variables which ought to be taken into account in any proper survey of past outcomes. To […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Professional regulation · Solicitor client bills of costs · The suit for fees · Trust money · Uniform Legal Services Council and Commissioner

NSW solicitor who didn’t pay counsel’s fees struck back on

November 13th, 2016 · No Comments

Salvatore Russo, a solicitor of 29 years’ standing, was struck off NSW’s roll of solicitors on 16 April 2016 by NCAT.  He had received payment from his client for counsel’s fees but not paid counsel for years. Then he was high-handed in response to the client’s entreaties when counsel sued the client directly.  The Court of Appeal found […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal writing · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Trust money · trust monies

Legal Services Commissioner’s new decision making powers

October 11th, 2016 · No Comments

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner has published a report on his new proactive regulation of the profession.  It tells how risk profiles of practices are being constructed with the assistance of academics to target trust audits and audits of firms more generally (a new thing for law practices which are not ILPs).  It also tells […]

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Tags: costs disputes · Discipline · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations

Third party payer taxations where client bankrupt: WASCA

October 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

In Iron Mountain Mining Ltd v K & L Gates [2016] WASCA 166, the appellant, a listed company, had indemnified one of its directors against the legal costs of lawyers defending the director in criminal charges.  Companies can do this on the basis that the director must repay the costs if he pleads or is found guilty, […]

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Tags: Professional fees and disbursements · Solicitor client bills of costs · Taxations

Yet more on the obligation on Legal Services Commissioners to plead their case properly and stick to it

August 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Legal Services Commissioner v AL [2016] QCAT 237 is a decision of a disciplinary tribunal presided over by Justice David Thomas, President of QCAT and a Supreme Court judge. It is therefore of high persuasive value, and treats Queensland provisions which are the same as the equivalent Victorian provisions. And it provides what I suggest with […]

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Tags: Alleging fraud & misconduct · Briginshaw · Discipline · Dishonesty · Evidence · fraud · gross overcharging · jurisdiction · litigation ethics · natural justice · negligence as disciplinary breach · procedure · Professional fees and disbursements · prosecutorial failures · prosecutors' duties · Taxations · Unsatisfactory conduct · Wasted costs

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