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

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Entries Tagged as 'Trust money'

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

Lessons from a tome in the dome on the assignment of suits’ fruits

December 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Cruelly, the Legal Services Commissioner prosecuted my client recently for disbursing monies from his trust account to the wrong person, albeit without the slightest dishonest intent, which he said would be regarded by competent and reputable peers as disgraceful or dishonourable.  I say ‘cruelly’ because he made me go to the Supreme Court Library, and […]

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Tags: litigation ethics · Trust money

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

New South Wales Law Society misconceivedly suspends sole practitioner’s PC peremptorily

November 5th, 2014 · No Comments

In Dennis v Council of the Law Society of New South Wales [2014] NSWSC 1487, the Law Society suspended a sole practitioner’s practising certificate with immediate effect and appointed a manager to his practice.  He had not responded to commands by a trust investigator to produce documents and answer questions in relation to a disciplinary complaint.  […]

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Tags: External administration · Legal Profession Act · Practising certificates · Professional regulation · regulators' duties · Suspension · Trust money · trust monies

NSW solicitor who failed to pay counsel’s fees struck off

May 9th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Updated post (25 July 2014):  The answer to the question posed by the original post is: yes, he will be struck off.  Here are the reasons: Council of the Law Society of NSW V Andreone (No2) [2014] NSWCATOD 81.  His failure to make submissions on the question would not have assisted.  On the question of whether […]

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Tags: "disgraceful and dishonourable" · common law · Discipline · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Striking off · Trust money

More on solicitors’ obligations to pay counsel’s fees

April 3rd, 2013 · No Comments

Council of the Law Society of New South Wales v JAX [2012] NSWADT 283 is a case in which the solicitor was disciplined for paying himself out of fees provided to him by his client for payment of counsel’s fees.  Ultimately he went bankrupt and did not pay the fees. See also this earlier post […]

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Tags: Discipline · Dishonesty · fraud · mental illness · Professional fees and disbursements · prosecutors' duties · Trust money · Unsatisfactory conduct

$25,000 fine for cheques in the bottom drawer scheme

March 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

The latest decision from VCAT’s Legal Practice List is Legal Services Commissioner v JHMcC [2011] VCAT 231, a ‘guilty plea’ to six charges of professional misconduct. A lawyer purchased a franchise to operate under the name of one of Melbourne’s leading personal injury firms — I never knew such things existed — and was responsible […]

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Tags: Discipline · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Trust money

Supreme Court overturns 2008’s biggest discipline decision

August 26th, 2010 · No Comments

Update, 31 January 2012:  See now Council of the NSW Law Society v Simpson [2011] NSWADT 242 re the meaning of ‘misappropriation’.  It was on this point that Justice Bell in Brereton overturned VCAT’s decision: they had not recorded making a finding of dishonest intention. Original post: Justice Bell yesterday allowed an appeal by Michael […]

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Tags: "question of law" · appeals · Discipline · Trust money

The Tax Man and the Law Institute, round III

April 18th, 2010 · No Comments

In Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Law Institute of Victoria [2010] VSCA 73, the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the trial judge’s decision in Law Institute of Victoria Limited v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2009] VSC 179, which I posted about here.  I posted about round 1, before that, here.  Justice of Appeal […]

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Tags: Legal Profession Act · Professional regulation · Trust money