Legal Profession Act – client or 3rd party

Legal Services Commissioner v Wright [2010] QSC 168

The Legal Services Commissioner brought an original application for the provision of an itemised account in the circumstances of a family law settlement, where the other party (Ms Anderson) had the benefit of the transfer of property, but was not the client of the solicitor upon whom the application was made.

The Chief Justice held that Ms Anderson was neither a client or 3rd party of the firm and accordingly the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) was not triggered in respect of costs ( s 301, s 302, s 332, s 335).

It is however, instructive, that Commissioner could have required the respondent to produce “any document in the practitioner’s custody, possession or control that the practitioner is entitled at law to produce” (s 443(1)(a)(iii) Legal Profession Act), which would include any itemized bill. The Commissioner did not apparently follow that course.

 

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

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