For a very long time in Commonwealth legal systems, the legal profession has been regulated for the benefit of clients of lawyers and the public at large. Among other things, there has been a recognised public interest in protecting those liable to pay legal fees from overcharging by lawyers. One of those protections is and has been the legal requirement for a bill to be provided so that the client can seek advice on the fees and charges.
Continue reading “The case law of lawyers bills in England, India, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong”
At about 1.00 am on Sunday 17 February 2019, police were patrolling in Rockhampton when they saw a car driving erratically and knocking over a street sign. They pulled the car over and found the driver was local solicitor Douglas “call me Doug” Winning.
A true man of style, Winning was wearing only a pair of shorts. His vehicle had sustained damage on the bonnet and a front tyre. When asked that he had been drinking, Winning nominated the amount as “a bottle of rum”, explaining that he had had a sleep since finishing it. He was slurring his words. He twice said “You’re not going to pinch me”.
Continue reading “Douglas Winning refused High Court leave to appeal against corruption conviction”
“The ethos of service and duty that used to underpin so many professions often seems to have been replaced with a claim to moral leadership by the better-educated.”
Head, hand & heart: The struggle for dignity and status in the 21st Century David Goodhart, 2020, Allen Lane, p17
In 2021, British barrister Jon Holbrook was investigated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) over a series of social-media posts. 17 were thrown out. It decided that one of the 18 tweets in question constituted a breach of professional conduct.
Continue reading “British barrister beats woke Bar Standards Board”
Cameron McKenzie has been removed from the roll of lawyers after his conviction for extortion.
In 15 January 2017, then Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale had a number of telephone calls with the complainant Xin Li falsely purporting to be a private investigator and demanding that the complainant pay a sum of money to Yutian Li, a woman the complainant had had a relationship with. Pisasale threatened to cause detriment to the complainant, including by having him subjected to court proceedings, being sued for $200,000, incurring costs of $20,000 in court, being subjected to the adverse publicity of court proceedings and being summoned to go to court.
At about 1.00 am on Sunday 17 February 2019, police were patrolling in Rockhampton when they saw a car driving erratically and knocking over a street sign. They pulled the car over and found the driver was Douglas “call me Doug” Winning, a local solicitor.
What transpired was recorded on the officer’s body-worn cameras. All class, Winning was wearing only a pair of shorts. His vehicle had sustained damage on the bonnet where the sign had hit and there was damage to a front tyre. When asked that he had been drinking, Winning nominated the amount as “a bottle of rum”, explaining that he had had a sleep since finishing it. He was slurring his words. He twice said “You’re not going to pinch me”.
One of the officers said she was going to administer a roadside breath test. Winning was in the car holding his passport and $300 in cash, made up of six $50 notes. At the conclusion of the roadside breath test, Winning lifted his hands. He put his passport down on the seat beside him, and held up his right hand with the notes in it, saying: “Can’t pay my way out this, can I?”.
Continue reading “Winning Winner Douglas Dinner loses corruption conviction appeal”
Having a written agreement ensures that there is no doubt or disagreement as to what the agreement was. This significantly reduces the risk of disputes later on. And the chances of a dispute arising when an important agreement is not reduced to writing are numerous.
It is a very good idea to see a solicitor to draft your agreement. The advantages of doing so are numerous:
1) Solicitors are good at drafting documents in a clear, concise and legally effective manner
2) Solicitors might be able to advise you which parts of the agreement may be void or unenforceable, and how the agreement can be amended to avoid such an outcome
3) Solicitors are able to think of issues that you may not have considered eg: how can the agreement be terminated? Should a provision be made for a renegotiation after a set period of time? Should timeframes be included to ensure the parties comply with their obligations in a timely manner? How will a key term of the agreement be defined? What happens if the agreement is breached? And so on.
4) Solicitors can insert ‘standard’ clauses in the agreement which strengthen and improve it.
If your agreement is important to you, getting a solicitor to draft it is the best decision you can make. Sterling Law can assist you with this.
Former Victorian criminal barrister Nicola Gobbo represented a number of high-profile clients during her career at the bar. It was later discovered that she had also been acting as a police informant, and was using confidential information obtained from her clients to assist police in obtaining evidence. This revelation sparked a royal commission in Victoria, and Gobbo’s evidence at the royal commission suggested her motivation for this extraordinary course of conduct was to feel valued.
Continue reading “Nicola Gobbo aka Lawyer X removed from the roll of lawyers”
Queensland solicitor James Loel has avoided a strike-off order after it was found that he had engaged in professional misconduct on five occasions, and engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct eight times.
The rehabilitation he had undertaken since the offending conduct and his acceptance of the conduct were significant factors which weighed in his favour.
The full decision can be accessed here: http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCAT/2020/326.html
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The distinction between solicitors and barristers is a traditional feature of English legal systems, including Australia’s. The main difference between the two today is that barristers specialise in court advocacy and are normally instructed by solicitors, who deal with clients directly, operate trust accounts and also do non-court work such as writing correspondence, conveyancing, preparing legal documents and handling estates.
Continue reading “When the Solicitor-Barrister relationship turns sour”