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Suspended solicitor accused of trust account misconduct

An NSW solicitor already embroiled in criminal proceedings and a fight to hold onto her practising certificate is now challenging allegations she withdrew more than $100,000 from a trust account without authorisation.

user iconNaomi Neilson 19 December 2023 Big Law
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In a summons filed with the NSW Supreme Court in September this year, the solicitor – known only as Ms XY given the ongoing and unrelated criminal proceedings – was accused of withdrawing $106,000 from the account without the authorisation from the plaintiffs in the current matter.

The matter has a long history and most recently included a District Court judgment in favour of Ms XY for the sum of $377,277.

The plaintiffs alleged in the Supreme Court this was “obtained wrongly and supported by reliance on fraudulent documents”, involving work that was allegedly “so lacking in legal skills that costs should be awarded”.


Ms XY attempted to have the Supreme Court throw the summons out, arguing the summons was a vexatious proceeding.

Justice Michael Elkaim said there is material that could “form the basis for a sound appeal and action”, and as such, he was “not prepared to go so far as to say that there is no real question to be tried”.

However, Justice Elkaim said there needed to be “substantial amendments” to the summons and granted the plaintiffs leave to file.

These proceedings are not the only ones Ms XY will face in 2024.

According to Justice Elkaim’s judgment, Ms XY’s practising certificate was suspended by the NSW Law Society in mid-2021 and – while it remains suspended – Ms XY is currently fighting to have it reinstated.

The Law Society suspended Ms XY’s certificate after she was charged with “making a false document to obtain advantage or cause disadvantage”. Ms XY has denied this charge and any wrongdoing.

As for the criminal proceedings, the decision has been reserved.