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ACT lawyer makes ‘nonsense’ claims to remain on roll

An ACT solicitor found guilty of 18 counts of misconduct made a number of strange and baseless claims in an attempt to overturn the decision that his name be removed from the roll of practitioners.

user iconNaomi Neilson 15 January 2024 Big Law
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The solicitor, whose name was redacted, applied to overturn findings of guilt on 16 counts of professional misconduct and two charges of unsatisfactory professional conduct by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal and again by the Appeals Tribunal.

Some of the proven charges included trust account misconduct, a failure to deliver legal services competently, and having made allegations against a judge of the Federal Circuit Court “without particularising, justifying or substantiating” the claims.

In a matter before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the solicitor was found to have repeatedly interrupted the member, was at times discourteous, and directed his client not to answer questions.


In a separate proceeding, the solicitor was accused of failing to comply with court orders and knowingly or recklessly misleading the Federal Circuit Court in oral submissions.

Appearing before the Supreme Court for his application for leave to appeal, the solicitor also sought that by overturning the decisions of both tribunals, there should be no impediment to him applying for and securing an unrestricted practising certificate.

However, acting Justice Greg Curtin SC said there was a “total lack of assistance of the applicant in identifying any potential arguable error” and refused to grant the solicitor leave to appeal.

At one point, Justice Curtin labelled one of the solicitor’s submissions as “nonsense” and, on another, said that while he was assured by the solicitor that he could point to factual findings, “he never did”.

As part of the same application for leave to appeal, the solicitor also attempted to have the counsel for the ACT Law Society be recused from the matter on the grounds of apprehended bias.

The solicitor claimed this bias arose because both acting Justice Curtin and the counsel were members of NCAT. This was refused.

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