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Perth solicitor enters mediation with dissatisfied client

A Perth solicitor found guilty of professional misconduct was ordered to attend mediation with a former client over compensation concerns.

user iconNaomi Neilson 23 February 2024 Big Law
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Fremantle practice director Vitomir Dangubic will enter mediation with the client after the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal (WASAT) determined the client was entitled to apply for a compensation order under the now-repealed Legal Profession Act.

Mr Dangubic was found guilty of professional misconduct in November 2023 due to a delay in providing documents to the client and for writing letters that were “false and misleading” about the extent of documents “enclosed under cover of those letters”.

While the client alleged he suffered loss as a result of Mr Dangubic’s conduct, WASAT noted his claimed disputes largely relate to matters “many years before the conduct the subject of the 2023 orders”.


“However, it appears possible from the agreed facts that [the client] may have incurred some costs as a result of the delay in returning his documents,” WASAT deputy president Fiona Vernon said.

Before permitting the client to move forward with the compensation order, Ms Vernon had to first determine whether he would need to be added as a party to the disciplinary proceedings in order to do so.

Mr Dangubic opposed this on the grounds that the Legal Services and Complaints Committee (LSCC) is the only party that can bring a compensation order and because the client’s compensation claim arises from “conduct beyond the scope of the tribunal’s findings”.

Ms Vernon said part of Mr Dangubic’s LSCC submission is “certainly correct” as it is for the committee to decide whether it would make an order for settlement in a disciplinary proceeding context.

“However, in the tribunal’s view, that does not prevent an aggrieved person from applying for a compensation order,” Ms Vernon said.

Ms Vernon said the client would not be added as a party to the disciplinary proceedings and would be limited in the submissions he can make so as to avoid relitigating the resolved matter.

Mr Dangubic’s submissions that there is “no evidence” that the client’s claim for compensation related to the November 2023 orders was also dismissed as those submissions “were made on the basis [the client] required leave to intervene in the disciplinary proceedings”.

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