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Family lawyer told client to ‘ignore’ divorce hearing

A family lawyer was reprimanded for purposefully delaying divorce proceedings and advising his client to “ignore” the hearing.

user iconNaomi Neilson 29 April 2024 Big Law
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The Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal (WASAT) settled proceedings between the Legal Services and Complaints Committee (LSCC) and solicitor Victor Vui Tet Lo, who was accused of deliberately seeking to delay divorce proceedings.

In the course of acting for the client after a June 2018 hearing, Lo failed to file an affidavit from the client providing an update on children despite advising a registrar he would do so.

Lo also failed to file a notice of acting in circumstances “where he was aware” the client advised the registrar he would.


In addition to advising the client to “ignore” the next hearing date for the proceedings, Lo failed to appear himself.

The conduct amounted to professional misconduct.

WASAT was also told Lo engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct by accepting $1,000 in cash from a client in advance of providing legal services and failed to deposit it into a trust account.

The client did not receive a receipt for the trust money.

In the course of transferring from Forbes Kirby Lawyers and Consultants to VL Legal, Lo transferred the client’s matter “without giving the client any, or any reasonable, notice”.

The client said she was not informed that she was “not obliged to engage” with VL Legal.

The same client said she was not advised in a timely manner, “or at all”, that a court had made an order for divorce in August 2018.

WASAT made an order that Lo be publicly reprimanded, pay a fine of $18,000 and pay the LSCC’s costs in the sum of $6,000.