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WA solicitor reprimanded for estate misconduct

A West Australian solicitor was reprimanded and fined for misconduct in two estate matters, including for a failure to advise a client that legal bills had “substantially exceeded” the estimate.

user iconNaomi Neilson 02 May 2024 Big Law
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The Legal Services and Complaints Committee (LSCC) agreed to settle a disciplinary matter with solicitor Richard Parker Camm in the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal earlier this week.

The tribunal was told Camm engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct in relation to one estate between 15 and 18 December 2016 and another estate between 23 November and 18 December 2016.

The two overlapped, with Camm’s “undue delay” in the administration of one estate causing a further delay in the other.


Camm was also found to have told a client that the estimated costs for his matter would be between $5,000 and $8,000, but he failed to revise that number or notify the client it had “substantially exceeded” the predicted amount “prior to rendering an invoice”.

He then failed to disclose, “adequately or at all”, in writing any relevant matters as required under the Legal Profession Act “as soon as was reasonably practicable after he was retained”.

In addition to the reprimand, Camm was fined $4,000 and ordered to pay the LSCC’s costs in the sum of $6,000.

The LSCC has settled a number of proceedings against West Australian solicitors in the last month, including Victor Vui Tet Lo, who was accused of deliberating seeking to delay divorce proceedings.

Lo’s conduct in the matter amounted to both professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct.

Martin Lawrence Bennett, a lawyer with 50 years of experience, also settled his matter with the LSCC after being found to have engaged in professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct.

The tribunal was told Bennett was grossly careless in permitting his firm to affirm an affidavit that contained confidential information.

In early April, the LSCC settled with Anthony Elliott, who failed to give adequate advice and pushed an “inappropriate case theory”.

The conduct was also a mix of professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct.