Court orders lawyer to repay $100k in fees

By Reporter|15 July 2015

The Western Australian Supreme Court has found a family lawyer overcharged his client, in one instance billing for almost 25 hours in a single day.

The lawyer, identified as Mr K, charged his client, Mr M, a total of $330,000 over the course of a divorce proceeding.

Neither party can be identified as proceedings were in the Family Court.

Supreme Court registrar Christopher Boyle found Mr K’s fees were excessive and ordered the bill to be reduced to $220,000.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Registrar Boyle also found Mr K’s records were unreliable, with one “particularly disturbing” item showing 20 straight hours of research.

“There is no indication of what was being researched,” Registrar Boyle said, according to a report in The Australian.

“Nor, it seems, did this marathon exhaust [him]. Other work is shown as being done on that day, such that the total charged on this one day is 24.8 hours.”

The judgment by Registrar Boyle states Mr K was not an accredited family lawyer and should have engaged specialist counsel.

In addition, as Mr K is a sole practitioner, Registrar Boyle found he frequently charged for work that “did not require the skill of a lawyer”.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Nonetheless, the judgment noted that the conduct of Mr M’s wife and lawyers significantly increased costs, with little attempt made to resolve disputes out of court.

Overall, the former couple accumulated legal fees of more than $1.1 million, which the Family Court judge who heard the case described as “staggering” and “totally disproportionate to the pool of assets”.

 

 

 

Court orders lawyer to repay $100k in fees
Intro image
lawyersweekly logo
News

latest

How utilising cryptocurrency has paid off for this law firm

How utilising cryptocurrency has paid off for this law firm

Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar

Partners ‘have to have compassion’

Natalie Lonergan and Tatiana Gotvig

Squires lands team of 4 from NRF 

The rise of state-based class action regimes

The rise of state-based class action regimes

FROM THE WEB
Recommended by Spike Native Network