find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Judge and partner embroiled in 'frivolous' case

Judge and partner embroiled in 'frivolous' case

Federal court judge, Berna Collier, and her husband, Brisbane lawyer Alan Collier, have been forced to repay the legal fees their neighbour accrued in a dispute with the couple.

FEDERAL court judge, Berna Collier, and her husband, Brisbane lawyer Alan Collier, have been forced to repay the legal fees their neighbour accrued in a dispute with the couple. 

Judge Michael Rackemann, of the Queensland Planning and Environment Court, ruled that the couple would be required to repay the legal fees from a previous case, to their neighbour, one of Queensland's wealthiest women, Maxine Horne, after he deemed it was “frivolous or vexatious”. 

While the Integrated Planning Act 1997 states that each party in the court must bear the party’s own cost for the proceedings, it does allow for some exceptions to the rule, including if the court considers the proceedings or part of the proceedings to be frivolous or vexatious. 

The case in question was based on the Colliers' objection to Horne’s plans to extend her home, to almost double the size of its original form, which would result in the Collier’s property losing some of its impressive view, sun on the backyard pool and possibly its value. 

Horne spent $5 million on the purchase of the run down property ‘Berrimilla’ and an adjoining property. The Colliers, who live on the lower side of the Horne house, claimed the construction of the new home would have severe impacts on their and an adjoining neigbour's property. 

The squabble has lasted at least three years, and when it started the male Collier noted that "it is unfortunate because it is nothing that we would have wished to occur. There is not quite the same friendliness that used to exist in the area", The Australian reported in 2006.

The original case resulted in amendments being made to the development plans, however, the Colliers were not satisfied with these and again undertook legal proceedings claiming that the new plans would affect the “amenity” of their property. 

In commenting on the second appeal, Judge Rackemann said: “I am satisfied that this part of the proceeding was frivolous and vexatious and warrants the exercise of discretion in favour of the adverse costs order.” 

Horne was represented in the appeals case by Deacons Lawyers, while the Colliers were represented by Connor O’Meara solicitors. 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Judge and partner embroiled in 'frivolous' case
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...