A mid-tier compensation law firm will have to pay legal costs for two clients after it was excoriated for its "woeful" and "pathetic" handling of a will dispute.
Brydens Compensation Lawyers left the dispute in the hands of a lawyer, Jason Dimmock, who the firm knew had disobeyed court orders, lied about his appearance in court and pocketed a cash payment of $1,500 from another client, the NSW Court of Appeal found.
"Life can be unfair," the law firm's website claims. "And when things go seriously wrong you need lawyers you can trust on your side."
But things went seriously wrong for the firm as the firm's partners, Robert Stanley Bryden and Bandeli Hagipantelis, were ordered to pay "wasted costs" racked up because of their employee solicitor's negligence, The Sydney Morning Herald reports today.
Dimmock, who is no longer practicing, was appointed to represent the two parties in the will dispute. But, as the SMH reports, he failed to comply with a string of court orders between October 2007 and May 2008, and failed to tell is clients of mediation and court hearings. The Court said he also failed to file affidavits.
Justice Ruth McColl said: "The solicitor's conduct of the matter was, to use the word that appears in one of the intra-firm communications, 'woeful'."