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
Melbourne barristers face litigation threats

Melbourne barristers face litigation threats

The impending launch of Melbourne TEC Chambers tonight has riled the well-established Melbourne Chambers, which claims its opening could "provoke litigation" from them. _x000D_

THE impending launch of Melbourne TEC Chambers tonight has riled competing and well-established Melbourne Chambers, which claims its opening could "provoke litigation" from them. 


The New Lawyer has received a copy of an email sent to Michael Whitten, the founder of Melbourne TEC Chambers and a member of the Victorian Bar who currently sits in the Chancery Chambers, from a member of Melbourne Chambers. 


The email claims that the launch of Melbourne TEC Chambers is misleading, and "deceptively similar" to the name of Melbourne Chambers, a 71-strong barristers' chambers in the heart of Melbourne's legal precinct on Queen Street. 


The email, sent 14 October, reads: "If it is correct as [The New Lawyer] article says, that you propose to launch 'Melbourne TEC Chambers' publicly as barristers chambers tomorrow, then it is likely to provoke litigation from Melbourne Chambers alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and/or passing off. An injunction and consequential relief will be sought."


The author of the email asks for an undertaking that Melbourne TEC Chambers would not use any name in connection with barristers chambers that is "deceptively similar" to Melbourne Chambers. 


The email asks for an address for service if the directors of Melbourne TEC Chambers are unwilling to reconsider its name. 


The email is answered in a letter from Whitten as secretary of Melbourne TEC Chambers, also signed by chairman Donald Charrett and treasurer Toby Shnookal, also obtained by The New Lawyer. 


"We strongly refute any suggestion that Melbourne TEC Chambers has engaged in any passing off or misleading or deceptive conduct," the letter says. 


Whitten, Charrett and Schnookal say they were "highly surprised" to receive the email. "Throughout the gestation period of this initiative, which has been extensive, there has never been any suggestion that there could be any confusion with Melbourne Chambers which is, of course, very well known to legal practitioners in Melbourne as a physical set of chambers."


Whitten, Charrett and Schnookal write that Melbourne TEC Chambers Inc has been set up to provide marketing to a group of Melbourne barristers specialising in TEC law who want to market their expert services in dispute resolution to solicitors internationally. They claim "both the market and the services provided are entirely different". 


They add the chambers were only incorporated after a review by the Ethics Committee of the Victorian Bar and its rules. 


Justice Vickery, the judge in charge of the TEC list of the Victorian Supreme Court at Melbourne, was consulted on the use of the term "TEC" in the name. 


As it will be a collective of barristers, it was considered "Chambers" was the only term recognised internationally. And, the founders of the new chambers write in their letter, membership of the chambers is confined by its rules to barristers who practice in Melbourne. 


A spokesperson at Melbourne TEC Chambers told The New Lawyer this morning that things have been "resolved amicably". He said: "As far as I am aware there will be no proceedings and things have been resolved."



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

Melbourne barristers face litigation threats
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...