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Managing partner faces court

The competition and consumer watchdog has begun court proceedings against a law firm managing partner for alleged deceptive conduct.

THE competition and consumer watchdog has begun court proceedings against a law firm managing partner for alleged deceptive conduct.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed Pippa Sampson, the principal lawyer at Goddard Elliott, a small Melbourne law firm, for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct when reprenseing video stores in small debt recovery.

The ACCC alleges that from at least July 2010, Sampson made misleading or deceptive representations in four debt collection letters and notices posted to addressees.

Sampson, who has been a partner at Goddard Elliott for 20 years, was not available for comment.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, corrective advertising, the implementation of a trade practices law compliance program, and costs against Sampson.

The matter has been listed for the hearing of an ACCC application for an interlocutory injunction in the Federal Court, Melbourne, on Wednesday this week.

The ACCC's interlocutory application seeks an order restraining the despatch of documents to the effect of the debt notices detailed in the ACCC's proceedings until the matter is determined or there is a further order of the court.

According to the ACCC, Sampson falsely told debtors that if a debt was not paid and a video store issued a legal proceeding against the addresses, that would result in the addressee having to pay “significant legal costs”.

It claims she said in a debt collection letter that her law firm could enforce judgment by way of a warrant, garnishee order and/or an order against the addressee’s wages, which would be served upon their employer, “when such remedies can only be ordered by the court”.


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