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Queensland Judgments
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  • Unreported Judgment

Legal Services Commissioner v Leneham (No 2)

 

[2016] QCAT 315

CITATION:

Legal Services Commissioner v Leneham (No 2) [2016] QCAT 315

PARTIES:

Legal Services Commissioner

(Applicant)

v

Russell James Leneham

(Respondent)

APPLICATION NUMBER:

OCR011-14

MATTER TYPE:

Occupational Regulation matters

HEARING DATE:

8 and 9 September 2016

HEARD AT:

Brisbane

DECISION OF:

Justice DG Thomas, President

Assisted by:

Scott Anderson, Legal Panel Member

Dr Margaret Steimberg AM, Lay Panel Member

DELIVERED ON:

9 September 2016

DELIVERED AT:

Brisbane

ORDERS MADE:

  1. The Legal Services Commissioner is to forthwith provide to Quinn and Scattini the Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order and the reasons delivered by the Tribunal in relation to the primary proceedings between the Legal Services Commissioner and Mr Leneham.
  2. The complainant is to file in the Tribunal and serve on the respondent and Quinn and Scattini, any submissions upon which she intends to rely in support of in the Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order, which should include:
    1. the basis of the claim; and
    2. the amount of the claim, by:

4:00pm on 7 October 2016.

  1. The respondent is to file in the Tribunal and serve on the complainant and Quinn and Scattini any submissions in reply upon which he intends to rely, by:

4:00pm on 4 November 2016.

  1. Quinn and Scattini are to file in the Tribunal and serve on the complainant and the respondent any submissions in reply upon which they intend to rely and, by:

4:00pm on 4 November 2016.

  1. Unless an oral hearing is requested by the complainant, the respondent or Quinn and Scattini, the claim for a Compensation Order will be determined on the papers after 4 November 2016.

CATCHWORDS:

PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – LAWYERS – COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINE – PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT AND UNSATISFACTORY PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT –  OTHER MATTERS – where the respondent was found to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct –  where the complainant filed a Notice of Intention to seek Compensation Order in relation to excessive charging of legal costs – where the order is sought pursuant to s 464(d) of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) –  where the parties are to file further submissions – whether the making of an order is in the interests of justice

Legal Profession Act 2007(Qld) ss 464(d), 465

REASONS FOR DECISION

  1. [1]
    The Tribunal’s Reasons for the decision in the disciplinary proceedings between the Legal Services Commissioner and Mr Leneham have been handed down.
  2. [2]
    A Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order was filed on 18 June 2015 by the complainant, Sherry Jewell.
  3. [3]
    Paragraph 2 of the Notice refers to a signed statement by Sherry Jewell in support of the compensation order, and also supporting documentation which is said to include:
    1. Bills Chris Pike $850.00.
    2. Transfer Chris Pike $200.00.
    3. Bill Jon Kent $1794.85.
  4. [4]
    The statement by Sherry Jewell refers to “excessive charges that Mr Leneham from Quinn and Scattini had presented at the mediation”. It refers to having appointed Mr Chris Pike to review the charges and then appointing Jon Kent “to represent us in the QCAT case to which he did till the case was finalised in Court and we were awarded with a sum.”
  5. [5]
    The statement concludes, “this whole process was made necessary as Mr Leneham from Quinn and Scattini at no time advised me a differing range of costs apart from what was written in our contract until the day of our mediation when he informed me of the cost blow out.”
  6. [6]
    The figures referred to in these supporting documents (set out in paragraph 2 of these reasons) seem to relate to moneys paid to Mr Pike and Mr Kent. It seems that there is no claim with respect to any fees paid to Mr Leneham.
  7. [7]
    On this basis, it would seem that the claim for a Compensation Order is of  the type referred to in section 464(d) of the Legal Profession Act 2007(Qld) (‘The Act’) which provides that a compensation order includes:

“(d) an order that a law practice pay to a complainant an amount by way of compensation for pecuniary loss suffered because of conduct that has been found to be… unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner involved in the relevant practice...”

  1. [8]
    Section 465 of the Act provides that compensation orders of the type mentioned in section 464(d) must not be made unless the Tribunal is satisfied:
    1. That the complaint has suffered pecuniary loss because of the conduct, which is found to be unsatisfactory professional conduct.
    2. It is the interest of justice that an order of the type be made.
  2. [9]
    The Tribunal has now published its decision with respect to the conduct.
  3. [10]
    The Tribunal will allow the parties the opportunity to make submissions, based upon the decision, which has been made as to the conduct, regarding the Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order.
  4. [11]
    The Tribunal orders are as follows:
    1. The Legal Services Commissioner is to forthwith provide to Quinn and Scattini the Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order and the reasons delivered by the Tribunal in relation to the primary proceedings between the Legal Services Commissioner and Mr Leneham.
    2. The complainant is to file in the Tribunal and serve on the respondent and Quinn and Scattini, any submissions upon which she intends to rely in support of in the Notice of Intention to Seek Compensation Order, which should include:
      1. the basis of the claim; and
      2. the amount of the claim, by:

4:00pm on 7 October 2016.

  1. The respondent is to file in the Tribunal and serve on the complainant and Quinn and Scattini any submissions in reply upon which he intends to rely, by:

4:00pm on 4 November 2016.

  1. Quinn and Scattini are to file in the Tribunal and serve on the complainant and the respondent any submissions in reply upon which they intend to rely and, by:

4:00pm on 4 November 2016.

  1. Unless an oral hearing is requested by the complainant, the respondent or Quinn and Scattini, the claim for a Compensation Order will be determined on the papers after 4 November 2016.
Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Legal Services Commissioner v Leneham (No 2)

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Legal Services Commissioner v Leneham (No 2)

  • MNC:

    [2016] QCAT 315

  • Court:

    QCAT

  • Judge(s):

    Thomas P

  • Date:

    09 Sep 2016

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.
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