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Disciplinary and other relevant regulatory decisions

This page includes links to published decisions of Queensland courts and disciplinary bodies in relation to discipline applications made by the Commissioner since the commencement of the Legal Services Commission in 2004. We have also included selected other decisions that we believe make new or important statements of law or principle relevant to the disciplinary process and/or lawyers' professional obligations.

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Disciplinary decisions of the High Court (from July 2004)

Disciplinary decisions of the Court of Appeal (from July 2004)

Disciplinary decisions of QCAT (from Dec 2009)

Disciplinary decisions of LPT (from July 2004 - Nov 2009)

Disciplinary decisions of LPC (from Dec 2009)

Other relevant regulatory decisions (from July 2004) v Reeve (No 2) [2016] QCAT486 v Bar Association of Queensland [2016] QCAT 311 v Quinn [2015] QCAT 85 v Queensland Law Society Incorporated [2015] QCAT 451 Pty Ltd v LSC [2015] QSC 254 v LSC [2016] QSC 174 v LSC [2016] QCAT 076 v LSC & Anor [2016] QCA 022

  • LSC v Reichman (Unreported, Magistrates Court of Queensland, Brisbane, Magistrate Thacker, 27 August 2014)

The respondent was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, two offences, one under section 24 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act) by engaging in legal practice when he was not an Australian legal practitioner, and the second under section 25 of the Act by the use of social media to hold himself out so that the public accessing such social media would believe that he was a legal practitioner. He was ordered to pay a fine of $1000, together with the costs of $1083.50. No conviction was recorded.

The applicant applied for readmission to practice. He was removed from the roll of legal practitioners after being found guilty of two charges of unsatisfactory professional conduct and four charges of professional misconduct in 2009 (see the discipline register for further detail). The Court of Appeal dismissed the application for readmission.

  • LSC v McKee (Unreported, Magistrates Court of Queensland, Bundaberg, Magistrate W J Smith, 11 December 2012)

The respondent was found guilty in the Magistrates Court both of engaging in legal practice and representing himself as entitled to engage in practice when he was not an Australian legal practitioner, and therefore prohibited from doing so by sections 24 and 25 of the Legal Profession Act Qld 2007 respectively. The judgment relied on earlier judgments of the Supreme Court of Queensland in LSC v Beames and LSC v Walter (see below).

The respondent represented that he was entitled to engage in legal practice when he was not an Australian legal practitioner. Beames described himself as a “lawyer”, “solicitor” or “legal practitioner” when witnessing documents. However his name was removed from the roll of solicitors on 17 November 2003: In the matter of Douglas Macleod Beames [2003] SCT/114. Held: the respondent engaged in conduct that would constitute an offence against s 25 of the LPA with injunction granted.

This decision provides guidance as to the conduct that may constitute engaging in legal practice. Section 24 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 prohibits a person from engaging in legal practice unless the person is a legal practitioner, ie., has a current practising certificate issued in accordance with the Act. The decision makes it clear that a person’s conduct does not have to be remunerated to breach that prohibition.

These two decisions deal with the proper construction of the term 'third party payer' in section 301 of the Legal Profession Act 2007. (Note: The Court of Appeal allowed the Legal Services Commissioner's appeal of the original decision of the Supreme Court.)

This decision deals with the duty of criminal law practitioners to ensure the timely preparation of cases for hearing so that matters are dealt with expeditiously.

These two decisions deal with the proper construction of the so-called 50/50 rule which caps a lawyer's fees in speculative personal injuries matters at half the judgement or settlement amount after deducting outlays and refunds. (Note: The Court of Appeal disallowed Mr Dempsey's appeal of the original decision of the Supreme Court.)

Last reviewed
13 January 2017
Last updated
13 January 2017

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