Over the past two years (since aworkcovervictimsdiary’s existence) we have heard many heart-wrenching stories about injured workers who have been, or who believe they have been ripped off by their lawyers dealing with their personal injury cases.
More recently we received the following emails from injured workers:
“I was shocked at the level of incompetence of not only the lawyers but their minions….. I did not receive a single piece of correspondence without errors, nor a single financial calculation that was error-free. In a mentally draining and heart-breaking situation it caused me untold stress to feel I was in the hands of idiots ….. and it went on for over 2 years and I lost my case, and had to pay the other party’s costs!”
“I was destroyed by them, do not go anywhere near XXX Lawyers they completely stuffed up my matter and I am in over 100 grand in debt. They have a nice package and are really positive when trying to take you with only pay if you win they forget to tell you the other side where you have to pay the other sides debts. I had a complete moron of a lawyer and at court they completely stuffed up all of the evidence and points of proof. Then just washed their hands of me and left me to my own devices where I lost everything….”
[Note: due to real defamation lawsuit threats we can not possibly name those lawyers/law firms]
Lawyers’ dodgy billing practices – Legal Services Commissioner QLD helpless to stop it
Lawyers are ripping off their clients with dodgy billing methods – and Queensland’s legal sector watchdog lacks the power to stop them.
Legal Services Commissioner John Briton’s annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, highlights a range of ways law firms fleece people.
Chief among them are charging lawyer rates for work done by legal secretaries, billing in six-minute blocks even for calls that take seconds, and ramping bills when clients ask for them to be itemised.
Mr Briton says he has been hamstrung by successive attorneys-general who have refused to give him the powers needed to crack down on lawyers.
“These practices are troubling enough in themselves, but all the more troubling because they appear to be relatively widespread.”
The commission received complaints about 413 solicitors and 335 law firms last year.
“We get more complaints about lawyers’ billing practices than any other single issue,” Mr Briton said.
Legal eagles found to have overcharged were expected to be disciplined and forced to waive, reduce or reimburse some or all of the costs.
But the commission can only compel lawyers to answer questions if the client has complained.
“This caveat on our powers of investigation can frustrate and even completely stymie any effective investigation,” Mr Briton said.
In an anonymous survey of lawyers, more than half the respondents from 11 medium to large legal firms reported concerns about the billing practices of colleagues.
Chris Merritt talks with Sue Kench, Managing Partner of King & Wood Mallesons, about the future of the legal industry amid turbulent times.
In five firms, 40 per cent of respondents said they had actually witnessed other people padding their bills.
Mr Bleijie said last night Mr Briton’s report was being reviewed, but Queensland Law Society president Annette Bradfield hit back at his claims.
Kindly shared by co-author Trinny.
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