RPA News Blog - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissionerpage 2

RPA News

RPA News is a blog published by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner. It is used to inform the lawyers and the public about the following:

  • changes to the regulatory regime, including legislation and regulations
  • disciplinary decisions handed down by VCAT or the courts
  • special events and public announcements
  • new resources available on this website, and
  • any other information we believe is relevant to lawyers and the public.

Please note: blog entries discussing disciplinary action are published by the Commissioner in line with the Commissioner’s long-standing objective to educate the legal profession. By publicising disciplinary outcomes, the Commissioner intends for lawyers to compare their conduct and business practices with those highlighted by VCAT and the courts. This will in turn assist lawyers to comply with the requirements of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and the expectations of consumers and the wider legal profession.

Regulator sues lawyer who interfered with Board-appointed Manager January 6, 2017

A former Northcote solicitor who obstructed a Manager appointed to his law practice has lost a civil penalty action brought against him by the Victorian Legal Services Board.

The solicitor* was found by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to have obstructed the Manager by failing or refusing to provide information required by law.

The Court heard that the Board appointed a Manager to the solicitor’s practice in October 2015 over concerns about (more…)

Strike-off for lawyer with long disciplinary history January 5, 2017

A former Caulfield North solicitor, who had had multiple practising certificates cancelled across his career, has been removed from the roll of legal practitioners.

The Supreme Court of Victoria ordered that Mr Jan Horak be removed from the roll after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Authority had earlier cancelled his practising certificate for a third time.

In 2014 VCAT found Mr Horak guilty of seven charges of professional misconduct for (more…)

Solicitor receives heavy fine for unlawful withdrawal of caveats November 25, 2016

A Horsham solicitor who unlawfully executed withdrawals of caveat against a client’s property has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

Mr Denis J O’Brien, of the law practice O’Brien Lawyers, had acted for the vendor in a complex property sale involving multiple purchasers. The property was covered by a number of caveats, with the caveators being separately represented.

The caveators and the property vendor had previously agreed that (more…)

Solicitor fails client, misleads Commissioner November 4, 2016

A northern suburbs solicitor has been found guilty of two charges of professional misconduct after he failed to inform his client of a settlement offer before its deadline.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard Mr Barry Waters, of Waters & Co Lawyers, had taken over a family law litigation matter from one of his employees who had gone on maternity leave. During Mr Waters’ handling of the matter, the opposing side made a (more…)

Experienced practitioners wanted for Legal Practice Mentors list October 19, 2016

The Victorian Legal Services Board & Commissioner is seeking to list experienced Legal Practice Mentors.

The Board and Commissioner seek an indication from experienced practitioners potentially available to be appointed to the paid role of Mentor to assist another legal practitioner. Willing Legal Practice Mentors will be listed for selection by lawyers who have (more…)

Reprimands for solicitor who plagiarised articles and falsified resume September 15, 2016

A Melbourne sole practitioner, who falsified his credentials when applying for a job, has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner brought two charges of professional misconduct against Mr Matthew Karakoulakis after an investigation discovered he had falsified his resume when applying for a job in 2014.

The Commissioner told the Victorian Civil (more…)

‘Breath-taking lack of candour’ by solicitor leads to suspension of practice September 14, 2016

A Mornington Peninsula solicitor has been suspended from legal practice for five months after charging an elderly client almost $100,000 in commissions without entitlement or the client’s consent.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found sole practitioner, Mr Peter Ng of HMK Legal, had charged his client commissions for managing her financial assets, but had failed to inform her that he was charging commissions.

In 2007 Mr Ng prepared an (more…)

Proactive regulation of the Legal Profession in Victoria

The Board and Commissioner have published an overview of the proactive legal regulatory tools used in Victoria. It covers topics such as risk-based regulation, dispute resolution, the Commissioner’s use of determination powers under the Legal Profession Uniform Law, and the Board’s policy on disclosing mental health conditions. (more…)