This section provides information for the community about the VLSB+C's views on current issues
Avant-Garde Logistics Solutions Pty Ltd trading as Apex Logistics Solutions (Apex Logistics) and their representatives, RM Legal Consultants and Law Innovation
4 May, 2021
We are aware of concerns that have been expressed by consumers in relation to the conduct of Avant-Garde Logistics Solutions Pty Ltd trading as Apex Logistics Solutions (Apex Logistics) and their representatives, RM Legal Consultants and Law Innovation.
RM Legal Consultants have not employed any legal practitioners since 1 July 2020 and cannot engage in legal practice.
Law Innovation is not registered with the VLSB+C and cannot engage in legal practice.
It appears that legal practitioners from other entities may be acting for Apex Logistics.
We have received complaints from people accessing services provided by Apex Logistics about the conduct of their legal representatives. These complaints are being dealt with in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Uniform Law.
We are concerned about legal work done relating to legal proceedings that have been commenced or threatened against consumers by Apex Logistics.
If you or someone you know has sustained a financial loss, or is presently in dispute with Apex Logistics, and Apex Logistics has:
- sent you correspondence from solicitors;
- threatened legal proceedings; or
- commenced legal proceedings;
Please contact us on 9679 8001 or via our consumer enquiry form.
Legal practitioners who represent clients in matters where the client does not have a sound cause of action or who behave in a manner which may bring the profession into disrepute, may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension or cancellation of their practising certificate.
Serene Teffaha and Advocate Me
15 April, 2021
VLSB+C confirms that, from 15 April 2021, lawyer Serene Teffaha no longer has a practising certificate and cannot engage in legal practice.
An independent Manager, Mr Jacob Uljans, has been appointed to take over professional and operational responsibilities for her law practice Advocate Me. This appointment is for 6 months, unless ceased or extended by the VLSB+C.
Queries in relation to professional and operational matters concerning the law practice should be directed to the manager at email@example.com.
Statement regarding referral of conduct of Findlay McRae
30 November, 2020
In its Final Report, the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants has referred the conduct of the Executive Director of Legal Services at Victoria Police, Mr Findlay McRae, to the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSB+C) for consideration. The referral is made pursuant to section 44 of the Inquiries Act.
VLSB+C confirms communication between the Commissioner, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, and our office has taken place. In line with section 462 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law, we will not make any further comment at this time.
Correspondence regarding Minter Ellison, DHHS and the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry
28 October, 2020
The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner confirm receipt of correspondence from Mr Ed O’Donohue MP regarding Minter Ellison, DHHS and the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry. While the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry is underway it would be inappropriate to take action or comment further at this stage. However, we note that the findings of the Inquiry are due to be delivered shortly. After assessing those findings we will make a decision about whether to conduct an investigation into these matters.
If an investigation is commenced, we will not be able to make any further comment.
Apology to Mr Neil Fairley and Karne Group Pty Ltd
10 September, 2020
On page 13 of our 2018-19 Annual Report we refer to the prosecution of Victorian Legal Services Board vs Neil Fairley & Karne Group Pty Ltd.
The report notes that we concluded 16 prosecutions for unqualified legal practice and then lists Mr Fairley & Karne Group as an example of a prosecution.
The report does not clarify that in the case of Mr Fairley & Karne Group the prosecution was unsuccessful and that, according to Magistrate Tan:
- Mr Fairley and Karne Group Pty Ltd had provided information in the normal course of running their business; and
- We could not make out our allegation that they had breached section 10 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) by engaging in legal practice without qualification.
We apologise for any distress the reference in our annual report may have caused Mr Fairley & Karne Group.
Unfounded and vexatious allegations of corruption against VLSB+C by Mr Peter Mericka
02 September, 2020
The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner are aware of allegations of corruption made against our office by Mr Peter Mericka. We consider these allegations to be unfounded and vexatious and have directed him to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Victorian Ombudsman.
Practising certificates of Norman O'Bryan and Michael Symons
25 August, 2020
The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner confirm that Norman O’Bryan and Michael Symons no longer have practising certificates and cannot engage in legal practice in Victoria.