Queensland Law Society media release
QLS Investigates Gold Coast Law Firm
|| 21 Jan 2004
||Principal Advisor Corporate Relations
||07 3842 5975
||07 3221 9329
The Queensland Law Society is investigating a Gold Coast law firm, Butler and Clements, to determine whether or not its principals should be subject to any disciplinary action. This follows action against the company by the Office of Fair Trading which has taken action against the company for failing to provide a legally required Form 32A lawyer's certificate to purchasers they were acting for in a conveyancing matter, Society President, Mr Glenn Ferguson, said today.
Mr Ferguson said the Society had asked the Office of Fair Trading for all relevant information it had to assist in its determination about any possible disciplinary action and was awaiting a response.
The Office of Fair Trading has obtained an enforceable undertaking from Butler and Clements guaranteeing that it would comply with the law which required disclosure of such a business relationship. The firm had acknowledged to Fair Trading that it had not disclosed to clients its relationship with the real estate agent as required under the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000.
"Any information that Fair Trading can supply us will be critical to our consideration of the matter. We had already begun our own investigation following an allegation of misconduct against the firm by another solicitor and wrote to Butler and Clements seeking an explanation. The firm acknowledged in its reply that it had not disclosed its relationship with a real estate agent as the law required," Mr Ferguson said.
"Non-disclosure of such a relationship is a serious offence and I am very pleased that Fair Trading has acted in the interests of consumers. It should serve as a warning to any other solicitor who has or is contemplating any similar business relationship."