Queensland Law Society

QLS protects public from unlawful legal practice

Date 13 Mar 2019
Contact Public Affairs
Phone (07) 3842 5835
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland’s peak legal body has called for the public to take care when seeking legal advice that they deal directly with a qualified and certified solicitor, after taking action against a company running a law practice without a lawyer.
 
QLS President Bill Potts said that it was simple to check the authenticity of a Queensland lawyer, simply by contacting the Society.
 
“As the peak legal body for solicitors in Queensland, we regulate the profession and issue practising certificates,” he said.
 
“Should you have concerns you are not dealing with a practising solicitor, you can contact us.”
 
This caution follows a recent breach where QLS sought an injunction from the courts against the Executive Director of a Gold Coast company who was running a legal practice without a lawyer.
 
Last week (8 MAR) the Supreme Court of Queensland agreed to orders from an application by QLS to stop Stenton & Moore PTY LTD Executive Director, Nerise Moore from engaging in legal practice.
 
Mr Potts said Ms Moore was not – and had never been – licensed to practise law, and represented a great risk to the reputation of Queensland solicitors and to the clients that had engaged this firm.
 
“The Society will not stand for any form of fake lawyer endangering the public.
 
“Queensland’s 12,000 practising solicitors are qualified and fit to practise, and the actions of those attempting to run a legal practice without the proper certification are a disservice to us all.”
 
Mr Potts said that a legal practice must have a senior legal practitioner with a principal practising certificate in the office to be able to provide legal services.
 
“Ms Moore did not have a practising certificate or a lawyer with a principal practising certificate in the office for a period of time.
 
“We took swift action to gain an injunction from the court to protect the public from being provided with unqualified legal advice.
 
“This is a timely reminder to beware of where you are getting your legal advice from.”
 
Mr Potts said the Society would continue to use its protective jurisdiction to keep law firm clients safe and ensure the high standards of Queensland’s legal profession were maintained.
 
“We won’t hesitate to step in to protect our community members from potentially dangerous lawful operation of any business.
 
“We urge anyone with money in trust at Stenton & Moore to come forward and contact the Law Society.”
 
 Ends

For more information, please contact Public Affairs on (07) 3842 5835 or media@qls.com.au.