Unqualified Legal Work Finished – Now To Just Refund All The Fees Charged And Pay All The Fines Imposed By The Court

“I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that diverse dates between the 14th of March 2010 and 30th of May 2011, at Bundaberg in the State of Queensland, Henry McKee did, contrary to section 24(1) of the Legal Profession Act 2007 engage in legal practice when he was not an Australian legal practitioner.”

“BENCH: Upon the finding of guilty, you are formally convicted of each offence. Each conviction is formally recorded. In determining penalty I take into account the maximum penalties provided under section 24 and section 25 of the Legal Profession Act of 2007. I take into account the provisions of section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act of 1992.”

“I make a further order that you pay to the proper officer of the Court a sum of $10,000 as compensation on behalf of Otto Karol Hundert within 14 days from today and in default of payment levy is to be made by execution against goods and chattels that you own.”

In addition to the above, further fines and costs were awarded against the Defendant. (Legal-Services-Commission-v-McKee)

In Queensland, it is against the law to engage in legal practice or to offer to do so if you are not a legal practitioner. The aim is to “protect the public interest in the proper administration of justice by ensuring that legal work is carried out only by those who are properly qualified to do so

“To engage in legal practice means to do legal work.”

Our review of case law indicates that legal work means:

  1. that you claim to have a greater knowledge of the law or skill in legal matters than the ordinary person; and
  2. you apply that knowledge and skill to a particular person’s problems.

It doesn’t matter what you describe your work as, but whether you are applying legal knowledge and skill in doing the work.

The work you actually do might be reviewing a matter and then giving advice on what has happened in the past or what to do next; writing letters, preparing forms, preparing court documents, appearing in court. What is important is whether your knowledge and skill are being used to guide the work that is being done beyond simple clerical tasks in filling out forms.

Filling out a form may not be legal work but suggesting what to say and how to say it is more likely to be legal work.


Click HERE to go to the next article in this series.
(Do Credit Repair Businesses Offer To Provide Legal Services?)

Click HERE to learn more.
(Why Credit Repair work is, by its nature, legal work (and thereby reserved for lawyers))

Click HERE to learn more.
(‘I Am Not A Lawyer And [I] Do Not Give Legal Advice’ said the ad – OH YES YOU DO, said the Court)

Click HERE to learn more.
(What Sort Of Work Constitutes “Legal Work”?)

Click HERE to learn more.
(What Constitutes “Legal Work”? (EXPANDED CASE NOTES))

About The Authors:

Graham Doessel CEO of Legal Practice Holdings & MyCRA Lawyers in conjunction with Patrick Earl, Senior Solicitor of Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers, a division of Legal Practice Holdings

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