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QLD Legal Services Commissioner Warns Consumers

By 16 November 2013General Law

Legal Services Commissioner John Briton’s annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, highlights a range of ways law firms are allegedly ripping people off.

According to the Commissioner, among them are rates being charged for legal work in the vicinity of $500 per hour, when in fact the work was being done by legal secretaries, billing in six-minute blocks even for calls that take seconds, and ramping bills when clients ask for them to be itemised.

Mr Briton says he has been hamstrung by successive attorneys-general who have refused to give him the powers needed to crack down on lawyers.

“We are troubled by some of the apparently systemic billing malpractices we have uncovered, which cause us to believe that potentially large numbers of unsuspecting consumers may have been short-changed in ways that could entitle them to refunds,” Mr Briton said.

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