Last Updated 8 August 2016
Where a client has suffered significant financial loss as a result of a lawyer’s or a firm’s conduct, financial compensation will usually be a very important issue. Unfortunately, the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) limits the compensation that can be awarded under a compensation order to $7500, unless the parties agree otherwise. If someone has lost more than $7500 as a result of a lawyer’s conduct, they might need to think about other ways to recover the loss, such as by suing the legal practitioner for negligence and/or breach of contract. People in such situations should seek independent legal advice on these matters and be aware that they normally only have six years from the date that the cause of action arises in which to sue a lawyer for professional negligence (causing financial loss) and/or breach of contract. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is unable to make a determination that a lawyer has been negligent.
If a person is unhappy about the LSC’s handling of a case, they can contact the LSC to discuss the outcome. Complaints can be addressed to the LSC Director of Investigations. The LSC can consider new and relevant information and can review its decision in appropriate special cases, although decisions complained about more than 12 months after notification of the decision will only be reviewed in exceptional cases. A person can also challenge a decision by seeking judicial review under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) or can refer their concerns to the Crime and Corruption Commission if the commissioner or staff member of the LSC is suspected of being guilty of official misconduct. Complaints can also be made to the Queensland Ombudsman (see also the Complaints to the Ombudsman chapter).