LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090

Members of the legal profession owe their clients a duty to act with reasonable care and skill. If a legal professional has mishandled your matter, you have the right to claim compensation.This is best achieved by referring your potential compensation claim to professional negligence lawyers for expert advice

Consumer disputes regarding legal services typically involve complaints about poor communication, costs, mistakes, delays, handling of documents and poor service. Some of these disputes can be readily resolved by speaking directly with your solicitor or the Principal solicitor of the firm. If that fails, you have the option of reporting your solicitor to the relevant authority.

Disciplinary authorities may arrange for dispute resolution or mediation, and the outcome might be an agreement as to costs, an apology or an explanation, or work performed by the solicitor at no charge to fix the mistake.

If a complaint involves allegations of misconduct, the complaint will be investigated by the relevant authority. The complaint may be dismissed or disciplinary action may be taken.

A solicitor or barrister can be found guilty of “unsatisfactory professional conduct” or “professional misconduct”. The latter is a more serious type of misconduct :

    “Unsatisfactory professional conduct” is conduct (whether consisting of an act or omission) occurring in connection with the practice of law that falls short of the standard of competence and diligence that a member of the public is entitled to expect of a reasonably competent practitioner.

Professional misconduct is defined as :

    (a) unsatisfactory professional conduct of an Australian legal practitioner, where the conduct involves a substantial or consistent failure to reach or maintain a reasonable standard of competence and diligence, and

    (b) conduct of an Australian legal practitioner whether occurring in connection with the practice of law or occurring otherwise than in connection with the practice of law that would, if established, justify a finding that the practitioner is not a fit and proper person to engage in legal practice.

Additionally, the common law defines professional misconduct to be conduct in pursuit of the practice of law which would be reasonably regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by professional brethren of good repute and competency.

If a solicitor’s conduct has resulted in financial loss to you, you may in certain circumstances be able to claim compensation.

Solicitors Negligence

A legal practitioner has a duty to provide legal services with reasonable care and skill. A legal practitioner who fails to do this may be in breach of their duty of care to the client. Courts have determined that negligence is a form of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct only when it goes beyond “mere carelessness” or “mere negligence”. One example of solicitor negligence is the giving of wrong legal advice which results in financial loss to the client.

If you want compensation from a legal practitioner you will have to take private legal action against the practitioner for professional negligence. If you need legal advice on whether you can sue for negligence, contact our helpline or complete the online contact form.


The following are examples of conduct which may amount to “unsatisfactory professional conduct” or “professional misconduct” or negligence, depending on the circumstances of the case :

  • breaches of the Legal Profession Rules;
  • charging excessive legal costs;
  • giving wrong advice;
  • failure to follow instructions (due to poor communication, for example);
  • conduct for which there is a conviction for a serious offence or a tax offence or an offence involving dishonesty;
  • improper conduct in relation to practice, clients, the courts, legal aid, or to a professional association.
  • acting when personal interests conflict with those of clients;
  • unauthorised investment or use of clients’ money;
  • making false statements to clients or to the court;
  • attempting to suborn a witness;
  • swearing an affidavit containing false statements;
  • negligent delays;
  • failing to keep clients informed of the state of their affairs;
  • failing to keep proper accounts and receipt books;
  • failing to honour an undertaking given to another lawyer;
  • a failure to adequately supervise an employee such as a conveyancing clerk;
  • threatening, abusive or offensive language;
  • fraud or misappropriation.

Professional Negligence Lawyerss

If you would like legal advice from professional negligence lawyers as to whether you are eligible for compensation you should contact our legal team for legal advice at no cost. Legal representation may be available on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call our free helpline or complete the online contact form for further information and initial legal advice at no cost.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 090

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