Would you take legal advice from a “lawyer” offering his/her services through a Gumtree ad?
The situation seems laughable, but a recent case dealt with an uncertified lay-advocate who had offering advice and services on Gumtree under the guise he was a certified legal practitioner.
The Western Australian Supreme Court decision in Van Der Feltz v Legal Practice Board (2017) resulted in the arm-chair expert being slapped with a $20,000 fine!
The court sent a clear warning to others undertaking similar activities, stating legal work can only be undertaken by a lawyer acting pursuant to the relevant Legal Profession Act in their state.
The Queensland Law Society has warned of a growing number of uncertified people offering cheap or even free legal advice and assistance online.
The QLS advised that engaging an unqualified person poses a number of risks, and may even end up increasing your costs! Such risks include:
- Your right to confidentiality is not guaranteed
- Your right to privilege cannot be assured
- Unqualified practitioners cannot obtain insurance, while qualified solicitors are required to
- And, non-certified practitioners are not bound by any codes of conduct or ethics
In Queensland a solicitor is required to hold a practising certificate to be legally allowed to give advice.
You can check that your legal representative is certified by contacting the Queensland Law Society or accessing the QLS website.
At Brandon and Gullo Lawyers, our certified lawyers ensure the advice we give our clients is accurate and in line with the latest developments in the law, so that you can be confident in the legal process ahead of you. Your peace of mind and confidence in your legal team is our number one priority.
If you need advice on a Personal Injury, Business Law, Wills and Estates or a Litigation matter, give our team a call on (07) 5479 4733 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.