Wednesday 8 May 2013

Law Society to probe solicitor over DoCA complaints

A top Sydney lawyer may be contemplating extended gardening leave after becoming the subject of a Law Society investigation.

While SiN won't disclose the solicitor's identity, there being such a thing as the presumption of innocence as well as the presumption of litigiousness, SiN can report on the nature of the allegations.

The solicitor will be investigated for, among other things, allegedly acting unfairly in relation to the transfer of real property that formed part of the assets of a property development company subject to a Deed of Company Arrangement (DoCA).

The Law Society probe comes after a series of complaints about the solicitor were made to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) in March, 2013.
According to a letter from the Law Society to the complainant, the OLSC requested the Law Society proceed with the investigation late last month.

The complaints included a suggestion that the solicitor allegedly acted unfairly by obtaining a mortgage over the property instead of lodging a caveat over it.

The OLSC also agreed an investigation was warranted into a complaint that the solicitor acted unfairly by allowing the property transfer - which was to one of the two families owning shares in the company - without paying the net sale proceeds to the deed administrators.

Further, the OLSC felt that the fact the solicitor allowed the transfer to proceed without obtaining the consent of the other family owning shares in the company should also be investigated for a possible absence of fairness.

On top of all of this, a complaint that the solicitor had acted unethically by demanding a release from the complainant will also be investigated.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Lord to lead Jirsch Sutherland's northern push

John Lord will lead  Jirsch Sutherland's
push north by opening a Brisbane office
SIFTING the harbour's revelatory silts recently, SiN learned that John Lord, the colourful Sydney liquidator who fell foul of ASIC a couple of years back, has joined Jirsch Sutherland.

Lord and the corporate regulator clashed a few years back in the wake of the Premium Collections affair.

Opting to relinquish his official liquidator status before ASIC got pushy, the former head of what was PKF's Sydney insolvency and restructuring division retired, pointed The Liquidator - his beloved aquatic pleasure vessel - north, and settled on the Gold Coast.

Now SiN hears Lord is set to open a Brisbane office, a move that represents a big step in Jirsch Sutherland's east coast expansion ambitions and a major comeback for one of the profession's more engaging characters.