Law firm blasted over bill to client
30 June 2017
A judge has berated a law firm for its "entirely cynical"
behaviour in refusing to provide a former client with an itemised bill.
Sydney firm Brydens Lawyers acted on a personal injury case for Tan Thanh Le, who had been injured in a manual job at work. Le switched to another law firm, and was successful in his claim. The court awarded costs to Le, but the defendant employer disputed the sum and so an independent assessment of costs was required.
When Le asked Brydens lawyers to provide details of their AUS $304,688 bill, the firm refused, and tried to argue that a time limit had expired for the request.
|Brydens gave a considered response
Le made an application to court for Brydens to provide the itemised bill.The court took a very dim view of Brydens' antics. Justice Schmidt blasted the firm saying that it had failed to "abide by its statutory obligations
" and instead relied on "hopeless technical points
" in fighting its former client. The judge added that Brydens was aware that Le (originally from Vietnam) had a "limited command of English
" and the firm should have consented to Le's application to have the costs assessed.
The court ordered Brydens to pay Le's costs in having to make the application to court.