10 May 2012
The controversial personal injury lawyer Russell Keddie has admitted to "grossly overcharging" a paraplegic client and failing to provide adequate supervision to his staff.

The client in question received a bill of $820k, which Keddie confessed contained "mistakes, errors and duplications" and was a whopping $215k more than it should have been. The lawyer was unable to provide invoices for several of the expenses and admitted that the bill included duplicate charges for work he'd performed for the client's son and husband, according to a Sydney Morning Herald report. Pretty shoddy stuff.

    Keddie's billing dial set to 11 yesterday

Keddie is certainly no stranger to negative headlines. As the founder of Keddies Lawyers, the personal injury firm snapped up by Slater & Gordon at the start of 2011, he has battled myriad allegations of overcharging for the last few years. In January 2011 the firm received a judicial pasting for "disturbing departures" from acceptable lawyerly conduct. And for the past two years Keddie, along with several other members of the firm, has been the subject of an investigation by Steve Mark, the Legal Services Commissioner.

At the beginning of the year Keddie handed in his practising certificate and undertook not to reapply. A move which deprived Mark of the power to strike him off. But the Commissioner is pressing for Keddie to be formally reprimanded and to be forced to stump up the $1m costs of the case against him so far. Another Keddies' associate, Philip Scroope, who has admitted "a significant level of responsibility" for overcharging, is due to face the tribunal next week.

Slaters must be truly delighted with its purchase; with any luck its latest acquisition, UK firm Russell Jones & Walker, will have fewer skeletons in the closet.
Tip Off ROF

Please note that comments are subject to moderation.