Australia: Perth lawyer reprimanded over threats to another practitioner

Sole practitioner Paul Williams, who traded under Risk Resolution Services, was reprimanded, fined $14,000 and ordered to pay $6,000 in costs for making an allegation of misconduct against another practitioner to his employers without reasonable grounds.

He then followed this up with a threat that his client would make a formal complaint and requested that both the practitioner and the firm’s insurer provider be notified of the complaint.

After reaching a successful resolution during a May mediation, Williams agreed with the Legal Services and Complaints Committee (LSCC) to a finding of two counts of professional misconduct for his behaviour between 28 October and 7 November 2019.

According to the statement of agreed facts filed with Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal, Williams’ first threat came via email on 30 October, the day before the other practitioner was due to argue for a summary judgment. The matter related to a borrower and guarantor’s failure to repay a loan by the deadline.

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