Elise Bant, ‘Thieving Lawyers: Trust and Fidelity in the High Court: Legal Services Board v Gillespie-Jones’ (16 August 2013).
The High Court has unanimously allowed an appeal against the decision of the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal in Legal Services Board v Gillespie-Jones. The Board had disallowed Gillespie-Jones’ claim for compensation for pecuniary loss suffered by him following an alleged default by a solicitor who had misappopriated trust money to Gillespie-Jones. The plurality held that Gillespie-Jones was not entitled to compensation under two provisions in the Act, in the first case because he could not demonstrate a pre-existing proprietary interest in the trust money sufficient to give rise to a Quistclose trust claim, and in the second because there had been no default by the solicitor as required by the provision: the solicitor was only empowered to disburse money at the direction of his client, and that instruction had not been proven at first instance, and hence the element of ‘failure to pay or deliver’ in Gillespie-Jones’ claim could not be made out.
|High Court Judgment|| HCA 35||14 August 2013|
|High Court Documents||Gillespie-Jones|
|Full Court Hearing|| HCATrans 126||4 June 2013|
|Special Leave Hearing|| HCATrans 53||15 March 2013|
|Appeal from VSCA|| VSCA 68||19 April 2012|
|VCC Judgment|| VCC 223||24 March 2011|