Law Council Disappointed In Attorney General's Comments

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19th September 2009, 03:10pm - Views: 536

Media Release

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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

Facsimilie +61 2 6248 0639

19 September 2009


Law Council Disappointed in Attorney-

General’s Comments

The Law Council is


by comments attributed to the

Commonwealth Attorney-General, Mr Robert McClelland, in the media

yesterday that amount to little more than pandering to popular


Mr McClelland’s statements that using lawyers to resolve disputes was

akin to grabbing a “tiger by the tail” and being “up the creek without a

paddle” are disrespectful to a profession committed to resolving clients’

disputes in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Law Council President, Mr Corcoran, said, “People come to lawyers with

legal problems which they have been unable to solve themselves. We

do not create them.  The vast majority of disputes are resolved without

adjudication by the courts.  Many clients would attest to the fact that if it

wasn’t for their lawyers, the problem would not have been solved.”

As a former practising lawyer, Mr McClelland’s comments on costs

agreements and their complexity are difficult for the legal profession to

understand.  While costs agreements can be lengthy and complex, this

is a problem

created by legislative requirements imposed on lawyers

under the existing legal profession legislation.  It is inaccurate and unfair

to blame lawyers for what must, by law, be included in costs


Mr Corcoran said, “the simplification of the legislative requirements

governing costs agreements is one of the many matters driving the

COAG legal profession reform project.  Lawyers are looking forward to a

considerable reduction in the complex regulatory requirements which

currently burden them and consumers of legal services.

“The Law Council remains committed to working with the Government to

reducing “red tape” facing lawyers and clients,” Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855

The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal

profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its constituent

bodies on national issues, and to promote the administration of

justice, access to justice and general improvement of the law.

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