QLD How to respond to an Immigration Agent/Lawyer's email?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Allyoz

Active Member
8 August 2018
6
0
31
Looking for advice on how I should respond to this email from the immigration agent/lawyers that have been dragging my visa filing out for 9 months, starting June 2019 (they represented us with my sons' student visas and my student guardian visas, which were granted in June 2019):


"Notwithstanding this, after much consideration and discussion with K...., C..... and my team, we wish to terminate our agreement for services with you.

We will be sending you a copy of your file, over the weekend (in series of emails, due to the size of the files). This file will include:

  • Correspondence since August 2019;
  • Past visa applications; and
  • Draft visa condition waiver request (free of charge).

Despite the time spent on your file I will be returning you the full amount of the professional fees paid in the sum of $3,300. Please advise the bank details that you would like this refund sent to.

Following disclosure of this file, we will complete no further work and will not communicate with the Department of Home Affair on your behalf, for any reason.

Whilst I understand your frustrations, my team had your first application approved, however your recent defamation of myself and my company since starting your second application, gives me no other choice but to cease representation and commence proceedings against you in the Supreme Court, unless:

  • All defamatory reviews and/or comments online about me and my company are removed; and
  • You agree to not defame me or my company any further, in the public domain.
An example of the damages we will seek can be found here Woman Ordered to Pay $530,000 for “Plainly Untrue” Google Review and if you continue to defame me or my company I will leave no stone unturned in bringing this matter to justice.

At all times we have been very pleasant on the phone and via email, keeping you updated and requesting further evidence from you.

I look forward to receiving your bank details and you actioning the above request."


As with many other occasions, the files were not sent to us. I took down the google review. Frustrating as it was to warn others of the obviously fake reviews, over 200 (yet on average 10-72 for other Brisbane agents) and penned in such a similiar way that clearly written by native English speakers, not the foreigners seeking visas. They lured me in with "look at our fabulous google reviews and nobody can fudge those". They can. Sending out emails like this to anyone who writes a less favourable review. I've reported it to google so I'll leave it up to them now.

Moving forward, my current lawyer has rightly warned me to tread carefully as I do not want a defamation on my file while pursuing my return residency.

So, how do I respond to this email? I don't see much hope in getting the files or the money back. The email was clearly a standard, cut and paste, with my details entered in another size and font. His style has been all sell, sell, sell then not delivering the last portion, dragging it out with lots of excuses, then phone calls that were far from "very pleasant".

Cheers,
Allyson
 

John R

Well-Known Member
14 April 2014
689
173
2,394
Sydney
Hi @Allyoz
1. Consider replying with a request to supply your file and the promised refund by a set date/time (e.g. by 4pm AEST on three (3) business days in the future).
2. If unsuccessful, consider escalating your complaint to receive access to your file and the promised refund:
a. If a migration agent, you may complain to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) - Make a complaint about an agent - Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority
b. If a solicitor/lawyer, contact the Legal Services Commissioner (LSC) - How does someone make a complaint about a solicitor? — Queensland Law Society
3. In relation to the defamation threat, you can either ignore or reply requesting that they set out a Concerns Notice to you in relation to the alleged defamatory imputations so that you can review and then consider making any changes to your Google review. See also Resolving Defamation Disputes Without Going to Court
 

Allyoz

Active Member
8 August 2018
6
0
31
Thank you for the advice John.

Overall, I would like to move forward and apply for my return residency, so will take the advice of another lawyer and not pursue anything with the agent/lawyer. As they have been deceitful and unethical, I cannot trust how far they would go and so cannot afford to have any kind of court preceeding on file whilst applying for my residency. With my limited legal knowledge, they will most certainly take advantage of that.

1. Consider replying with a request to supply your file and the promised refund by a set date/time (e.g. by 4pm AEST on three (3) business days in the future).
They provided the file 2 days ago, however, the application in which they said they filed to immigration by mail is blank. I am following up with filing a 424A- Request for access to documents or information - to immigration, although I'm not sure what to request specifically.

3. In relation to the defamation threat, you can either ignore or reply requesting that they set out a Concerns Notice to you in relation to the alleged defamatory imputations so that you can review and then consider making any changes to your Google review. See also Resolving Defamation Disputes Without Going to Court

I removed the google review but can they still proceed with the defamation threat if they've taken screenshots of the original review?