VIC Negligent advice from reputable law firm

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Active Member
26 November 2015
I have a friend who had just been unfairly dismissed from a large health organisation. He has only recently taken out a mortgage and so was understandably stressed out of his mind. I suggested he call one of the no-win-no-fee lawyers advertised everywhere, which he did. He was advised over the phone by someone who said they were a graduate, that it sounded like he had a case and that he should make an appointment to see one of their lawyers. This was to cost $600 + GST, which he did not have, so I offered to pay it and he could pay me when he received his payout. On the day of the appointment he attended at their offices and was seen by what he said was a very disinterested, arrogant lawyer who glanced over a couple papers in a manila folder, not asking questions or for more information, before stating there was no case. When visiting with my friend the next day, I suggested we get a second opinion, because even from my very limited knowledge of the law (I have been a barrister's secretary for ... a long time .....) it was clear he had been unfairly dismissed. I googled employment law in our suburb and called a lawyer that I liked the look of the website. We went in the following day, he charged an initial consultation fee of $50 and advised my friend did indeed have a case and we needed to hurry to lodge it because the 21 day limit was closing in. A week later and my friend received a very healthy payout of his pay and entitlements. Is there any action we can take against the original lawyer for clearly negligent advice and taking our money?


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
First thing to note is there is not necessarily a link between a payout and strength of case. Sometimes employers just want the matter to go away and are willing to pay to make the problem disappear.

I'd start by asking for my money back (because it is easy to do) but would not hold out much chance of it happening. The lawyer may well argue he spent time considering the matter and it was his honest opinion there was little chance.

Hard to claim attitude/arrogance as a reason for not wanting to pay. Normally people do exactly as you did - find another lawyer and don't recommend the arrogant lawyer.