Complaint to Slater and Gordon Solicitors, copied to the ASX (continuous disclosure) and the Legal Service Board of Victoria
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Dear Mr Grech,
On 4 September last year your firm wrote to Galbally Rofe, solicitors for Mr Ralph Blewitt, enclosing a copy of the conveyance and mortgage files you held on his ostensible purchase of 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy in 1993.
Your file contained several copies of the Trust Account Ledger for the matter. It was accompanied by a covering letter signed by your Mr James Higgins who said,
"...you will note from the ledger and the Trust Account Receipt that it noted that the monies were paid by direct deposit and the records show it was paid by your client."
Mr Blewitt has released his conveyance and mortgage files publicly. Documents held in the file have been published extensively and the $67,772.30 referred to in Mr Higgins letter has been spoken of in the Federal Parliament. The Prime Minister referred to the conveyance file in her 26 November, 2012 press conference in Canberra, in particular to the Ledger recording Mr Blewitt as the source of the $67,772.30. Mr Blewitt himself has said that he was not the source of that money, rather it was a cheque drawn on the Australian Workers' Union Workplace Reform Association.
The Trust Account rules at the time were promulgated in this copy of the Victorian Government Gazette No 32 15 August, 1990 - requiring that where monies are paid to a solicitor's trust account by cheque, the drawer of the check is to be recorded in the Ledger and on the Receipt. His Honour Ian Cambridge in his affidavit of September, 1996 exhibited a copy of the actual cheque that is recorded in your Trust Account Ledger as coming from Ralph Blewitt. The Drawer was the Australian Workers' Union Workplace Reform Association.
Your company's error has continuing and present day effects. Your file and the ledger entry have been quoted recently by the Prime Minister in a press conference of record. It's been referred to in the Federal Parliament. Your continuing misreporting could result in the inadvertent misleading of the parliament.
On 8 May this year I wrote to your Hamish Heard about the matter, I spoke with him to confirm my correspondence but your firm has not replied.
I have copied the Chairman of the Legal Services Board (Victoria) and the ASX on this note.