A lawyer is checking out a law firm claiming that it is entitled to millions of dollars in damages from a website that advertises it as a source for legal advice.
Lawyers at the law firm Lachlan Law have claimed in a letter to the court in Melbourne that they had lost the case because of a “federal regulatory gap” in the law on damages.
They said the site was not legally registered as a law practice and had no legal authority.
“We are now concerned about this site, which is a business enterprise and not an ordinary law practice, and the extent to which it has operated on this site,” the letter says.
It also claims the website “has engaged in an illegal and fraudulent activity that has resulted in significant costs”.
“The company has engaged in a process of deception in order to avoid responsibility for this activity, as the business activity itself is not illegal,” the company wrote in the letter.
“The business activities were not intended to cause any harm, or to be illegal, nor were they in breach of any law.”
In its letter, the law firms argued that it was not clear whether the site had legal standing to claim damages and it did not know whether the website’s operator, Andrew Gee, had been prosecuted for allegedly breaching the law.
But Mr Gee has said the website was not a legal business.
“I’m not sure why the court has been concerned that this site is operating as a business,” Mr Gees lawyer said.
“If you have been paying people for legal services, you’re not going to run a business that’s a law office.”
It’s not illegal to provide services, it’s just illegal to pay people for services.
“Lawyers for the firm have argued that the site is not an official law practice because it is a non-profit and that it cannot be considered an actual law firm.”
A non-law practice is a law business operating under a non‑law practice name,” they said.
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