- Lawyers referred to legal services watchdog over 'obscene' fees
- By NICOLA BERKOVIC
- Contributed by: Colin ( 1 article in 2017 )
Judge Robert Benjamin
A Family Court judge has attacked the “obscenely high legal costs” charged by family lawyers and an apparent “win at all costs, concede little or nothing, chase every rabbit down every hole” approach to litigation.
Family Court judge Robert Benjamin has referred two lawyers to the legal services watchdog over their “outrageous” and “eye-watering” fees, which totalled $860,000 for a couple who were battling over property, parenting arrangements for their two children and child support.
Justice Benjamin said he was “increasingly concerned about the high levels of costs charged by the legal profession in property and parenting proceedings” and had expressed concern in previous judgments, which had gone “unheeded”. ‘‘The consequences of obscenely high legal costs are destructive of the emotional, social and financial wellbeing of the parties and their children.”
The mother’s legal bills totalled about $353,000, while the father’s legal costs were $506,000.