The president of Queensland’s ‘super tribunal’ has recommended that a prominent and colourful Gold Coast barrister be struck off after engaging in “disgraceful, dishonest and dishonourable” professional misconduct over a 4½-year period.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) President Justice Martin Daubney AM yesterday found that Christopher James Rosser had engaged in seven counts of professional misconduct and four of unsatisfactory professional conduct between July 2012 and December 2016.
Justice Daubney, in a 35-page written decision, found Mr Rosser was “not a fit and proper person to practise as a barrister” and recommended that he be removed from Queensland’s roll of legal practitioners.
Mr Rosser was referred to QCAT for disciplinary action by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) – which alleged the barrister had used two legal advisory services as a front to tout for business, had let a law clerk attend court and police interviews on his behalf, and wrongly held funds in trust.
The LSC also alleged Rosser had given advice to a client facing a 15-year jail stint under Queensland’s then controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013 – which was repealed in 2016 – to co-operate with police.
Justice Daubney said: “…the way in which (Mr Rosser) conducted himself as a barrister was disgraceful, dishonest and dishonourable.
“There is no suggestion (Mr Rosser) now has any better insight into the manifest ways in which he departed from the standards of probity in practice expected of barristers.
“There is no evidence of rehabilitation on his part. (Mr Rosser’s) offer not to renew his practising certificate is of little comfort to the Tribunal.
“There is nothing before this Tribunal from which it might surmise that (Mr Rosser) may in the future become a person who is a fit and proper barrister. …(Mr Rosser) must be regarded as probably being permanently unfit to practise.”
Justice Daubney ordered Mr Rosser pay the LSC’s legal cost.
He also allowed three of Mr Rosser’s former clients until November 6 to notify the tribunal should they wish to pursue their respective notices of intention to seek compensation orders.
Read the full decision.