A recent District Court case has resulted in the judge referring a person who identifies as a ‘litigation process consultant’ to the Legal Services Commission, to investigate whether or not s24 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 has been breached.
After delivering judgment in Rich v Auswide Constructions Pty Ltd (No.2)  QDC 330, his Honour Barlow QC DCJ considered the involvement in the matter of Mr Stephen Arulogun.
Mr Arulogun – who has a law degree from QUT and a graduate diploma from the College of Law, but is not admitted to practice in any jurisdiction – had, at the outset of the trial, sought to appear as an advocate on behalf of the plaintiff.
His Honour refused permission for Mr Arulogun to appear, but allowed him to assist the plaintiff as a ‘McKenzie friend’. However, Judge Barlow became concerned at the assistance Mr Arulogun provided, noting in his decision (at 112):
“Mr Arulogun’s role in this trial, his intended representation of Mr Rich as his advocate at trial and, indeed, his purported business as a ‘litigation process consultant’ concern me greatly. It seems to me that, despite denying that he gave any legal advice, his assistance in both preparing for the trial and in the conduct of the trial, all of which he undertook for reward, may well have gone beyond the bounds of non-legal assistance and advice and strayed into practising as only a person admitted to practise as a legal practitioner is entitled to do.”
His Honour invited submissions as to whether or not the matter should be referred to the Legal Services Commission, to allow the commission to decide whether or not Mr Arulogun’s conduct ought to be investigated.
Ultimately, his Honour referred the matter to the commission, noting:
“In the circumstances, although, of course, I do not find that Mr Arulogun, in conducting his practice as a ‘litigation process consultant’, is engaging in legal practice, it does seem to be a matter which, in my view, might warrant investigation and could potentially constitute a breach of s24 of the Legal Profession Act.”1
1 Rich v Auswide Constructions Pty Ltd (No.3)  QDC 2, at 32.