A former lawyer who engaged in professional misconduct by repeatedly failing to comply with “quasi-judicial orders” has been struck off.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) yesterday found that barrister Angela Walker engaged in professional misconduct for non-compliance with orders made under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1991 (BCMM) between 24 January 2017 and 3 April 2018.
The tribunal, headed by Judicial Member the Honourable Peter Lyons QC, published a decision saying Ms Walker had conceded she had engaged in professional misconduct via “protracted disobedience” and was no longer a fit and proper person to be a lawyer.
Queensland’s Legal Services Commissioner (LSC) applied to QCAT for Ms Walker to be removed from the local lawyer’s role after alleging she repeatedly breached orders under the provisions of the BCCM by failing to produce a body corporate fund’s books and records on numerous occasions.
“(Ms Walker) is an Australian lawyer, having been admitted as a barrister on 2 February 2009,” Mr Lyons said in a two-page decision. “She held a practising certificate from 7 August 2009 until 11 May 2018.”
The tribunal, during a hearing on 5 November (2021), was told Ms Walker was fined $7000 and ordered to pay $11,000 court costs on for not complying with two separate orders.
“The first order was made on 24 January 2017. It was made by an Adjudicator (of QCAT) acting under the provisions of that Act and required (Ms Walker) and others to provide to a person appointed as the administrator of a community title scheme, the body corporate fund’s books and records,” Mr Lyons said. “(Ms Walker) did not comply with that order.
“A further order was made on 20 April 2017 appointing another administrator of the community titles scheme and the orders requiring the provision of the body corporate fund’s books and records to the newly appointed administrator were repeated.
“Again, (Ms Walker) did not comply.”
It was after the second failure to comply that administrators sought to have Ms Walker charged with an offence under s288(1) of the BCCM.
“After a contested one-day hearing, (Ms Walker) was convicted of the offence of not complying with the orders, and later was fined the sum of $7000 and ordered to pay $11,000 in court costs,” he said.
“On 27 March 2018, a (QCAT) member … made further orders directing (Ms Walker) provide the books and records of the community titles scheme in her possession to the administrator by 3 April 2018 and again, (Ms Walker) did not comply.”
The tribunal, comprising Mr Lyon, David Logan QC and Dr Susan Dann, recommended Ms Walker be removed from the local lawyers’ roll. It also ordered Ms Walker to pay the LSC’s costs.
Read the decision.