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Solicitors’ possessory lien

Solicitors’ possessory lien

By Justice Emilios Kyrou

Practice & Procedure 


Common law principles determine whether a solicitor who is replaced by a new solicitor in pending litigation can refuse to provide the client’s documents to the new solicitor on the basis of a possessory lien. These principles must be considered in the light of r15 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015 (Conduct Rules) and r37.05 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Court Rules). Section 198 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Uniform Law) must also be kept in mind.

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