Barrister facing disciplinary charges offers to quit
A VETERAN Gold Coast barrister, who is facing the possibility of being struck off over his conduct, has offered to give up practising next year.
The Legal Services Commissioner has brought 11 disciplinary charges against Christopher Rosser, claiming as a barrister he acted in a way that was "dishonest or discreditable''.
The Commission has asked that Mr Rosser, who is defending the charges, be struck off for professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct.
The LSC says Mr Rosser operated Gold Coast Legal Advisory Service, which was "not a registered law firm'' and Court Advisory Service, from his bar chambers.
Mr Rosser appeared in a video on the service's website, dressed as a barrister, suggesting people talk to "them'' before making any arrangement with any law firm.
In a tribunal hearing this week, Mr Rosser said the Legal Advisory Service consisted of himself, his then law clerk Jacob Reichman and a secretary.
He said he would accept all inquiries about criminal or traffic matters, but would refer other matters to other Gold Coast law firms, under a "handshake deal''.
The LAS website home page said: "Chris Rosser, Barrister of Law, recommends talking to Legal Advisory before seeking any other law firm for various matters and court appearances.''
The LSC alleges Mr Rosser caused or permitted the Legal Advisory Service to be listed under "Solicitors'' in the Yellow Pages and to be advertised on the back of a bus.
He admitted in a sworn affidavit that his chambers were "branded'' as Legal Advisory Service.
The LSC has accused Mr Rosser, who has practised since 1995, of engaging in conduct that was "dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister''.
He used his professional qualification as a barrister for the advancement of the LAS, which he was directly engaged in for private advantage, the LSC claims.
Some charges relate to him allowing a clerk, Jacob Reichman, who was not a legal practitioner, to appear in court and attending police interviews for his cases.
In 2016, Reichman was convicted and fined $1500 for engaging in legal practice on 12 occasions, when he was not a legal practitioner.
In Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal this week Mr Rosser admitted Legal Advisory Service was under his control.
"I was the Legal Advisory Service,'' said Mr Rosser.
He admitted under cross examination that he used LAS and his professional qualifications as a barrister as a way of attracting clients, to gain a private advantage.
He denied it was his intention to convey the idea that LAS was a law firm.
However, he said: "I considered I can be a law firm''.
Mr Rosser has offered to give an undertaking not to accept any more direct briefs and not seek to renew his practising certificate, after completing his current cases.
The disciplinary hearing was adjourned.