Law firm ‘ripped off Queensland mum’ to tune of $250k

SHINE Lawyers has been accused of serious overcharging after it billed a Queensland woman over $250,000 in legal fees and, in one instance, double-billed her.

In a fight that has been taken to the Supreme Court and the Attorney-General, Catherine Hall, of Kalbar near Warwick, says it is time to stand up to the questionable tactics of some law firms.

Shine, whose slogan is "right wrong", has refused to comment on the case, which comes amid a separate Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into dodgy lawyers in southeast Queensland.

The firm acted for Ms Hall after a 2009 leg operation went wrong at John Flynn Private Hospital on the Gold Coast.

An itemised account from the law firm includes close to $4000 for drafting two letters to doctors, and a further $500 for a paralegal to write one letter.

The firm also charged for reading medical reports and claimed to have taken between two and three hours to read each one. Ms Hall says she read them in 35 minutes.

Ms Hall eventually received a payout of $865,000, but Shine tried to take $283,489.

The former bookkeeper, 56 - a mother of three who is unable to work due to her injuries - said she felt let down by the system.

"I am simply an unemployed woman who has very limited financial resources, and I am simply not in a position to take on Shine or the system," she wrote to Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath and Queensland Law Society president Ken Taylor.

Court documents obtained by The Courier-Mail show Shine last month agreed to set aside its initial costs agreement with Ms Hall and pay her costs on an indemnity basis.

Ms Hall's case comes amid a crackdown on Queensland's legal fraternity, in which the CCC has already charged multiple lawyers with fraud offences, with several more under investigation.