Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Different charges for same legal jobs

Different charges for same legal jobs

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lawyers responsible for over charging, fraud and corruption…

BY DONALD WILLIE  in Post Courier

THE State is paying some law firms three times more for similar cases, a lawyer involved in the Commission of Inquiry into procedures and processes of briefing out cases, said Counsel assisting the commission, John Griffin QC, told the Post-Courier that lawyers have been seen to be overcharging considerably.

On the other hand, a lot of lawyers have submitted bills which have not been paid and there have been complaints by the lawyers and the Government on the overall payment processes.

“The objective of this inquiry is to work out practices and procedures that are appropriate and bring the system in line with the way it works in other places,” Mr Griffin said. “Through this enquiry, the Government can get good legal services from private lawyers for an appropriate charge.”

He said this was to eliminate the problems of overpayment, fraud and corruption. Giving evidence yesterday, principal of Wagambie Lawyers, Michael Wagambie said on government cases briefed out in his firm, senior lawyers charged up to K700 an hour depending on experience and competency.

Mr Griffin alerted Mr Wagambie that there had been cases where lawyers had charged up to K2000 per hour. Asked if he thought such an amount was reasonable, Mr Wagambie said it was not. He recommended that a standard rate be set for payment.

“I think this is important because it should now set a standard rate for lawyers across the board, rather than just charging at will as and when they like to charge,” said Mr Wagambie.

Mr Wagambie also recommended that a committee be established under the direction of the Solicitor-General to assist in awarding brief outs to avoid being biased.

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  1. philippirah.snr@gmail.com
    September 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Digicel Pacific

  2. September 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Reblogged this on .

  3. September 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The lawyers have gone to the same university attending law school like other professionals like engineers, accountants, economists, doctors etc all around the world. These lawyers claim to charge absurd K2, 000.00 an hour which is really unjustifiable even if they say based on seniority. This is making other professions really inferior than the lawyers, which I see is promoting corruption when they always represent corrupt leaders and bureaucrats who are involved in criminal activities in PNG. The money which supposed to go to the people in the delivery of goods and services are exploited by politicians and lawyers who corrupt PNG.

    We hope to see that the commission of inquiry come up with a standard rate for all professional lawyers who claim and corrupt our national resources.

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