Commonwealth Consolidated Regulations

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Former attorney may be required to provide assistance

             (1)  A registered patent attorney appointed to carry on the practice of a former attorney may give a written notice requiring the former attorney to make available to the attorney so appointed:

                     (a)  any information about the practice that he or she may reasonably require; or

                     (b)  any books, accounts or other documents concerning the practice that he or she may reasonably require; or

                     (c)  any moneys held by the former attorney:

                              (i)  on behalf of a client; or

                             (ii)  that have been paid by a client in respect of services not yet performed for the client.

             (2)  A former attorney who has been given a notice under subregulation (1) must not refuse to comply with a requirement in the notice.

Penalty:  5 penalty units.

             (3)  It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subregulation (2) if the former attorney is prevented or hindered from complying with a requirement in the notice by:

                     (a)  a circumstance mentioned in Part 2.3 of the Criminal Code ; or

                     (b)  any other circumstance that the Panel Chair of a relevant Panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal reasonably considers is an impediment to the defendant complying with the summons.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the question of whether he or she has a reasonable excuse (see section 13.3 of the Criminal Code ).


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