Law firm defends $300,000 bill
SHINE Lawyers has defended a six-figure legal bill sent to a personal injury client including more than $18,000 in photocopying and postage as "fair and reasonable."
Brisbane-based Shine, whose motto is "Right Wrong", is being sued by Pamela Kilah, 65, who claims she was slugged with an excessive $307,000 bill by the high-profile law firm.
Ms Kilah had hired Shine two years ago in a $1.7 million law suit against medical clinic Angel of Detox for a colonic treatment that allegedly perforated her bowel.
Ms Kilah had handed over the case to solicitor Bill King, of Shine Lawyers, in 2017 from another law firm HD Lawyers, owned by solicitor Harry Day.
In a defence and counterclaim lodged with the Supreme Court last week, Shine said it was reasonable to carry out the work for which Ms Kilah was charged. "The work was carried out in a reasonable way .. and the amount of the legal costs is fair and reasonable," Shine said.
The $307,208.61 being sought includes $18,791.61 in photocopying, postage and printing fees. Ms Kilah was charged $5700 to print one 7732 page document at 75 cents per page.
In a counter claim, Shine said the terms of its agreement with Ms Kilah meant she was required to pay professional fees and charge for work done, expenses and disbursements.
Shine said it was entitled to exercise a lien over all papers, files and documents in her file for the unpaid amount. A lien is a solicitor's right to keep property until a client pays all fees and payments that you owe them.
In an earlier statement of claim lodged with the court, Ms Kilah said she first became aware of the size of the costs being claimed by Shine when she received estimates in preparation for a mediation in December last year. "The fees were wildly beyond what I had expected," she said. She said the fee included more than $3000 to read a document that took her less than 30 minutes to read as well as for internal meetings between solicitors. She also estimated she was charged $20,000 by Shine to produce a single document.