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When facing legal problems, your lawyer is your ally. Ken Taylor, a previous President of the Queensland Law Society, described lawyers accurately – “They are your defender and protector who fights for your rights when required”. So, being honest with your lawyer is essential because otherwise we cannot do our job properly and the outcomes can sometimes be dire. 

What Can go Wrong When You’re Not Honest with Your Lawyer 

One such example is that I was acting for a husband in a property settlement matter in the Federal Circuit Court. The matter went to trial and the husband was ordered to pay an amount of money to the wife from his superannuation fund.

At the end of the trial, my client was not happy with the outcome. Outside of the Courthouse, he told me that he was going to take all of the money out of superannuation fund so the wife would not get any of it. I advised him in very strong terms not to do that as there would be serious consequences for breaching an order of the Court. He appeared to understand that advice.

Not much later, I received notice from the husband’s superannuation fund that the wife had tried to obtain her entitlement.

There was no money left in the fund. When the client was asked about it, he tried to cover his tracks and lie about the whereabouts of the money.

After that, because of his actions, I could no longer continue to act for him and he was ultimately hauled back before the Judge to provide an explanation of his actions. The Judge ordered that the money be paid to the wife immediately and he was also ordered to pay all of the wife’s costs. A very costly lie indeed.

Katrina Peters

Associate at Statewide Legal Practice