High Court: By a 6:1 majority, the HCA decided that the "Chorley exception" to the rule that self-represented litigants cannot recover costs for their own time spent on litigation is no longer part of our common law. The "Chorley exception" allowed self-represented solicitors to recover self-representation costs. But most importantly, the majority questioned whether an incorporated legal practice offering services to third parties could recover costs for work of its sole director and shareholder. Does the same question arise for immigration assistance?
Although the ratio decidendi of this High Court (HCA) decision is essentially the abolition of the "Chorley exception" as described above, it contains obiter dicta that might make many sole practitioner lawyers justifiably worried.
In obiter, KIEFEL CJ, BELL, KEANE and GORDON JJ said as follows:
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