Skilled Conveyancing Develops New “Skills”

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.BOPINION
by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Consumer Advocate
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd
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When Skilled Conveyancing copied material from my website and presented it on its own website, it raised in my mind questions regarding honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, business ethics, and simple common-sense.

Dawn Lockhart - Principal of conveyancing company Skilled ConveyancingI was stunned. A Google search had taken me to the website of Skilled Conveyancing, a conveyancing business operated by Dawn Lockhart in the Melbourne suburb of Wantirna.

Hundreds of pages of the Skilled Conveyancing website contained material written by me. Many hours of my work had been swiped from my website, and was being presented by Skilled Conveyancing as its own!

It seemed that Skilled Conveyancing had developed a new skill, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

No response from Skilled Conveyancing

I wrote to Dawn Lockhart, the principle of Skilled Conveyancing, and requested a written explanation of her conduct. I received no reply. No explanation, no apology, nothing.

I wrote to Bitemark Studio, the web design company that built the website for Skilled Conveyancing. I was told that the material appearing on the Skilled Conveyancing website had been provided by Skilled Conveyancing, and that any ethical or legal matters regarding the material would have to be taken up with Skilled Conveyancing.

I wrote to Skilled Conveyancing again, telling Ms. Lockhart that Brett of Bitemark Studio had confirmed that Skilled Conveyancing had provided the material used to build their website, and again sought an explanation. Again, no response.

It seems that Skilled Conveyancing and Ms. Dawn Lockhart hope that I will not take legal action against them because of the problems associated with suing a registered company with limited assets. They’re probably right.

Is Skilled Conveyancing a law firm?

But swiping my material isn’t the end of it. A close look at the Skilled Conveyancing website revealed that Skilled Conveyancing is an “Associate Member of the Law Institute of Victoria”, that its staff are “qualified”, and that Skilled Conveyancing also offers consumers “Legal Wills and Powers of Attorney”.

The average consumer could easily believe that Skilled Conveyancing is a law firm with membership of the Law Institute of Victoria, and that it employs qualified lawyers who are able to prepare legal wills and powers of attorney for its clients.

But Skilled Conveyancing is not a law firm at all. In fact, Skilled Conveyancing is not even permitted to perform the legal work associated with conveyancing matters, let alone any other form of legal work.

So how does Skilled Conveyancing “assist you to prepare your Will”? Well it seems that they get their own solicitor to help them, and that this somehow allows them to offer wills as one of their services.

Misleading and deceptive conduct?

I beleive that it is misleading a deceptive for a non-lawyer to promote a service such as “Legal Wills & Power of Attorney” on its website. We’ll see what the regulators have to say about the matter and post the result of our enquiries as a sequal.

Conclusion

I am sick and tired of so-called professionals who promote legal services they are not permitted to offer, and I have done a great deal to bring about change in a rotten real estate industry. To this end I have written a lot of material for my website and for this blog.

When Skilled Conveyancing swiped my material to use it on their own website they attracted attention to the manner in which they conduct other aspects of their business, and must now deal with the consequences.

I’ll investigate Skilled Conveyancing further, and publish the results in future blog postings.

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