Kylee Jacobsen has admitted two charges of misconduct to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and was found guilty of a third. All charges arose out of conveyancing transactions involving her mother to who she had a close relationship. The charges related to acting in circumstances of conflict, failing to act competently to protect her mother’s interest and engaging in misleading conduct.
The Standards Committee initially proposed a 9-month suspension but due to several mitigating factors this was revised to three months. The Tribunal has suspended Ms Jacobsen for 10 weeks, with the exact start date to be confirmed, and it has also ordered her to pay costs.
Although there were three findings of misconduct, they all arose from the same set of circumstances. Further, the Tribunal found that the failures were limited to this specific instance and that “Ms Jacobsen did not present a risk to other clients or members of the public. She had a blind spot about this matter where she convinced herself she was assisting her mother but then took personal advantage from the arrangements”.
The Tribunal said “In order to promote public confidence in the profession and to send an appropriate message to other practitioners, we need to make orders that adequately mark Ms Jacobsen’s failure to protect her mother’s interests. We find no need to go beyond that. We find that neither a fine nor a censure is called for in these circumstances. There are understandable features to her misconduct, however formally grievous, being Ms Jacobsen’s inattention to her mother (as client) and helping herself to the finance she could raise against the property”.