Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd v Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 168

Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd v Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 168 involved a judgment against a company owned by Bob Jane. In 2006 he suffered a stroke and was debilitated. A judgment was given against his company in default of filing a defence. An application was brought to set aside that judgment and the company was represented at the first instance by Malcolm McClure of UPMART:

“The application came on for hearing on 5 December 2011. Mr McClure sought leave to represent the respondents. He acknowledged he was not a lawyer but said he was a director of the corporate respondents. That leave was not opposed and was granted. It soon became obvious that Mr McClure was unable to represent the respondents competently. He was not aware of the matters necessary to be satisfied to have the judgment set aside or the procedures to be used to bring facts before the Court.

In the documents he has drawn, and his advocacy in the Court, Mr McClure has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding matched only by his self-confidence. By his incompetence, he has caused the respondents, as well as the applicants, to incur tens of thousands of dollars of unnecessary costs. His activities in representing the respondents, as well as other people in the courts, appear, on the face of it, to contravene the laws which prohibit unqualified legal practice. It is hoped that the relevant authorities will investigate these activities before further people are harmed by his conduct.

Mr Jane, who is the sole shareholder of the corporate respondents, is elderly and, by reason of his health, vulnerable to unscrupulous attention of charlatans such as Mr McClure. Mr McClure orchestrated the respondent’s action on 13 October 2011. He appeared to have chosen not to appear in the Court, essentially because he decreed for himself that the respondents should not conform to the requirements of the legal system. The respondents were under his spell, and went along with his bizarre approach.”

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