Corporate licensee escapes on a technicality

The Commissioner for Consumer Protection suffered a defeat on technical grounds in a recent application to the State Administrative Tribunal for seeking disciplinary sanction against a corporate licensee of a real estate agency.  The Commissioner alleged that the company (The King & I Pty Ltd) through its associates purchased and on-sold 6 properties without the original owners or the ultimate purchasers being aware of the on-sale.  Although it was a circumstantial case, the Tribunal was prepared to find several respondents in breach of the relevant Code of Conduct.  However, and this is the kicker, the Tribunal found that the corporate licensee, whose licence had expired, could not be punished because the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to discipline a former licensee!  As the Tribunal acknowledges (at [310]), the curtailment of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction appears to be an oversight by the legislature.

See the report on Jade at

While it appears that justice has not been done, full credit must go to counsel James Healy and Culshaw Miller Lawyers for exploiting the technicality benefiting their client.