Exclusive: A rogue businessman and suspected bogus lawyer has had his law firm removed, following a 16-month investigation by A topical matter.
Shivesh Kuksal’s companies have been the subject of a litany of complaints, including allegations that his removals company, Apex Logistics, held clients’ belongings for ransom and clients were then threatened by removal firms. lawyers – also owned by Kuksal – who are not believed to have been registered to practice.
On Monday afternoon, investigators from the Victorian Legal Services Board swooped in on Kuksal’s newest firm, Erudite Legal, appointing an outside manager to take control of the firm.
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A locksmith had to be called to force open the door after Kuksal’s offside, Lulu Xu, refused to let investigators in.
The legal investigators were accompanied by two detectives from the Victoria Police Financial Crimes Squad.
The action was sparked after a young law student recently lodged a complaint with the legal regulator about her working time at the firm.
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While Kuksal was not present at the St Kilda road office when investigators arrived, he told them over the phone to ‘fuck you’, while refusing to provide details of the company’s bank accounts. ‘company.
Erudite Legal co-director Maria Di Gregorio initially refused to leave the office, saying what the investigators were doing was “illegal”.
Following an earlier story on A topical matterDi Gregorio has quit as the Salvation Army’s chief financial officer.
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She is currently chair of the Victorian domestic violence charity GenWest.
Barrister Howard Rapke, managing partner of Holding Redlich, has been appointed by the Victorian Legal Services Board as external manager of Kuksal’s firm.
“It’s a pretty serious step,” Rapke said A topical matter.
“The people who ran it no longer have a say.
“The regulator acts fairly regularly to deal with cases when they are unhappy with the way a company is performing, or the way the executives are handling it, if they are concerned that there is a risk to the audience.”
In a statement, the Victorian Legal Services Board said it was concerned about the manner in which Erudite Legal was “providing legal services and failing to comply with the instructions of the regulator and the requirements of its investigator”.
Fiona McLeay, Victoria Legal Services Commissioner and Council CEO, said: “The Victoria Legal Services Council is committed to effectively regulating the legal profession and maintaining high standards in the profession with the aim of protecting the consumers of legal services.
“The Commission has the power to intervene in law firms where it is satisfied that the intervention is justified and has the right to recover the costs of intervention from the law firm concerned.”
Kuksal has already been charged by Victoria Police for the alleged theft of around $100,000 worth of goods from his removal clients, in a case that remains in court.
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