In this most interesting blog post it appears that Mr. Greg Harney – a partner at Shields Harney (#602 732 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E1) a partner of John Shields (Suite 490 1177 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6E 2K3) is being called out for engaging in what appears to be a nasty gouging billing practice situation, in addition to other problems.
Although the actual lawsuit about the burning house is painful, we would like to focus on Greg Harney’s billing – which is really sick. This paragraph from the blog summarizes the situation:
Mr. English continues to hold the opinion that Mr. Harney’s conduct was highly unprofessional, that he over-billed for work done, that he did not carry out his original retainer and that he tried to bully Mr. English into approving a “draft” bill for $1.1 million.
The Editors also observe that when Mr. Harney sent Mr. English
the official bill it was for a whooping $536,000 including taxes, for a few weeks of work and that Master Keighly of the Supreme Court of British Columbia found the bill to be far too high and reduced that bill by 50 per cent to $256,000 including taxes.
We have heard other reports coming from Vancouver of similar such ‘billing bullying’ from lawyers like Greg Harney but none of them have yet had the courage to publicly voice their stories out of fear that the self-same lawyer will come back at them with a mighty vengeance and take from them the little they have left. We can therefore understand their hesitation and deep fears.
The very fact that the fees were reduced from Harney’s proposed $1,100,000 to the legal (and still nasty) $256,000 (by force) proves that Harney has imaginative and punitive, if not downright nasty billing practices.
So this begs the question “Why is Greg Harney unable to be found in the disciplinary/complaint section of the Law Society of BC?” where other lawyers are found who wander far off the paths of normal. Why didn’t he get spanked by the Law Society so the record could easily be found and searched?
“Mr. Harney kept no time records” – Ouch. That might explain the bill…
But what about his partner John Shields out of Vancouver? Are there clients around town who may have similar reports about his billing practices who want to come forward? Or, at the end of the face-pounding, will-destroying, spirit-crushing, life-sucking invoicing are they left bleeding on the street just hoping to find their next meal? Perhaps the internal billing practices are the same in Vancouver as they are in Victoria? Perhaps others will come out like this blog with courage to share their stories.
Perhaps Van City Biz is just such a venue…