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District Court of
Western Australia
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Corporations

From time to time the directors of corporate entities seek to lodge documents at the court on behalf of the corporation or to otherwise represent it.  There are limits on their ability to do so.

Filing documents

Rules of the Supreme Court 1971 (WA) (“RSC”) Order 4 rule 3(2) provides:

  1. Except as expressly provided by or under any Act a body corporate may not begin or carry on any such proceedings otherwise than by a solicitor.

RSC Order 12 rule 1(2) provides:

  1. Except as expressly provided by any Act, a defendant to such an action which is a body corporate may not enter an appearance in the action or defend it otherwise than by a practitioner.

The Court will not accept documents sought to be filed on behalf of a corporate litigant unless they are filed through a solicitor.

Representing a corporate entity at a hearing

There is a limited discretion in the court to allow a director or other representative (not a lawyer) to appear for the corporation at a court hearing (see District Court Act 1969 (WA) s39).  A person wishing to appear at a hearing on behalf of a corporate litigant will need to obtain the leave of the Judge or Registrar presiding at the hearing to do so.  A person wishing to obtain this leave should write to the Perth Registry of the court not less than 7 days prior to the hearing:

  1. identifying the action number;
  2. identifying the hearing date and time;
  3. notifying the court that they intend to seek leave to appear on behalf of a corporate litigant; and
  4. setting out the reasons why the judicial officer should grant them leave to represent the party at the hearing, including the reason why the corporate entity has not retained a solicitor to act for them.

The letter should be copied to each other party.

The letter will be referred to the Judge or Registrar presiding at the hearing.

Click here for the contact details for the Perth Registry of the District Court.

Last updated: 2-Jul-2014

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