By virtue of S. 94(3) of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”), “misconduct” means conduct or omission to act by an advocate and solicitor in a professional capacity or otherwise which amounts to grave impropriety. The instances of misconduct are listed under S. 94(3)(a) till (o) of the LPA.
Statistics in accordance to practice status
To date, the majority complaints received by the Board are against lawyers who are the sole proprietors of a legal firm. The statistics below indicate the number of advocates and solicitors struck off and suspended in accordance to their practice status. It may be observed that a total of 201 lawyers have been struck off the Roll and 96 lawyers have been suspended from practice between 2003 until 2008.
Statistics in accordance to state to
Meanwhile, the number of lawyers being struck off or suspended on a state to state basis are reflected in the table appearing hereinbelow :–
TOTAL NO STRUCK OFF
% STRUCK OFF
IN RELATION TO
TOTAL NO SUSPENDED
% SUSPENDED IN
RELATION TO TOTAL
Misappropriation of client’s monies have been a major concern for the Bar Council and as the sole regulatory body of lawyers, it holds an inherent responsibility to ensure that the standards of the profession are maintained at all times.
The Bar Council will continue to play a significant role to educate members and are in the process of conducting further studies and outlining proposals to amend the Legal Profession Act 1976 in a combated move to restrict lawyers from misappropriating clients funds to uphold integrity of the legal profession as a whole. The most recent proactive steps taken by the Bar Council includes setting up a task force to study the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2006. These amendments were submitted to the Attorney General's Chambers, and after constructive deliberation amongst the relevant parties, the final amendments have now been reduced to a draft ie. Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2009. This Bill is currently with the Parliamentary Draftsman at Chambers.
Moreover, various workshops, seminars and forums have also been organized by the Bar Council over the years for the benefit of members on the manner of dealing with client’s monies and the disciplinary consequences that entail should there be commission of a breach of the Legal Profession Act or any of the provisions, Rules and Rulings made thereunder.
It is hoped that members will take every opportunity to avail themselves of these programmes and be equipped with the relevant knowledge on how to run their practice well.