Crime & Court

Former Prominent Lawyer Seeks Readmission To The Bar

Shah was found guilty in relation to monies held in a trust account on behalf of his client, Sashi Lata.
14 Aug 2020 09:03
Former Prominent Lawyer Seeks Readmission To The Bar
Haroon Ali Shah. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Haroon Ali Shah, the prominent lawyer who was disbarred for eight years for professional misconduct, will present his case to be readmitted to the bar.

Shah is expected to be heard before the Acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar today.

Shah was a member of the legal profession for 30 years before being disbarred by the Independent Legal Services Commission in June, 2012.

He was found guilty of seven counts of professional misconduct and two counts of unsatisfactory professional conduct by the commission.

Shah was found guilty in relation to monies held in a trust account on behalf of his client, Sashi Lata.

According to the ruling, Ms Lata’s husband died in a car accident in the 1980s.

She hired Shah to make a third party claim against Tower Insurance.

Shah’s firm received $70,000 from Tower Insurance in relation to the matter in 2001.

The ruling said he, however, failed to disclose this to Ms Lata’s father, Bal Ram, who was her power of attorney and acted in her absence.

After Mr Ram threatened to report the matter to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2003, Shah paid him $50,000, the ruling said.

He deducted $20,000 for legal fees, without any authorisation from Mr Ram or Ms Lata.

Although he received the money from Tower Insurance in 2001, the trust account records held by his firm showed no such receipt of payment.

Accountancy firm, G Lal and Company, were asked to audit the trust funds and made their findings available to the Fiji Law Society in 2006.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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