Disciplinary Tribunal Reports
Pursuant to section 93(5) of the Legal Profession Act, the Council of the Law Society is required to publish the findings and determination of the Disciplinary Tribunal in the Singapore Law Gazette or in such other media as the Council may determine to adequately inform the public of the same.
This summary is published pursuant to the requirement of section 93(5) of the Legal Profession Act.
In the Matter of Mohammad Nizam Bin Ismail (Respondent), Advocate & Solicitor
These proceedings arose from a complaint filed by RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP (now known as RHTLaw Asia LLP), a limited liability partnership (RHTLaw or Complainant). The Respondent was a partner with RHTLaw at the material time. The complaint was that the Respondent had practised as a solicitor on his own account while being a partner with RHTLaw.
In relation to the complaint, the Chief Justice empanelled a Disciplinary Tribunal (DT) presided by Dr Michael Hwang SC and Mr Mr Teo Weng Kie as DT member.
One main charge, with an alternative charge, was preferred against the Respondent. The Respondent pleaded guilty to the main charge. The Charge was:
For contravening a provision of the Legal Profession Act (Cap.161, 2009 Rev Ed) (the Act) which warranted disciplinary action under section 83(2)(j) of the Act, namely section 142(3)(d) of the Act, as the Respondent practised as a solicitor on his own account while a partner of a limited liability law partnership, in that he had, between 2016 to 2019, did agree to/or did act as a legal advisor and render legal services on his own account to six named clients.
Findings and Determination of the DT, Council’s Sanctions
The DT was of the view that there was neither available evidence nor suggestion that the Respondent had behaved with dishonesty or lacked the trustworthiness expected of an advocate and solicitor. There was also neither evidence nor suggestion that the Respondent had caused material harm to any of the clients.
However, the DT observed that the quantum of remuneration that the Respondent received was not insignificant (approximate value of $50,000), and that the Respondent’s conduct did infringe on the objective of protecting the public in a situation whereby a solicitor practises without insurance coverage.
The DT was of the view that the main charge was made out, though there was no cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action under section 83 of the Act.
Council adopted the DT’s findings, and the Respondent was reprimanded. There was no order as to costs.
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