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Malawi Law Society cracks whip on lawyers

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The Malawi Law Society (MLS) Disciplinary Committee has disbarred two lawyers, Patron Ndhlovu and Kajani Banda.

The society has also suspended two others, Lusungu Gondwe and Edwin Banda, after acting on complaints from clients.

Four other lawyers, Mapemphero Manda, Lucious Kwakwala, Felix Mipande and Golden Mwangulube have been reprimanded.

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The findings and recommendations, according to a press statement released Friday, were made on September 30 2016.

The Disciplinary Committee has further recommended the prosecution of Ndhlovu for receiving K2, 600, 000, K6, 500, 000, and K2,800, 000, respectively, on behalf of clients and failing to remit the same.

Kajani also faces prosecution for receiving K1 million on behalf of a client and failing to remit the same. In its recommendation, the Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Solicitor General Janet Banda, further asks the lawyer to pay back the money.

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In another development, the committee has recommended that Gondwe, who has been suspended, should be prosecuted despite remitting the money to the client who filed the complaint.

“Mr Lusungu Gondwe received MK26, 862, 855 on behalf of his client but failed to remit MK9, 833, 453.07. However, he subsequently remitted the money to the client,” the Disciplinary Committee says in its findings.

However, the committee has recommended that another lawyer, Banda, who has been

suspended, should pay back the balance owed to a client who received part of the money. The committee indicates that “Mr Edwin Banda received money on behalf of his client but underpaid the client”.

In the case of those who have been reprimanded, MLS Disciplinary Committee finds that Manda “conducted himself in a fraudulent and improper manner”; faults Kwakwala for doing the same; reprimands Mipande for failing to disclose money received on behalf of a client, paying “much lower compensation” to the client and charging a client exorbitant fees.

It also faults another reprimanded lawyer, Mwangulube, for charging a client exorbitant fees.

The Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act (Disciplinary Committee Rules and Procedure], particularly Rule 21, gives the MLS Disciplinary Committee powers to preside over such cases and publish its findings and recommendations.

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