Home Legal News B.C. lawyer disbarred after sexually assaulting a prospective client who sought legal advice

B.C. lawyer disbarred after sexually assaulting a prospective client who sought legal advice

by HR Law Canada

A Nanaimo, B.C.-based lawyer has been disbarred following a recent ruling by the Law Society of British Columbia Tribunal.

The lawyer, MS, was disbarred for professional misconduct related to the sexual assault of a prospective client.


The Tribunal found that MS had committed professional misconduct by sexually assaulting a prospective client who sought legal advice for altering her husband’s bail terms.

The assault, which occurred in his office, was particularly distressing for the victim, who was already in a vulnerable state. This conduct led to MS’ criminal conviction for sexual assault.

Tribunal’s decision

The Panel, led by chair Sandra Weafer, thoroughly examined the nature, gravity, and consequences of his conduct.

They noted that the crime was committed against a vulnerable person seeking legal advice, making it even more egregious. The Panel highlighted that such personal boundary violations by lawyers are extremely serious, undermining the victim’s sense of personal dignity and integrity.

The Tribunal also considered MS’ professional conduct record, which included similar inappropriate behavior towards another female client — resulting in a six-month suspension for predatory conduct toward a client, albeit without a criminal charge and conviction.

His record showed a concerning pattern of predatory behavior.

His lack of acknowledgment of his misconduct and the impact it had on the victim and the legal profession was a significant factor in the Tribunal’s decision. This lack of remorse and acknowledgment raised serious concerns about his potential for rehabilitation.

Implications for public confidence and legal profession integrity

The Tribunal emphasized the need to maintain public confidence in the legal profession and the Law Society’s ability to regulate its members effectively. MS’ conduct was seen as so far removed from the principles of honor, integrity, and professionalism that it warranted the strongest possible sanction.

Disbarment was deemed necessary to protect the public and uphold the integrity of the legal profession, it ruled.

The Law Society was seeking costs of $13,732.50. While the Tribunal said those costs were reasonable, and would normally be recoverable, it declined to award costs in this case, citing MS’ financial circumstances and medical issues.

“Upon considering the evidence of his dire financial circumstances, including his limited income, a period of time on social assistance and receiving food from the food bank, his outstanding debt and significant health issues, this Panel exercises its discretion… to order no costs,” it said.

For more information see 2023 LSBC 50.

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