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Two lawyers have been suspended for two years by the General Legal Council (GLC) for representing a company in a legal matter without seeking the consent of the company.

The suspension of Mr Charles Owusu Juanah and Mr Kwame Amoako, the GLC said, took effect from November 24, 2017.
According to a notice signed by the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, and posted on the GLC website, Mr Juanah and Mr Amoako filed a notice of change of solicitors and “issued a writ on behalf of KASAPA Limited without due consent and instructions from the said KASAPA Limited’’.

The two were also found guilty of failing to seek the consent of the solicitors of KASAPA, Bentsi Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, before representing the company, as stated in Rule 5 (6) (a) (b) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette), 1969 L.I. 613.

Rule 5 (6) stipulates that “a lawyer who finds, on receiving a brief, that another lawyer has previously been retained, shall not accept the brief without (a) communicating in the first instance with the lawyer who first handled it; and (b) enquiring whether he has any objection to his accepting the brief’’.

Such communication, the rule states, “shall be by the latter lawyer to the former one direct; and not through his clerk’’.

The lawyers were also found guilty of Rule 9 (4) of L.I. 613, which states that “any deliberate deception of the court on the part of a lawyer is a professional misconduct. Equally, a lawyer is guilty of such a misconduct if he knowingly permits a client to attempt to deceive the court’’.

The GLC also found the lawyers guilty of failing to appear before its disciplinary committee on June 9, 2016, in violation of Section 19 (3) of the Legal Professional Act, 1960 (Act 32).

“We will appeal’’

But, in an interview, Mr Juanah, who is the Head of K-SAN Law Firm, has vowed to appeal the decision of the council, saying that the two lawyers were not culpable in the offences which led to their suspension.

According to him, his law firm never took the Kasapa case from Bentsi Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah but rather it represented the true owners of Kasapa.

He explained that there was a dispute over the ownership of KASAPA between two parties and K-SAN Law Firm represented one of them after that party presented documents ascertaining that it was the real owners of KASAPA.

“When the party came to our chambers, they brought documents to show that they were the owners of the company. They brought certificates from the Registrar-General Department, forms which showed that they were the shareholders and directors of the company. We also did a search and found out that they were the owners of the company,’’ he said.

He said Lawyer Amoako did not take the brief of the case from another lawyer.

“It is the owners of the company, as per our search, that he took the brief from,’’ he said.

Mr Juanah also denied claims by the GLC that the two lawyers refused to appear before the council.

According to him, they were never served notices to appear before the council on June 9, 2016.

“We were not served to appear before the council on that day,’’ he said


The GLC suspended the two lawyers for two years for breaching Rule 9 (4) and Rule 5 (6) (a) (b) of L.I. 613 and one year for violating Section 19 (3) of Act 32. 
Both sentences will run concurrently.

Per the details of the suspension, the two lawyers shall not hold themselves as legal practitioners, “attend chambers or render or purport to render any professional legal service to the public for a fee’’.

Other suspensions

The suspension of Messrs Juanah and Amoako brings to four the number of lawyers suspended by the GLC this year.

On June 1, 2017, the council suspended Lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu for three years after it found the human rights lawyer guilty of over-charging a client and also violating the legal profession’s code of conduct rule that prevents lawyers from advertising their services.

Lawyer Kwasi Afrifa was also suspended by the GLC for four years on July 27, 2017 after it found him guilty of acting against the interests of his clients by representing other clients with the same interests.
Source: Daily Graphic

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