12 September 2017

Malawi Law Society Pens Errant Lawyer Ndende Over Embezzlement

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has written lawyer Francis Ndende to explain allegations and complaints filed with the body on alleged disciplinary excesses, including embezzlement.

In the first letter dated September 7, 2017 between MClemens Daniel and M Francis Franklin and Company, bearing Ref No: 001 of 2017, Ndende is summoned to explain on allegations that he represented a person in a personal injury claim in which he was awarded K1.2 million but instead of deducting K300,000 as legal fees, the lawyer deducted K629,000 which is more than 50% of the whole amount and against what was agreed.

"The committee found that you will have to refund K600,000 as you deducted 30% contrary to your admitted agreement of 25% deduction in legal fees. The committee further requests you to furnish them a copy of a letter from Legal Aid bureau Mzuzu Office as well as proof that you loaned the complainant K269, 000.

"If there is no documented evidence that the complainant received the K269,000, you will have to pay back the sum within a specified time frame as determined by the committee," reads the letter in part by MLS Disciplinary Committee Chairperson, Dr Janet Banda SC.

In the second account MLS wants Ndende to explain claim submitted by Rui Morouco Ribeiro in which it is reported that he represented a complainant on mutual agreement that he would represent on contingency basis on the understanding that he would deduct 10% of any compensatory damages that would be payable in a case.

In a letter, MLS says in September, 2016, Ndende claimed K7,414, 022.21, but HE did not inform the complainant that he had recovered the sums.

"When the complainant had found out and confronted you , he alleges that he was given two cheques one for K2.4Million which was honoured and the other for K5 Million which was dishonoured. To date you have failed to remit the MK5 Million," reads part of the letter which we have seen.

But in an interview Ndende said there is need to appreciate the billing system in such matters and that he will defend himself.

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