Blantyre-based private practice lawyer David Kanyenda was arrested by Fiscal Police on Wednesday for allegations of swindling a client K5. 8 million.
Malawi Police Service (MPS) head of Fiscal and Fraud Section, Isaac Norman, said Kanyenda was released after he paid back the money.
He got the money for his client Wisted Chaweka which was compensation for a road accident in 2013.
Chaweka of Mpanga Village, Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre was involved in a car accident in 2013 and engaged Kanyenda as lawyer to claim compensation.
"Kanyenda did not give his client the money which he got in 2014. He has since paid back after we arrested him," Norman said.
Observers say Malawi needs the lawyers of high integrity and be role models to the society because they are torch bearers of justice.
"The arrest of Kanyenda should serve as a lesson to other lawyers that they will be exposed for any unacceptable behaviour," commented Lubwalubwa Juma.
"We know that some lawyers have been short-changing their clients for some time and have been getting away with it because they were shielded by their mother body. Both the Law Society and government should work out a mechanism for members of the public to report unethical and unprofessional lawyers," he added.
Malawi Law Society could not immediately issue a comment.