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All lawyers licenses ‘expired’ under new regime

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 17, 2009) – About 250 lawyers have applied for their practicing licence to the chief registrar's office, says acting chief registrar Ana Rokomokoti.

And she has received 283 pending complaints against the Fiji Law Society. While she has approved some lawyers to practice, Ms Rokomokoti said the rest were still under consideration.

Rokomokoti said she was trying to go through all the applications.

She said that each application was being assessed on its own merits.

"What I can confirm is that I have received applications from 253 lawyers before June 15 and I am processing these applications," she said.

"Some practicing certificates have been issued while others have been asked to submit additional details on certain aspects of the respective applications."

Under the Legal Practitioners Decree 2009, all legal practitioners in the country will have to reapply for their practicing certificates with the chief registrar of the High court as their licences expired on May 30.

Rokomokoti said the complaints lodged by members of the public dated back to 2000 included allegations of incompetence, overcharging, failure to appear in court, lack of communication, negligence, acting without instructions, non performance and failure to deliver services as promised.

She also received complaints on misbehaviour, failure to provide accounts, misrepresentation, abuse of trust funds and fraud.

Rokomokoti said they would investigate those complaints.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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