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Law society suspends lawyers in amidst money squandering claims

Law society suspends lawyers in amidst money squandering claims

Eba Kandovazu

TWO legal practitioners could have their licences revoked after it emerged that they could not account for their clients’ monies that were deposited into their law firm’s trusts. 

Richard Mueller and Vernon Lutibezi have temporarily been barred from practicing law, pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearings instated against them by the Law Society of Namibia.

The Law Society is charging that in the case of Mueller, his client, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, deposited N$1.5 million into his firm in 2017 for safe keeping.

IN MURKY WATER: Vernon Lutibezi (left) and Richard Mueller. Photos: Contributed

Of this amount, close to N$1.1 million could not be recovered from the trust.

It is further alleged that two months ago, a Rundu pastor lodged a complaint with the Law Society that his church had in 2016 deposited a total N$560 000 into the trust account of Lutibezi’s law firm.

Lutibezi has since not been able to give back the full amount, and could only pay back N$240 000.

“When the law society receives complaints from members of the public regarding possible transgressions in respect of trust monies, it is obliged, and does not hesitate to take the necessary corrective actions, including referring such a complaint to the Disciplinary Committee, an independent body established in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1995. The Law society  remains committed to ensuring that legal practitioners conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and ethical responsibility,” Law Society’s Director Retha Steinmann said.

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