Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation Issued: December 1, 2020

Andrew Yat-Cheung Lau

Citations are authorized by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer that will be considered at a discipline hearing. Please note that allegations in a citation are unproven until a discipline hearing panel has determined their validity.

Nature of conduct to be inquired into:

1.  Between approximately March 2016 and November 2019, you collected Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) from your clients but failed to remit the funds and interest due to the Canada Revenue Agency in payment of the GST in a timely way, contrary to rule 7.1-2 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

2.  Between approximately April 2018 and August 2019, you collected British Columbia Provincial Sales Tax (“PST”) from your clients but failed to remit funds and interest due to the British Columbia Ministry of Finance in payment of the PST in a timely way, contrary to rule 7.1-2 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

3.  You failed to remit the Trust Administration Fee (“TAF”) to the Law Society within 30 days of the end of some or all of the quarters ending December 2017, March 2017, June 2018, September 2018, December 2018, June 2019, September 2019, and December 2019, contrary to one or more of Rules 2-110 and 3-49(e) of the Law Society Rules and rule 7.1-2 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

4.  You failed to meet the minimum standard of financial responsibility required of lawyers in British Columbia by failing to notify the Executive Director of the Law Society of British Columbia in writing of the circumstances of an unsatisfied monetary judgment, filed against your law corporation in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on July 8, 2019 (Court File No. [number], Victoria Registry), and your proposal for satisfying the judgment, contrary to one or both of Rules 3-49(a) and 3-50 of the Law Society Rules.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

5.  Between approximately March 2018 and November 2018, in the course of acting for one or more of your clients JS, YH, VH, and KL, you misappropriated or improperly withdrew some or all of $14,336 held in trust on behalf of your clients, by withdrawing funds from trust for the payment of your fees when you had not rendered any or sufficient legal services to justify the withdrawal, contrary to Rule 3-64 of the Law Society Rules, in one or more of the following instances:

(a)  in November 2018, you withdrew or authorized the withdrawal of $2,016 from trust in connection with your client JS;

(b)  in March 2018, you withdrew or authorized the withdrawal of $3,920 from trust in connection with your clients YH and VH;

(c)  in April 2018, you withdrew or authorized the withdrawal of $3,920 from trust in connection with your client KL; and

(d)  in February 2019, you withdrew or authorized the withdrawal of $4,480 from trust in connection with your client KL.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

6.  In the course of acting for your clients YH and VH, you withdrew or authorized the withdrawal of funds from trust without first signing and delivering a bill to your clients, contrary to one or both of Rule 3-65 of the Law Society Rules and section 69 of the Legal Profession Act, on one or more of the following occasions:

(a) $3,920 withdrawn from trust on March 1, 2018;

(b)  $1,077 withdrawn from trust between August 2018 and February 2019.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.