Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: July 23, 2021

Gregg Anthony Alfonso

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:

Client File MB

1.  On or about September 30, 2016, you accepted a gift of $30,000 from your client MB when your client had not received independent legal advice, contrary to rule 4-39 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

2.  Between approximately September 2016 to September 2018, in relation to your client MB, you misused your trust account by doing one or more of the following:

(a)  failing to withdraw as soon as practicable $30,000 belonging to you or your law firm from your trust account, contrary to Rules 3-58(4) and 3-60(5) of the Law Society Rules; and

(b)  using your firm’s trust account to disburse a total of $30,000 to cover your personal expenses in circumstances where you had not provided substantial or any legal services.

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

Client File DM and WM

3.  Between approximately December 2017 and February 2019, in relation to your clients DM and WM, you misused your trust account by doing one or more of the following:

(a)  failing to withdraw as soon as practicable $5,197.50 belonging to you or your law firm from your trust account, contrary to Rules 3-58(4) and 3-60(5) of the Law Society Rules; and

(b)  using your firm’s trust account to disburse a total of $5,197.50 to cover your personal expenses in circumstances where you had not provided substantial or any legal services.

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

Client File RK

4.  In or about June 2019, in relation to your client RK, you misused your trust account by doing one or more of the following:

(a)  withdrawing $40,000 in trust funds received from your client prior to delivering a bill to your client contrary to Rules 3-64 and 3-65; and

(b)  using your firm’s trust account to disburse a total of $40,000 to cover your personal expenses in circumstances where you had not provided substantial or any legal services.

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

5.  In the alternative to allegation 4 above, you accepted a gift of $40,000 from your client RK while concurrently writing-off accumulated unbilled time of approximately $67,000 on matters [file number], [file number] and [file number] when your client had not received independent legal advice, contrary to rule 4-39 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

Client file W Ltd.

6.  Between approximately March 2018 and December 2019, in relation to your client W Ltd, you misused your trust account by doing one or more of the following:

(a)  failing to withdraw as soon as practicable some or all of $450,000 belonging partly to W Ltd. and partly to you or your law firm from your trust account, contrary to one or both of Rules 3-58(4) and 3-60(5) of the Law Society Rules;

(b)  maintaining more than $300 of your own funds in your trust account, contrary to Rule 3-60(5) of the Law Society Rules; and

(c)  using your firm’s trust account to disburse some or all of $164,988 of the $450,000 to cover your personal expenses in circumstances where you had not provided substantial or any legal services.

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

Conflict of Interest

7.  Between approximately May 2019 and June 2019, you acted in a conflict of interest when you prepared a promissory note regarding a loan from your client RK to your client BH in the amount of $10,000, contrary to one or more of rules 3.4-1, 3.4-2, and 3.4-26.1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

Breach of Client Identification and Verification Rules

8.  In approximately October 2018, in the course of acting for your clients JR and SB in relation to a real estate matter, you failed to properly obtain the information required to verify the identity of your clients, contrary to one or both of Rules 3-104 and 3-105 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.