Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action

Gerhardus Albertus Pyper

Gerhardus Albertus Pyper

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: December 9, 2002

Ceased membership: January 29, 2015

Hearing date: November 22, 2018

Panel: Dean Lawton, QC (chair); Haydn Acheson; Richard Lindsay, QC

Decision issued: January 15, 2019 (2019 LSBC 01)

Counsel: Kathleen Bradley for the Law Society; no one appearing on behalf of Gerhardus Albertus Pyper

FACTS AND DETERMINATION

On March 15, 2018, a hearing panel found that Gerhardus Albertus Pyper had committed professional misconduct for failing to respond to letters from a professional consultant he had engaged as an expert witness on behalf of a client. A summary of that decision can be found here.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel considered Pyper’s extensive professional conduct record and concluded that it demonstrated an ongoing unwillingness to address his failures to meet the minimum accepted standards of legal practice. As an aggravating factor, the panel considered Pyper’s accusation of “institutional bias” against the Law Society and concluded that rehabilitation and remediation would be unlikely.

The panel agreed that a suspension was appropriate and would be consistent with the principle of progressive discipline, the need for specific and general deterrence, and the protection of the public.

In determining the effective date of suspension, the panel considered that Pyper had ceased membership in the Law Society in January 2015 and that, in 2017, a hearing panel considering another matter had ordered a suspension immediately upon reinstatement should Pyper ever be readmitted to the Law Society. A further consideration was that a previous panel had ordered that, should he ever by reinstated, Pyper abide by any conditions imposed by the Practice Standards Committee.

The panel ordered that:

  • Pyper be suspended for three months, commencing the first business day following the completion of the suspension ordered in 2017;
  • following the suspension Pyper must not practise law except in a setting and in a capacity approved by the Practice Standards Committee and on such conditions as that committee might fix; and
  • Pyper pay costs of $9,606.88.

2019 LSBC 01 Decision on Disciplinary Action