Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Review Board

LYLE DANIEL PERRY

Review: September 23, 2015

Review board: Maria Morellato, QC, Chair, Jasmin Ahmad, Dennis J. Day, Miriam Kresivo, QC, Richard Lindsay, QC, Jamie Maclaren and June Preston

Decision issued: December 3, 2015 (2015 LSBC 55)

Counsel: Jean Whittow, QC for the Law Society; Henry Wood, QC for Lyle Daniel Perry

BACKGROUND

Lyle Daniel Perry had previously been called to the bar in South Africa. After immigrating to Canada, he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by offering and providing legal services. The Law Society directed Perry to immediately cease practising law and to sign an undertaking not to engage in the practice of law. Perry signed and returned the undertaking in December 2011. Concerns were raised regarding whether he had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law after signing the undertaking and, if so, if he had done so knowingly.

At a credentials hearing into Perry’ s application for enrolment in 2014, the majority of the hearing panel concluded Perry is a person of “ good character and repute” and allowed him to be admitted to the Law Society Admission Program. The chair of the panel disagreed with the majority decision: see hearing decision 2015 LSBC 13 and the credentials summary in the Summer 2015 Benchers’ Bulletin.

The Credentials Committee applied for a review of the hearing panel’ s decision.

DECISION OF THE REVIEW BOARD

The review board determined that the hearing panel majority correctly assessed Perry’ s character.

The review board highlighted the distinction between conduct and character. After an independent analysis of Perry’ s character in respect of every allegation and finding of improper conduct, the hearing panel majority concluded that, while the conduct itself was improper, it did not necessarily reflect “ bad character” given the circumstances. The review board determined that the hearing panel majority did not place undue reliance on Perry’ s testimony, considered each concern that gave rise to the credentials hearing and provided detailed reasons and findings in its assessment of Perry’ s character.

The review board confirmed the decision of the hearing panel majority that Perry is a person of good character and fit to be admitted into the Law Society admission program.

2015 LSBC 55 Decision of the Review Board