Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Facts and Determination

Aengus Richard Martyn Fogarty

Called to the bar: August 5, 1987

Suspended: July 9, 2018

Ceased membership for non-payment of fees: January 1, 2020

Hearing dates: November 18 and 19, 2019 and October 19, 2020

Hearing panel: Philip Riddell, QC (Chair), Brendan Matthews and Carol Roberts

Decision issued: January 5, 2021 (2021 LSBC 01)

Counsel: Kathleen Bradley for the Law Society; Aengus Richard Martyn Fogarty appearing on his own behalf

FACTS

An individual from Washington state provided a bond to Aengus Richard Martyn Fogarty for a purported sale for $10 million US. Fogarty was to receive a 10 per cent commission. Fogarty provided the client with a receipt, showing a physical address in London, United Kingdom, and a telephone number with a BC area code. The client complained to the Law Society about Fogarty’ s involvement in the sale of Chinese historical bonds and sought the return of the bond. The Law Society contacted Fogarty, and the client subsequently advised that the bond was returned.

The Law Society initiated a separate complaint against Fogarty dealing with the sale of historical bonds. The Law Society wrote to Fogarty to request materials, stating he would be suspended if he failed to comply with the requests for information. Fogarty provided sarcastic responses to some of the Law Society’ s questions, and he was subsequently suspended for failing to respond.

The Law Society became aware of another individual who contacted the Law Society in October 2015 regarding Fogarty’ s involvement in bonds. Although the individual provided documents to the Law Society, it did not make Fogarty aware of its communication with this individual until a citation had been issued.

The Law Society sent another letter to Fogarty with additional requests for information on when he became involved with historical bonds, his dealings with several clients, the names of his bank contacts and whether he had dealings with the individuals or entities in enclosed documents relating to fraud cases, charges and investigations.

Fogarty responded saying the document provided by the Law Society had no application to Chinese bonds. He critiqued the Law Society’ s research. He did not respond to questions asking with whom he had dealings regarding historical bonds or to requests for details on bank contacts, files and records relating to his involvement in historical bond matters. He did not provide a list of places to which he had travelled.

The Law Society continued to send requests for information. Fogarty responded saying he had no knowledge regarding some of the matters he was asked about. The Law Society staff lawyer conducting the matter did not consider his response as full and substantive. The matter was referred to the Discipline Committee.

DETERMINATION

The panel found Fogarty committed professional misconduct in failing to respond in a substantive manner to two of the Law Society’ s requests for information and documents in his possession dealing with his client and his dealings with the bond.

The panel found he did not fail to respond in a substantive manner to the requests about the second matter that the Law Society was investigating. The panel expressed concerns the Law Society had not directed Fogarty’ s attention to this separate matter until the citation.

The panel dismissed an allegation that Fogarty destroyed records relating to transactions in the second matter. The panel found Fogarty had sent documents to the individual prior to the citation, and the Law Society did not draw attention to this matter until then.

The panel also found that, in creating the receipt, Fogarty was not representing or implying he was qualified to practise or act as a barrister or solicitor in England. The panel dismissed this allegation of the citation.

2021 LSBC 01 Decision on Facts and Determination