Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel on Disciplinary Action

Sumandip Singh

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: May 20, 2009

Hearing dates: August 27, September 4 and 5, 2019

Further submissions: November 9, 2020

Panel: Ralston S. Alexander, QC (chair) and Paul Ruffell

Decision issued: March 15, 2021 (2021 LSBC 12)

Counsel: Mandana Namazi and Ilana Teicher for the Law Society; Joven Bahar Narwal for Sumandip Singh

BACKGROUND

The hearing panel found that Sumandip Singh committed professional misconduct by facilitating the unauthorized practice of law by disbarred lawyer, Gerhard Albertus Pyper, failing to tell clients or staff that Pyper was not authorized to practise, communicating in an abusive or offensive manner with other counsel, the judiciary and other parties, improperly commissioning documents for use in court proceedings and Land Title Office matters, failing to meet the quality of service required by the legal profession and misleading the Law Society during the course of an investigation (2020 LSBC 01).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel considered the very serious nature of Singh’ s misconduct. It noted that his misconduct happened many times over a period of several years, his lack of acknowledgement of the misconduct until the hearing, and the serious consequences to the client as a result of his behaviour. The panel also considered decisions in similar disciplinary cases but found that no other cases matched the level of misconduct Singh demonstrated.

Singh argued that his mental health should be taken into account, but no medical evidence was provided. The panel determined that, due to the multiple instances of misconduct, rehabilitation of Singh should be of secondary importance to the need to protect the public and ensure public confidence in the legal profession.

The panel ordered Singh:

  1. be suspended for two years; and
  2. pay costs of $41,098.77.

2021 LSBC 12 Decision on Disciplinary Action - by agreement, the suspension will start May 1, 2021