Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Facts and Determination

DONALD FRANKLIN GURNEY

West Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: May 15, 1968

Discipline hearing: November 29 to December 1, 2016 and January 20, 2017

Panel: Phil Riddell, Chair, Glenys Blackadder [did not participate in decision] and Gillian Dougans

Decision issued: May 18, 2017 (2017 LSBC 15)

Counsel: J. Kenneth McEwan, QC and Trevor Bant for the Law Society; Paul E. Jaffe for Donald Franklin Gurney

FACTS

Donald Franklin Gurney used his trust account to receive and disburse a total of $25,845,489.87 on behalf of a corporate client without making reasonable inquiries about the circumstances and without providing any substantial legal services.

Gurney received funds through his trust account in regard to four line of credit agreements in which the client was the borrower. Gurney’ s services consisted solely of receiving and immediately disbursing $26 million in offshore funds by converting the funds into bank drafts. He made only pro forma inquiries about the transactions and knew little about the borrower, its business, its principal or the purpose of the loans.

DETERMINATION

Gurney committed professional misconduct in respect to four transactions involving his trust account.

2017 LSBC 15 Decision on Facts and Determination