Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Review Panel of Benchers Decision

Robert Collingwood Strother

Vancouver, BC

Called to the Bar: May 12, 1981

Bencher review: January 24, 2017

Benchers: Philip Riddell, Chair, Pinder Cheema, QC, Craig Ferris, QC, Steven McKoen, Elizabeth Rowbotham and Sarah Westwood

Decision issued: June 26, 2017 (2017 LSBC 23)

Counsel: Henry C. Wood, QC for the Law Society; Robert W. Grant, QC for Robert Collingwood Strother

BACKGROUND

In its decision of February 26, 2015, a hearing panel concluded that Robert Collingwood Strother had committed professional misconduct by failing to advise his client that he had obtained a financial interest in a potential commercial competitor, failing to advise the client that his previous negative legal opinion concerning an amendment to the Income Tax Act should be reconsidered and failing to advise the client of a favourable tax ruling.

DECISION OF THE REVIEW PANEL

The review panel found that:

  • the hearing panel was correct in finding that Strother’ s failure:
    • to provide material disclosure to his client of his financial interest in a potential commercial competitor; and
    • to advise the client that his previous negative legal opinion concerning an amendment to the Income Tax Act should be reconsidered
    • each constituted professional misconduct; and that
  • the hearing panel erred in finding that Strothers’ s failure to advise the client of a favourable advance tax ruling constituted professional misconduct; but
  • notwithstanding such error, the hearing panel was correct in imposing a five-month suspension in the circumstances; and
  • the hearing panel’ s award of costs was appropriate.

2017 LSBC 23 Decision of a Review Panel of the Benchers