Monday, 6 November 2023
President of the Law Society of NSW
The Council of the Law Society of NSW v Matthew James Laba
In the Downing Centre Local Court today, Mr Matthew Laba entered pleas of guilty to six offences relating to unqualified legal practice under Part 2.1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) (LPUL).
Section 10(1) of the LPUL prohibits unqualified legal practice, imposing a maximum penalty of 250 penalty units ($27,500) and/or two years’ imprisonment. Section 11(1) prohibits an unqualified entity from representing that they are entitled to engage in legal practice, imposing a maximum 250 penalty unit fine.
Mr Laba does not hold, and has never held, a practising certificate issued by the Council of the Law Society of NSW, nor by any other issuing authority in any Australian jurisdiction.
As a co-regulator of the state’s solicitor profession, the Law Society of NSW has a responsibility to help maintain public confidence in the integrity of the legal profession and to protect the public and clients of law practices from unqualified people engaging in legal practice and purporting to be lawyers.
Lawyers in NSW are subject to stringent ethical obligations including the paramount duty to the administration of justice, duties to the court and to advancing clients’ interests above their own. They are required to maintain the highest standards of integrity, honesty and fairness.
The Law Society of NSW will act wherever necessary in order to protect the public and clients of legal practices from conduct that undermines confidence in the law and legal process and falls below the high standards expected of the legal profession in this state. Information on how to determine if someone is qualified to practice law in NSW can be found here.
As this matter is subject to future sentencing proceedings any further comment at this time would be inappropriate.
Damien Smith | Director, Media and Public Relations
The Law Society of New South Wales
M: +61 417 788 947 | E: Damien.Smith@lawsociety.com.au