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Crime, Legal

Council of the Law Society of NSW v Matthew Laba

Law Society of NSW 2 mins read

Thursday, 14 December 2023


President of the Law Society of NSW

Cassandra Banks


Council of the Law Society of NSW v Matthew Laba

The Local Court of NSW has today convicted Mr Matthew Laba of four offences relating to his engagement in unqualified legal practice and two offences of representing an entitlement to engage in legal practice whilst unqualified under Part 2.1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) .

Mr Laba’s conduct included court appearances on behalf of clients when he did not hold a practising certificate and representing falsely to officers of the NSW Police Force and to a judicial officer that he was entitled to engage in legal practice.

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. Mr Laba’s conduct will likely be relevant to any application that he may make in the future for admission to the legal profession or for a practising certificate.

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 persons engaging in legal practice and representing an entitlement to engage in legal practice.

People in need of legal services have a right to expect that the person they have retained to provide those services is qualified to do so. Information about how to determine if someone is qualified to practise law in NSW can be found here.

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 convictions and sentence imposed on Mr Laba today by the Local Court should serve as a deterrent to people tempted to engage in unqualified legal practice and/or falsely represent an entitlement to engage in legal practice.

Mr Laba was sentenced to an aggregate term of 9 months’ imprisonment to be served by way of an Intensive Corrections Order and a Community Corrections Order of 18 months.  Mr Laba was also fined a total of $16,000 and ordered to pay the Law Society’s costs.

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. As this matter is subject to further proceedings any 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:  


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