Fiji's Chief Register’s Office today "restrained" Suva lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry's law firm from operating on the orders of the Independent Legal Service Commission (ILSC) over “comments in the media.”
Acting Chief Registrar Mohammed Saneem said in a statement the ILSC had granted orders that the law firm of Gordon & Chaudhry Lawyers operating from 19 Rewa Street in Suva and all its other branches were now restrained from operating until further orders.
Saneem said it had come to the attention of his office that Chaudhry has made comments in the media that the law firm will continue to operate despite his suspension from practice till March 1, 2017.
“Since both partners in the firm of Gordon & Chaudhry Lawyers do not hold a valid practising certificate, the law firm cannot be allowed to continue to operate.
“By virtue of section 52(2) of the Legal Practioners Decree, the Chief Registrar is the provisional receiver until a receiver is fomally appointed under the Decree.
“The Chief Registrar’s office is compelled to issue this press statement since Mr Chaudhry’s statement in the media does not reflect the true position.”
Clients of the law firm have been asked to contact the office of the Chief Registrar for information.
However, in an interview with FijiLive, Chaudhry highlighted an Order by Justice Paul Madigan dated October 5 that stated “he be allowed to remain in practice until 5pm on October 26 and in that period he is not to appear in court nor accept any new instructions from either new or existing clients.”
Chaudhry said he would not be able to carry this out as his “firm has been sealed and employees sent home.”
“My greatest concern is that how am I suppose to do the handing over process of my clients and pending cases to other colleagues when they have sealed my firm down with all the required documents inside it,” Chaudhry said.
Of this, Saneem told FijiLive, "That would be a matter for him in court."
Chaudhry also voiced concerned about his 11 employees who had been sent home today without any advance notice. He had also filed for a stay order on October 9.
Chaudhry was found guilty of one count of professional misconduct and one count of unsatisfactory professional conduct.
By Indrani Krishna